After two rounds of 20-person debates, you might have forgotten that the previous president of the United States was a rather popular two-term Democrat.
Barack Obama got more votes than any presidential candidate in history. With the highest popular vote for a Democrat since LBJ, he accomplished something no Democratic candidate had since FDR—winning consecutive elections with more than 50 percent of the vote.
Obama’s record included saving an economy spiraling from a near-catastrophic recession; moving decisively toward universal health care by passing the Affordable Care Act, a very heavy legislative lift; and walking a fine line on contentious issues like immigration.
We were often critics, especially on foreign policy, but you’d expect Democrats to appreciate his mettle.
With the exception, of course, of former Vice President Joe Biden, 2020 Democrats thus far are running to Obama’s left, and in dismissing those who would bring similarly pragmatic approaches to the presidency, they are implicitly calling him a coward and sellout.
In Wednesday’s debate, Biden was attacked on health care, with opponents dismissing the notion that expanding Obamacare with a public option could be a more palatable alternative to private-insurance-abolishing Medicare for All plans.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and others hectored Biden over Obama deporting undocumented immigrants at a rapid clip—ignoring the fact that expelling criminal aliens is certainly defensible and, furthermore, Obama did this to try to get Republicans on board with comprehensive immigration reform.
Democrats who thoughtlessly write off Obama and his legacy today are likely to find themselves abandoned by the voters tomorrow.
—New York Daily News