President Joe Biden’s approval ratings have tanked amid 40-year high inflation, supply chain issues, and repeated foreign crisis.
Enter former President Barack Obama, who was quietly asked to be the keynote speaker at a House Democratic caucus meeting Thursday night just months ahead of the 2022 midterm — a surprising and unorthodox move that could undermine Biden in the highly sensitive political world of Washington, D.C.
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The move was described as “a stunning break from the norm that [former] holders of the nation’s highest office keep their domestic political activities to a minimum,” NBC News reported.
“Obama is speaking to them as Democrats try to navigate the midterm elections and revive a stalled legislative agenda — things the current president would normally be expected to address,” the outlet said.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was tapped to join Obama for the keynote discussion on Thursday, which centered around re-election.
Biden’s struggles in the polls have become historic. According to the RealClearPolitics polling aggregate, just 40 percent of voters approve of Biden’s job as president. A stunning 53 percent disapprove.
The 44th president’s return to the political spotlight also comes as a huge number of Democratic lawmakers have announced their retirement.
A staggering 29 Democratic House members have declined to run for re-election. In contrast, just 14 Republican lawmakers have announced their retirement this year.
The refrain “the internal polls must be bad” implies Democrats know something we don’t. Like what? The public polling is more than sufficient to induce an existential crisis. pic.twitter.com/iXoTU17MmA
— Noah Rothman (@NoahCRothman) February 9, 2022
These struggles are threatening to upend Democratic hopes to retain control of Congress — and worried liberal leaders are reportedly hoping that Obama can take charge and steer them away from an election disaster.
“You’re going to see more and more of the former president the closer we get to November and the midterm elections,” Democratic strategist Brad Bannon told the Denver Gazette. “He kept a very low profile to leave the limelight to Biden in his first year, but he is a big political asset for the Democrats, and you’ll see more and more of him.”
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Unlike Biden — who polls at just 36 percent approval among independents — Bannon told the Gazette that Obama’s popularity with swing voters remains high.
“You can put Barack Obama anywhere. With suburban voters, with black voters, he’s very popular, and I’m just glad to see him back in action,” Bannon told the newspaper.