Juan Williams: Four black leaders who can defeat Trump

Keeping track of the 2020 race for president by watching Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden nominates Mark Brzezinski to be U.S. ambassador to Poland 10 dead after overloaded van crashes in south Texas Majority of New York state Assembly support beginning process to impeach Cuomo: AP MORE versus Donald TrumpDonald TrumpMajority of Americans in new poll say it would be bad for the country if Trump ran in 2024 ,800 bottle of whiskey given to Pompeo by Japan is missing Liz Cheney says her father is 'deeply troubled' about the state of the Republican Party MORE is now old school and outdated.

These days, you also have to keep an eye on social media, where Trump gets far more attention with the help of loony websites and the Russians.

And eyes wide open at the work being done for Biden by four black Democrats — let’s call them the “Fantastic Four.”


Here they are: President Obama, former first lady Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaBiden wishes Obama a happy birthday Simone Biles takes herself out of fifth Olympic event Michelle Obama to Simone Biles: 'We are proud of you and we are rooting for you' MORE, former Attorney General Eric HolderEric Himpton HolderBiden under pressure to pick new breed of federal prosecutors Obama says Senate will vote again on voting rights Obama: Voting rights bill must pass before next election MORE and former Georgia state House minority leader Stacey Abrams.

Let’s begin with the former president, the most powerful political player not currently in office.

When Obama endorsed Biden earlier this month, The New York Times ran a quote describing Obama as having unique superpowers. He is “a surrogate unlike anyone else anyone can bring to bear — I mean, who has Trump got?” said Democratic pollster Joel Benenson.

Good question.

Even if the previous Republican in the White House, President George W. Bush, agreed to campaign for Trump, he does not excite Trump’s anti-Republican establishment base of voters.

How about Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOn The Money: Trump asks court to block release of tax returns to Congress | Private sector adds 330K jobs in July, well short of expectations Senate panel advances first three spending bills McConnell lays out GOP demands for government-funding deal MORE (R-Ky.)? I’ll let you answer that.

By contrast, Obama is revered among Democratic voters. He even has pull among swing state independent voters, some of whom backed Obama before voting for Trump.

Obama also has the power to stir up the maximum turnout from black voters, the most reliable voting bloc among Democrats and a group that overwhelmingly disapproves of  Trump, as shown in poll after poll.

Getting the full black vote to the polls could be fatal to Trump’s reelection. In 2016, the black voter turnout declined 7 percentage points from 2012. Almost 67 percent of black voters turned out to reelect Obama, whereas that figure fell to 60 percent four years later.

The absence of those black voters in swing states was bad news for Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonBriahna Joy Gray: Progressives like Turner should reconsider running as Democrats Biden wishes Obama a happy birthday Ohio special election: A good day for Democrats MORE. She lost Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin by a narrow margin, a combined total of about 80,000 votes.

Black voters in those states, potentially energized by Obama, can erase that shortfall by themselves.

Obama also retains appeal to older, white moderate voters who twice put him in the White House. And his reputation for competence and compassion makes him an effective critic of Trump’s bungled response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The second member of this fantastic real-life foursome is his wife.

Michelle Obama grabbed headlines last week when Biden smiled at the idea of having her as his vice presidential running mate.

“I’d take her in a heartbeat,” Biden said last week. “She’s brilliant. She knows the way around. She is a really fine woman. The Obamas are great friends.”

Since leaving office, the former first lady has stayed in the public eye and become the rare political leader who can fill arenas nationwide with female voters of all races.

Her memoir, “Becoming,” was the best-selling nonfiction book of 2019. A December Gallup survey said she is the “most admired woman in America,” a title she claimed for the second year in a row.

And she packs a political punch with her nonpartisan, nonprofit group to protect voting rights, When We All Vote.

She started the group in 2018 and recently weighed in on the controversial decision by the GOP majority on the top Wisconsin court to insist on going ahead with the state’s primary elections during the coronavirus.

"Americans should never have to choose between making their voices heard and keeping themselves and their families safe," Obama said, putting a new, compelling face in the front of the Democrats’ fight against voter suppression.

The third member of this Biden-backing group is Holder, Obama’s former attorney general. He is now chairman of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, campaigning against GOP efforts to gerrymander congressional districts.


He is calling for an expansion of voting options including mail-in and absentee ballots. While these proposals are getting a closer look as a practical response to coronavirus, they could eliminate barriers to voting for elderly and minority voters if they become permanent.

The final member of the team is Stacey Abrams. She narrowly lost her race for governor of Georgia in 2018, but the powerful sight of a black woman doing well in Southern politics made her a political rock star.

She wrote a best-selling book in 2018 and now heads up a nonprofit encouraging people, particularly minorities, to fill out the 2020 census so they can be accurately counted for federal aid and congressional reapportionment.

Biden has pledged to put a woman on his ticket and a black woman on the Supreme Court. Abrams’s name comes up regularly for consideration for both spots.

These four black champions hold the keys to a Biden victory by juicing Democrats’ energy and turnout in an election likely to be decided by which side gets out its voters.

Last year I wrote that “Obama has one more election to win for the Democrats.”

That is still true, and a unified party behind Biden is ready to give him lots of help. 

Juan Williams is an author, and a political analyst for Fox News Channel.