President Barack Obama will step back into politics today — Friday — and deliver a speech that will preview his 2018 midterm election message. His remarks are rumored to be a stern rebuke of President Donald Trump, according to multiple outlets, whether or not he mentions the president by name.
Obama has spent much of 2018 writing a book and raising money for his post-presidency foundation, according to CNN. This has reportedly annoyed some Democrats, who believe their most potent weapon is sitting out the midterms in an effort to maintain decorum that they feel has gone out the window since Trump took office.
The speech at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign kicks off Obama’s first campaign events ahead of the November midterms: a rally for several Democratic congressional candidates in California Saturday, and an event for Richard Cordray, the Democratic gubernatorial candidate in Ohio, on Thursday, noted CNN.
Obama is also planning campaign trips to Pennsylvania in September, according to ABC 7 in Chicago, along with a New York fundraiser for the progressive National Democratic Redistricting Committee, led by former Attorney General Eric Holder, Obama’s longtime friend.
“We thought it was important to find a setting where he can find a cogent, rational argument outside of the more chaotic campaign appearances that come this fall,” an adviser said of the speech location.
“The speech will lay down a frame and his message for fall. He will lay out his views about where we are and where we go from here.”
The speech will be an indictment of current events in the nation’s capital, one Obama adviser said, and Obama will be “much more, much more pointed about what’s at stake right now,” and how “people need to take their responsibility seriously.”
Obama’s speech in the university’s 1,300-person auditorium has seen great interest from the school’s student body, according to university spokesman Jon Davis, who said they had received about 22,000 requests for tickets, noted CNN.
Obama has made some appearances since Trump took office — including headlining a fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee earlier this year, and has not stayed mum on Washington affairs.
Former presidents generally have avoided critiquing their successors, but Obama has not kept up that tradition, having made a number of critical remarks about Trump since he left office in January 2017.”
See more on Obama’s plans in the video below.