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Obama eager to Campaign for Clinton in the US Presidential Election 2016

In 1988, Ronald Reagan had a major impact on George H.W. Bush’s bid for the White House, as did Theodore Roosevelt on William Taft’s victory in 1908

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Hillary Clinton. Image source: Wikimedia Commons
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  • Obama is extremely eager to help unite the Democratic party and hit the campaign trail to support its presidential nominee
  • Hillary Clinton is viewed as someone who can push forward Obama’s work beyond his presidency and help cement his legacy
  • Clinton possesses the ability and experience to serve as president
     

WHITE HOUSE- “We have got to make sure we get this election right,” Obama told supporters during a recent Democratic party fundraiser in Florida. Obama, with approval ratings of more than 50%, is the first sitting U.S. president in several decades who can impact the race to elect his successor to a great extent.

Obama is extremely eager to help unite the Democratic party and hit the campaign trail to support its presidential nominee, claim various Administration officials.  However, the White House object to this by saying that he will not make an endorsement until after a meeting with candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders on Thursday, June 9.

President George W. Bush and Barack Obama. Image source: Image source: Wikimedia Commons
President George W. Bush and Barack Obama. Image source: Image source: Wikimedia Commons

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“We take for granted the incredible progress that we’ve made across every dimension of the economy, security, a society that’s more tolerant and more accepting of diversity,” Obama said. “We’ve got a lot of stuff to build on.”

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who claimed the Democratic presidential nomination after decisive primary victories on Tuesday, is viewed as someone who can push forward Obama’s work beyond his presidency and help cement his legacy.

Obama is also ready to burst onto the campaign stage to counter controversial rhetoric by Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee.

Trump’s own party leaders have criticized some of his remarks as divisive and racist, and the president has said Trump’s foreign policy statements have “rattled” world leaders.

 Donald Trump speaking with supporters at a campaign rally at the South Point Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada in 2016. Wikimedia commons.
Donald Trump speaking with supporters at a campaign rally at the South Point Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada in 2016. Wikimedia commons.

Treading carefully and running ‘scared’

Mindful of the need to keep the Democratic Party united and energized to win the November presidential election, the U.S. leader did not step forward immediately to endorse Clinton after her decisive primary victories on Tuesday.

Instead, Obama telephoned both Clinton and her Democratic rival, Bernie Sanders.

The Vermont senator has garnered the support of millions of voters, particularly those under 30, with a consistently forceful message against the corrosive sway of special interests in Washington and rising income inequality in America.

At Sanders’ request, Obama will meet with the senator at the White House on Thursday to discuss “how to build on the extraordinary work he has done to engage millions of Democratic voters, and to build on that enthusiasm in the weeks and months ahead,” according to a statement by Press Secretary Josh Earnest.

While the president has expressed confidence in the Democratic party’s ability to win the White house and other key races, he has told supporters, “I want us to run scared the whole time.”

Giving Clinton ‘sizzle’

Obama congratulated Clinton for securing the delegates necessary to clinch the Democratic nomination.

With an unfavorable rating of more than 50 percent in most polls, Clinton has much to gain from the backing of a popular president who is widely respected as a party leader and on the global stage.

“It has been a long time since a sitting president became the super campaign cheerleader for a candidate,” said Douglas Brinkley, Rice University presidential historian.

In 1988, Ronald Reagan had a major impact on George H.W. Bush’s bid for the White House, as did Theodore Roosevelt on William Taft’s victory in 1908.

Clinton possesses the ability and experience to serve as president, said Brinkley. However, she does not have the ability to connect with the public in a way Obama and her husband, former President Bill Clinton do. Also, her image has been tarnished by a series of scandals
“Hillary Clinton is not the most charismatic public speaker. She’s worked on it,” said Brinkley. “But the kind of sizzle factor that President Obama can bring, after winning two terms in a row, will be an immeasurable help to her.”

“Barack Obama knows how to bring out the college students, in a way that Bernie Sanders did. He’s popular with young people. And she sorely needs to energize younger voters,“ Brinkley noted.

Obama is also highly popular among key voting blocs, such as African Americans, Latinos, and younger voters. He wants to ensure the next president will carry forward his signature accomplishments, like passage of the Affordable Care Act.

“It’s almost like he’s running for a third term for president,” said Brinkley.

-prepared by Devika Todi (with inputs from VOA), an intern at NewsGram. Twitter: devika_todi

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Why Does Trump Separate Families, A Policy Or A Law?

A video released Monday by Customs and Border Protection

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In this photo provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, people who've been taken into custody related to cases of illegal entry into the United States, rest in one of the cages at a facility in McAllen, Texas, June 17, 2018.
In this photo provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, people who've been taken into custody related to cases of illegal entry into the United States, rest in one of the cages at a facility in McAllen, Texas, June 17, 2018. VOA

The Trump administration at least since April has been separating children and parents who enter the United States illegally at the border — that much is supported by the numbers. But much of everything else surrounding the practice has become mired in confusion.

Here is what we know:

In recent weeks, news stories of children in detention centers have circulated more widely, and the numbers of detained children have grown.

Department of Homeland Security officials told reporters Friday that between April 19 and May 31 of this year, nearly 2,000 (1,995) children were separated from their parents or other adults with whom they were traveling.

A video released Monday by Customs and Border Protection shows what appears to be humane conditions at a shelter site for children, but many worry that this video, the only video that has been released from within one of the detention centers, may not accurately depict them.

A policy or a law?

As criticism over the separation of parents and children at the border grows, the Trump administration has struggled to explain the policy.

Trump, himself, said the practice is the result of a law passed by Democrats, which has forced his administration into separating parents and children.

But there is no such law.

Rather in May, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a “zero-tolerance” policy, which means that those detained entering the United States illegally would be criminally charged. This approach generally leads to children being separated from their parents because the law requires it.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks about religious liberty at the Orthodox Union Advocacy Center's annual leadership mission in Washington, June 13, 2018
Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks about religious liberty at the Orthodox Union Advocacy Center’s annual leadership mission in Washington, June 13, 2018, VOA

On Sunday, senior policy adviser to the Trump administration Stephen Miller told The New York Times that the crackdown “was a simple decision by the administration to have a zero-tolerance policy for illegal entry. Period.”

Administration officials, including Miller and Sessions, have defended the separation of families, saying that having children does not exempt anyone from the consequences of breaking the law.

“If you cross the border unlawfully, even a first offense, we’re going to prosecute you. … If you don’t want your child to be separated, then don’t bring them across the border illegally,” Sessions told a gathering of the Association of State Criminal Investigative Agencies.

The administration has said the new practice is directed at combating a “surge” of unlawful border crossings. But the “surge” appears to be numbers marking a return-to-normal after a dip last year.

Not a new idea

Though the practice of treating all people who cross the border unlawfully as subject to criminal prosecution is new under the Trump administration, it is built on existing policies from the Bush and Obama administrations.

Amid a surge of unlawful migration from Central America to the United States in 2014, the Obama administration considered many plans to deter illegal border crossings, including separating parents and children. Ultimately, Obama decided against separations but did expand the detention of immigrant families. New facilities were opened along the border, which held women and children for long periods of time before their cases were processed.

Following widespread criticism after photos of detained women and children, accompanied by testimonies of people being held for extended periods, a federal judge in Washington effectively ruled that asylum-seeking mothers could not be held for longer than 20 days, leading to what has been called a “catch and release” system where adults were released with GPS ankle monitors tracking their movements until their cases could be heard in court.

U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen speaks at the National Sheriffs' Association convention in New Orleans, Louisiana, June 18, 2018.
=U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen speaks at the National Sheriffs’ Association convention in New Orleans, Louisiana, June 18, 2018. VOAU.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen speaks at the National Sheriffs’ Association convention in New Orleans, Louisiana, June 18, 2018.VOA

But this “catch and release” system has been heavily criticized by Trump and his administration.

Also read: Trump Launched A New Attack On Mueller Probe In Russia

“This get out of jail free card for families and groups who pose as families has spread,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen. “The word of this has spread. The smugglers and traffickers know these loopholes better than our members of Congress. I’m sad to say that from October 2017 to this February, we have seen a staggering 315 percent increase in illegal aliens fraudulently using children to pose as family units to gain entry into this country. This must stop,” she said. (VOA)