Thursday, September 28, 2023 | Rabi' al-awwal 12, 1445 H
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Barack Obama in the fray -- again


Former US president Barack Obama speaks at a campaign rally for Senator Raphael Warnock ahead of the midterm elections in Atlanta, Georgia.
Former US president Barack Obama speaks at a campaign rally for Senator Raphael Warnock ahead of the midterm elections in Atlanta, Georgia.

This time US President Biden has adopted a different kind of election campaign to keep Republicans from regaining control of the Congress in the forthcoming mid-term polls on November 8.

The game plan is two-pronged: hot and cold. The cold part is being played by President Biden who is conspicuously keeping a low-key campaign, abstaining from big rallies – a staple feature of America’s Congressional election campaigns patronised by both sides quite religiously – and attending only fundraising events to highlight his party’s accomplishments.

While the "hotter” part of the game plan is being spearheaded by former president Barack Obama who is crisscrossing various states to promote the Democratic candidates and attending campaign rallies. Unlike the traditional model of American election campaigns, which revolves around high-octane rallies and fanfare of large political gatherings, President Biden has adopted an atypical model to attract the voters; he is focusing on grabbing media headlines to promote his accomplishments of the last two years. He wants to project himself as a national politician who is above the political fray.

Biden’s strategy is to use the fundraising events, where he lavishly talks about all the major accomplishments of his two-year stint, to be in the headlines of the media on a daily basis and keep reaching out to a wider base of voters by showing his past performance rather than routine exaggerated political oratory.

Donald Trump, on the other hand, is busy in an unending series of mega rallies that are routinely adorned by his signature rhetoric against Biden and Republicans.

The Big boisterous campaign of Donald Trump, who is putting all his heart into this campaign with an intention to use the Republican's victory in the midterms as the basis to stage his own comeback, has pushed the panic button among the middle and lower cadres of Democrats.

But President Biden has shoved Barack Obama to take the lead in political rallies in some targeted states. With his witty and calm demeanor, Barack Obama has all the ingredients to neutralize more glamorous and piquant gimmicks of Donald Trump.

Obama has focused on Atlanta, Detroit and Milwaukee as special projects to campaign for Democratic candidates. There is no doubt that Barack Obama, considered to be one of the most persuasive and influential Democratic leaders who possess a special aura to enhance the voters base of the political left in America, is the right choice to counter the growing nuisance of Donald Trump.

Obama has been at loggerheads with Trump when he withdrew from the Paris Agreement and Iran nuclear deal. Similarly, in May 2020, both were again engaged in a short-live personal skirmish when Obama criticized Trump’s handling of the Covid-19 crisis.

So, a very interesting duel between two former Presidents is being witnessed on the sidelines of the midterm polls. This is also a fact that Trump is much more enthusiastic in this midterm campaign – perhaps he is vying for the 2024 presidential contest.

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