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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
  • 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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Trump’s Deep Misunderstanding of Trade Policy is Threatening the American Economy

President Donald Trump's aggressive and unpredictable use of tariffs is spooking American business groups

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Trump, Trade, Policy
FILE - Steel rods produced at the Gerdau Ameristeel mill in St. Paul, Minn., await shipment, May 9, 2019. The recent flareup with the U.S. over Mexico tariffs may prove to be a pivotal juncture. VOA

President Donald Trump’s aggressive and unpredictable use of tariffs is spooking American business groups, which have long formed a potent force in his Republican Party. Trade

Corporate America was blindsided last week when Trump threatened to impose crippling taxes on Mexican imports in a push to stop the flow of Central American migrants into the United States.

The two sides reached a truce Friday after Mexico agreed to do more to stop the migrants. But by Monday, Trump was again threatening the tariffs if Mexico didn’t abide by an unspecified commitment, to “be revealed in the not too distant future.”

Such whipsawing is now a hallmark of Trump’s trade policy. The president repeatedly threatens tariffs, sometimes imposes them, sometimes suspends them, sometimes threatens them again. Or drops them.

Trump, Trade, Policy
FILE – Traffic moves on the old Gerald Desmond Bridge next to its replacement bridge under construction in Long Beach, Calif., July 2, 2018. President Donald Trump’s tariffs provoke retaliatory tariffs on U.S. exports. VOA

Business groups, already uncomfortable with Trump’s attempts to stem immigration, are struggling to figure out where to stand in the fast-shifting political climate. They have happily supported Trump’s corporate tax cuts and moves to loosen environmental and other regulations. But the capriciousness of Trump’s use of tariffs has proved alarming.

“Business is losing,” said Rick Tyler, a Republican strategist and frequent Trump critic. “He calls himself ‘Mr. Tariff man.’ He’s proud of it. … It’s bad news for the party. It’s bad news for the free market.”

Also Read- U.S. Pentagon Emits More Greenhouse Gases Than Portugal, Study Finds

“It was a good wakeup call for business,” James Jones, chairman of Monarch Global Strategies and a former U.S. ambassador to Mexico, said of Trump’s abrupt move to threaten to tax Mexican goods.

Creating distance from Trump

Just last week, the sprawling network led by the billionaire industrialist Charles Koch announced the creation of several political action committees focused on policy — including one devoted to free trade — to back Republicans or Democrats who break with Trump’s trade policies. A powerful force in Republican politics, the network is already a year into a “multi-year multi-million dollar” campaign to promote the dangers of tariff and protectionist trade policies.

The Chamber of Commerce, too, is in the early phases of disentangling itself from the Republican Party after decades of loyalty. The Chamber, which spent at least $29 million largely to help Republicans in the 2016 election, announced earlier this year that it would devote more time and attention to Democrats on Capitol Hill while raising the possibility of supporting Democrats in 2020.

Trump, Trade, Policy
FILE – A field of soybeans is seen in front of a barn carrying a large Trump sign in rural Ashland, Neb., July 24, 2018. President Donald Trump’s enthusiasm for tariffs has upended decades of Republican trade policy that favored free trade. VOA

Few expect the Chamber or business-backed groups like the Koch network to suddenly embrace Democrats in a significant way. But even a subtle shift to withhold support from vulnerable Republican candidates could make a difference in 2020.

Trump’s boundless enthusiasm for tariffs has upended decades of Republican trade policy that favored free trade. It has left the party’s traditional allies in the business world struggling to maintain political relevance in the Trump era.

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Uncertainty for businesses

Trump’s tariffs are taxes paid by American importers and are typically passed along to their customers. They can provoke retaliatory tariffs on U.S. exports. And they can paralyze businesses, uncertain about where they should buy supplies or situate factories.

“Knowing the rules helps us plan for the future,” said Jeff Schwager, president of Sartori, a cheese company that has had to contend with retaliatory tariffs in Mexico in an earlier dispute.

Trump seems unfazed.

Trump, Trade, Policy
FILE – Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa speaks at a town hall meeting in Greenfield, Iowa, June 2, 2017. VOA

Myron Brilliant, head of international affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, went on CNBC on Monday to decry “the weaponization of tariffs” as a threat to the U.S. economy and to relations with trading partners.

Trump responded by phoning in to the network to declare “I guess he’s not so brilliant” and defend his trade policies.

“Tariffs,” he said, “are a beautiful thing.”

Trump can afford to be confident about his grip over the party: Roughly nine in 10 rank-and-file Republicans support his performance as president, according to the latest Gallup polling. So Republicans in Congress have been reluctant to tangle with him.

Also Read- Apple to Bring Bigger Battery in its Upcoming 2019 iPhone Offerings

But last week’s flareup over the Mexico tariffs may prove to be a pivotal juncture. The spat was especially alarming to businesses because it came seemingly out of nowhere. Less than two weeks earlier, Trump had lifted tariffs on Mexican and Canadian steel and aluminum — action that seemed to signal warmer commercial ties between the United States and its neighbors.

“This really came out of left field,” said Daniel Ujczo, a trade lawyer at Dickinson Wright. “It was something we thought we had settled, and we hadn’t.”

Weighing legislation

Congress was already showing signs of wariness, especially over Trump’s decision to dust off a little-used provision of trade law to slap tariffs on trading partners. Section 232 of the Trade Expansion of 1962 lets the president impose sanctions on imports that he deems a threat to national security.

Trump has deployed that provision to tax imported steel and aluminum. And he’s threatening to impose Section 232 tariffs on auto imports, a chilling threat to American allies Japan and the European Union.

Congress is considering bipartisan legislation to weaken the president’s authority to declare national-security tariffs. In doing so, lawmakers would be reasserting Congress’ authority over trade policy, established by the Constitution but ceded over the years to the White House.

The legislation has stalled in Congress this spring. But on Tuesday, Iowa Republican Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said the bill would be ready “pretty soon.” Given “how the president feels about tariffs,” Grassley said, “he may not look favorably on this. So I want a very strong vote in my committee and then, in turn, a very strong vote on the floor of the Senate.”

Congressional reluctance to challenge Trump could be tested in coming months. Lawmakers may balk if he proceeds with plans to tax $300 billion worth of Chinese goods that he hasn’t already targeted with tariffs — a move that would jack up what consumers pay for everything from bicycles to burglar.

Likewise, taxing auto imports — an idea that has virtually no support outside the White House — would likely meet furious resistance. So would any move to abandon a trade pact with Mexico and Canada. Trump has threatened to withdraw from the 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement if Congress won’t ratify a revamped version he negotiated last year.

For all their disenchantment with Trump, the Chamber of Commerce may yet find it hard to break its ties to the party. Though the chamber says it’s weighing a more bipartisan approach, it recently featured a sign on its front steps: It likened Trump to Republican icons Ronald Reagan and Dwight Eisenhower. (VOA)