Pavlich: Obama is back in the fray

Pavlich: Obama is back in the fray
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Less than four months after leaving the White House as president of the United States and yachting around billionaire Richard Branson’s private island, Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaGeorge W. Bush honors father at benefit for hurricane victims Dem senator: ‘I miss every one of’ our last 5 presidents All five living former presidents appear at hurricane relief benefit concert MORE has jumped back into the political fray.

During an acceptance speech at the JFK Library in Boston over the weekend, where he received a Profile in Courage Award, Obama took a veiled swipe at those working to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

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“I hope that current members of Congress recognize it takes little courage to aid those who are already powerful, already comfortable, already influential, but it takes great courage to champion the vulnerable and the sick and the infirm. Those who often have no access to the corridors of power,” Obama said.

A few days before, Obama responded to Jimmy Kimmel’s heartfelt monologue about his son being born with a heart defect and general pre-existing conditions.

“Well said, Jimmy. That’s exactly why we fought so hard for the ACA, and why we need to protect it for kids like Billy,” Obama tweeted.

The message from Obama in both of these cases is that anyone opposed to ObamaCare doesn’t care about standing up for the weak, sick or suffering. Those who dare repeal the law, which has caused some doctors to consider retiring early, only care about the powerful and influential. Lawmakers who attempt to find solutions to the havoc ObamaCare has wreaked across the nation are taking healthcare protections away from newborns.

Of course, these implied accusations are far from truthful and in no way represent the intentions of those who support ObamaCare replacement. After all, House Republican Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rogers (Wash.), the mother of a child with Down syndrome, backed the American Health Care Act last week precisely because her son has a pre-existing condition.

But as Obama dives back into politics, the question for Democrats as they attempt to rebuild a shattered party is this: How does Barack Obama help the party recover? Sure, Obama is personally popular, but the same cannot be said for his policies or his legacy.

Obama’s influence amounted to little when Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonChris Murphy’s profile rises with gun tragedies DNC, RNC step up cyber protections Gun proposal picks up GOP support MORE lost to Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpIvanka Trump pens op-ed on kindergartners learning tech Bharara, Yates tamp down expectations Mueller will bring criminal charges Overnight Cybersecurity: Equifax security employee left after breach | Lawmakers float bill to reform warrantless surveillance | Intel leaders keeping collusion probe open MORE in November. His campaigning on her behalf did nothing to uphold the historically blue wall, which was shattered from Wisconsin to Pennsylvania. Democrats didn’t just lose the 2016 presidential election, they lost seats across the country at every level of government under Obama’s tenure in the White House. Republicans are in control of the House, 238-193, and the Senate, 52-48. They sit in 33 governor’s mansions and control 32 state legislatures.

The devastation of power hasn’t gone unnoticed.

“Your legacy is not a building that he’s going to construct in Chicago housing his presidential papers,” Deputy Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairman Keith Ellison said recently during the DNC Unity Tour. “Given we lost a lot of statehouse seats, governorships, secretary of states, his true legacy is in danger, and I think he can’t say that he wasn’t part of those losses. Who else, right?”

Ellison’s further complaint is that Obama didn’t do enough campaigning on behalf of Democratic candidates during midterm elections.

“He should have been far more out there in 2010, which was a year when we were going to be doing redistricting. He should’ve been campaigning like he was on the ballot and should have been very visible,” he continued. “He’s great at getting himself elected but should’ve worked much more closely with Congress.”

Unlike most U.S. presidents out of power, the Obamas are staying in Washington, D.C., so their younger daughter can finish school. But let’s be honest, they’re also staying so they can respond to the new administration.

At one of his final press conferences as president, Obama admitted that “Democrats do have to do some thinking” about how to win elections with effective messaging. Whether the former president’s meddling will be beneficial to the Democrat Party in the future is to be seen, but his refusal to go into post-presidential life quietly certainly won’t help the country heal from abrasive and partisan political division.

Pavlich is the editor for Townhall.com and a Fox News contributor.


The views expressed by this author are their own and are not the views of The Hill.