Former President Barack Obama and failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton have reportedly been eyeing opportunities to get involved with the upcoming 2018 midterm elections, but Democrat insiders haven’t necessarily been on board with those plans.
Obama’s aides have told The Hill that he was looking to resurface on the national campaign stage, while Clinton confidants told the media outlet in a separate story that the 2016 Democrat presidential nominee was still trying to sort out what role she might play in 2018.
However, others within the party have reportedly been concerned about how too much involvement from either political figure could damage Democrat campaigns across the country.
Julian Zelizer, a Princeton University history and public affairs professor, told The Hill that Obama, in particular, has to be “careful” to not reignite the same Republican fire that resulted in widespread rejection of Obama’s party and his policies in the 2010 and 2014 midterm elections when the GOP took control of the House of Representatives and the Senate.
That fire was lit again in the 2016 general election when Republicans successfully elected President Donald Trump to the White House.
“At a moment when President Trump’s approval is falling so fast — including with his base — there is a risk for Obama taking center stage and triggering the energy that many Republicans currently lack,” Zelizer said.
Clinton could also be an unintended threat for Democrat candidates in 2018 as the baggage leftover from her failed 2016 presidential bid could turn some voters away from the party.
For example, many Democrat voters who supported Sen. Bernie Sanders in the primaries never truly got over the fact that Clinton and the Democratic National Committee colluded to ensure that she received the nomination.
Republican strategist Doug Heye told The Hill that while Clinton’s involvement with the 2018 election could hurt Democrats, she would likely be a welcome presence for Republicans who are well-versed in Clinton’s shortcomings and how to defeat her.
“For 30 years, Hillary Clinton has essentially been Old Faithful for Republican candidates,” he said told reporter Amie Parnes, who co-wrote a scathing book about Clinton’s disastrous 2016 campaign. “Her continued prominence only helps GOP candidates with an electorate that historically is more favorable than what they faced in the last presidential election.”
Mid-term elections are historically bad for the party in the White House, but with lightning rods like Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama in the public eye energizing the millions of Republicans who loathe them, their involvement in the upcoming elections could be the best gift Trump and the Republicans could be looking for. It won’t take much to remind Americans of his incompetence, or her endless scandals.
Neither Obama nor Clinton seem to be able to take a giant hint from the American public: We don’t want you involved in our politics, including millions of us who never wanted you there in the first place.
H/T The Daily Caller
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