Democratic Party officials are trying to paint the upcoming midterm election as a proxy war between the different visions of America’s future as espoused by President Trump and former President Obama in an effort to boost the party’s chances of recapturing control of Congress.
“The huge political story that will rock the nation after Labor Day is the battle between the highly popular former President Barack Obama and the highly unpopular President Donald Trump for the future of America in the midterm elections,” declared Brent Budowsky, an aide to former Texas Senator Lloyd Bentsen and former Arkansas Representative Bill Alexander, for The Hill.
The basis for Budowsky’s claim of Obama being “highly popular” is a recent poll from the Pew Research Center that found 44 percent of respondents cited Obama as either the best or second-best president of their lifetimes.
It is worth noting the Pew Research Center poll sampled 964 individuals who claim to be Democrats or lean Democratic, compared to only 836 who call themselves Republicans or say they lean Republican.
The proxy war between Obama and Trump will, according to Budowsky, “be a battle for the ages, a battle for control of Congress, a battle for the heart of the American idea, a battle of ideas between two political philosophies and two vastly different visions of America.”
Budowsky went so far as to compare the dueling campaigns to the famous boxing match between Muhammad Ali and Sonny Liston in 1965.
“Obama will star in the role of Ali and Trump in the role of Liston,” he said. “Obama will politically knock out Trump in the first round.”
It is difficult to take Budowsky’s prediction, most notably that Obama “will have a field day mocking the swampland scandals that pollute the Trump presidency” seriously when he, in the same sentence, suggested Obama ran a “scandal-free presidency.”
Apparently, Budowsky chose to ignore the Obama administration’s decision to run guns to Mexican drug cartels through Operation Fast and Furious, or its attempt to shut down gun stores through Operation Choke Point or conservative organizations through politically-targeted attacks by the IRS.
In addition to his work with former attorney general Eric Holder on the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, which aims to challenge Republican-drawn district boundaries, Obama will begin headlining fundraisers and directly campaigning for candidates in the fall.
His office, which has seen a steady stream of potential 2020 Democratic presidential candidates, is in Washington, D.C.’s West End neighborhood – barely one mile from the White House.
While he was president, Obama had little success in transferring his supposed popularity into support for down-ballot Democrats.
Despite being elected twice, Democrats suffered historic losses in the midterm elections of 2010 and 2014.