Barack Obama may have ended his presidency a year and a half ago, but his legacy is continuing in the form of over 64 former members of his staff who, according to NBC News, are running for elective office this year.
According to a tweet from NBC:
“At least 64 of President Barack Obama’s former staffers are running for federal, state, or local elective office this year.”
At least 64 of President Barack Obama's former staffers are running for federal, state, or local elective office this year. https://t.co/h5KpzvSYvE
— NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt (@NBCNightlyNews) May 28, 2018
This is good news for people who were fans not only of Barack and Michelle Obama but also of their policies and programs that set America in a new direction of unity, compassion and caring.
It seems that the more that Donald Trump has tried to destroy Obama’s legacy by undoing his greatest accomplishments, the more Obama people are getting fired up to do everything they can to wrest back control of government from the GOP.
The number of former staffers running for office is being tallied by the Obama Alumni Association, a group composed of former members of his administrations.
The exact number of former Obama staff members running for office this year is expected to increase since in many states the filing deadlines for political office have not yet passed. In addition to that, some former staffers running for office already have not been in touch with the Obama Alumni Association so they are not yet included in their official numbers.
According to the group, although some people are running for local offices like city council, others are running for statewide offices, including for governor. And according to their reporting, at least 28 former Obama staffers have filed to run for the U.S. House of Representatives.
The hope is that many of the large number of former Obama people will win positions in government at all levels, including Congress, and be able to carry on the Obama legacy in a very tangible and meaningful way.
Besides the obvious political advantages of being tied to President Obama in terms of name recognition, these former staffers can tap into an extensive alumni network to raise money and to recruit volunteers for their campaigns.
What is motivating these people? Well according to Tom Malinowski, 52, the former assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights and labor now running for Congress in New Jersey’s 7th Congressional District,
“Looking back on last year, it was the effort to take down the Affordable Care Act with no viable replacement. It was the Muslim ban, and attacks on immigrants, it was the tearing up of alliances and commitments internationally. It was the taking down of environmental protections, it was refusing to invest in infrastructure as Trump had promised. And the silence and active complicity of Republicans, particularly in the House of Republicans.”
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.