“On the Holmes Front,” with Frank Holmes
Former President Barack Obama isn’t used to being ignored, but it’s becoming harder and harder for him to deny that Democratic voters are tuning him out this election cycle.
Before President Donald Trump drew tens of thousands of people to his rallies, Obama’s used to pack in Democrats eager to hear him give sermon-like speeches about “Hope and Change.”
Before Americans caught on to him, in 2008, attending an Obama speech was everything.
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75,000 Democrats turned out to hear Barack Obama speak in Portland, Oregon.
100,000 people came to his rally in Missouri in October 2008.
Another 100,000 people showed up in Denver at his rally at the Capitol Building just days later, during the closing days of his 2008 presidential campaign against John McCain.
And he was even more popular abroad, where people wouldn’t have to live under his policies. 200,000 Germans showed up to cheer Obama when he gave a speech in Berlin.
Obama soaked it in. He lived on the praise and adoration. Sometimes he couldn’t even stop himself from basking in the people’s love.
Obama was so stunned by the sight of his adoring voters crowing up against Oregon’s Willamette River that he just said, “Wow! Wow! Wow!”
He would’ve said the same thing if he had been in Atlanta on Wednesday night, because the turnout was radically different for the man Barack Obama handpicked to be the Democratic presidential candidate in 2020.
Not two hundred thousand. Not two hundred.
Former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick threw his hat in the presidential race too late to get on stage at the Democratic presidential primary debate hosted in Atlanta that night by MSNBC and The Washington Post.
But Patrick wanted to break into the news by holding an event in the same town on the same night…and his venue choice should have been perfect.
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Patrick, a close political and personal ally of the Obamas, picked Morehouse College, a historically black college open only to men. (Well, and women who identify as men.)
Obama always had an 80 percent or 90 percent approval rating with black voters, even though the economy was dismal and inner city schools kept falling apart. So when his candidate shows up, it should be big news on campus.
Besides, Patrick is one of only two black men in the presidential race, and the one with the most experience running a government. Isn’t he a role model for the Morehouse Men, as students there call themselves?
But instead, it was crickets.
To add insult to injury, the whole campus’ snub of Obama’s buddy got reported…by CNN.
CNN’s Annie Grayer wrote, “Governor Deval Patrick was supposed to have an event at Morehouse College tonight. An organizer with the college who planned the event told CNN that Patrick canceled the event when he arrived and learned that he would not have an audience.”
Well, not exactly no audience. “Two people came,” she tweeted.
The two students in the “crowd” said they only came, because somebody walking past their dorm rooms asked them to come, and they had nothing else to do.
Patrick isn’t just a political nobody.
Obama said Deval Patrick would make “a great president” after Patrick ended his second term as governor.
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“Deval and I do trade ideas all of the time,” Obama said in 2008…and they’ve kept coordinating in the 11 years since then.
Obama’s political team has talked Patrick up behind closed doors throughout the 2020 primary cycle.
David Axelrod, Obama’s Chicagoland political strategist, laid out a scenario where Patrick could win this year’s primaries, especially with his huge advantage in New Hampshire.
The first-in-the-nation primary state is so small that it gets most of its media from Boston and other Massachusetts TV outlets. Democratic voters there know Patrick’s record inside-and-out…better than anyone except the neighboring state’s Senator Bernie Sanders.
Another top Obama confidante, Valerie Jarrett, told a hush-hush meeting of investment bankers that Patrick would be a great president—for them.
Patrick had a background in finance…and it was a disaster. The firm he directed gave out $80 billion in subprime mortgage loans, the fuel that burned down the economy in 2008. And he left Massachusetts with a $768 billion deficit.
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Deval Patrick was an economic wrecking crew. No wonder Obama loves him.
The fact that two of the top movers-and-shakers in the Obama administration, who were with Obama when he was starting out in Chicago, had such glowing reviews of Patrick’s record tells you he’s the one that they want.
Deval Patrick is Obama’s stalking horse.
Since Michelle Obama hasn’t agreed to run for president so far, Team Obama thinks Patrick gives them their best opportunity to influence the country for the next four years.
But the core of his audience—young, black men—snubbed his candidate. That’s gotta grab the former president where he lives.
It looks like backing Patrick is another Obama policy that blew up in the real world.
Frank Holmes is a veteran journalist and an outspoken conservative that talks about the news that was in his weekly article, “On The Holmes Front.”