‘Obama never built a Democratic bench and never cared to’
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A “parasite” on the Democratic Party is how journalist Edward Isaac Dovere describes former President Obama in his forthcoming tell-all book “Battle for the Soul: Inside the Democrats’ Campaign to Defeat Trump.”
In a chapter entitled “Benign Neglect,” Dovere writes that the section’s namesake is how Obama aides privately described his abandonment of the Democratic Party once in the White House. “‘Negligence’ might be more accurate,” Dovere, writer for The Atlantic and former chief Washington correspondent for Politico, writes.
“The numbers are hard to ignore: during his eight years in office, Obama oversaw a net loss of 947 state legislative seats, 63 House seats, 11 senators, and 13 governors,” he continues.
In 2008, Democrats increased their majorities in the House and Senate, delivering Obama the legislature for his first two years in office. In 2010, Republicans took the majority in the House with the Tea Party wave and Democrats maintained but shrunk their majority in the Senate. In 2014, Republicans gained control of both the House and Senate.
Dovere writes that the 44th president carried himself with a “self-assured self-regard.”
“Obama never built a Democratic bench and never cared to, aside from a few scattered candidates who interested him,” according to the book.
Dovere writes that “defenders” of Obama have argued he didn’t want to “taint” his presidency by ” mucking about in fundraising,” or that he didn’t want to spoil the image voters had of him as an independent politician, or that faced with the choice to campaign or govern, he would always choose govern.
Dovere writes that during his first term, Obama used the party structure as a “host” for his next campaign.
In 2009, Obama hired his friend Tim Kaine to head the DNC, even though Kaine was also serving as governor for the first year on the job.
In a scathing passage Dovere claims Kaine was at the time “commuting two days a week to oversee the pilfering of talent, money, resources, and purpose for the Obama reelection effort that was already under way.”
“In his second term, he cared about what happened to the husk as much as any parasite does,” Dovere says.
Dovere pointed to the Obama team’s decision to strike a deal with the Democratic National Committee (DNC) that saddled the committee with $2.4 million in leftover debt from Obama’s 2012 election. In return, “Obama for America” gave the DNC its email list, and Obama was supposed to headline additional fundraisers.
Obama’s peak pride came in 2015, Dovere writes, when on back-to-back days the Supreme Court upheld ObamaCare, his signature achievement, and ruled the 14th Amendment requires all states to grant same-sex marriages.
“‘In hindsight it’s hard not to see delusion in the self-assurance and the celebration and the sense of moving forward of those two weeks in America,” Dovere writes.
Obama also reportedly said in the summer of 2020 that when he had left office, America had more prepared for a pandemic than any nation on earth, but had since fallen far behind.
The former president reportedly believes he could have won had he run for another term.
“Ultimately Obama’s math comes down to a simple calculation: he has suggested in conversations with people close to him that he thinks he would have won had he been able to be a candidate in 2016. The economy, the Democratic debris, Russia – if he could have run for a third term, even confronted with all these issues, he believes, he would have figured out how to pull a victory off anyway,” according to the book.