‘We don’t have time to be tired’: Obama tries to jolt Virginia Dems at McAuliffe rally

The former president is the latest high-profile surrogate to visit the commonwealth for McAuliffe.

10/24/2021 12:36:00 AM

Barack Obama came to Richmond on Saturday to charge up tuned-out Democratic voters — and jolt Terry McAuliffe’s campaign for governor

The former president is the latest high-profile surrogate to visit the commonwealth for McAuliffe.

By10/23/2021 05:19 PM EDTLink CopiedRICHMOND, Va. — Barack Obama came to Virginia’s capital on Saturday seeking to charge up tuned-out Democratic voters — and jolt Terry McAuliffe’s campaign for governor.The former president is the latest high-profile surrogate to visit the commonwealth for McAuliffe, the former Democratic governor locked in a close battle with first-time Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin with just 10 days to go until the gubernatorial election.

"I know a lot of people are tired of politics right now," Obama said, urging the crowd on the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University to shake it off and vote. “We don’t have time to be tired. What is required is sustained effort,” he added, casting the race as not only critical for Virginia's future, but as an early battle in an existential fight for the future of American democracy.

Former President Barack Obama speaks during a rally for former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe in Richmond, Va., on Saturday. | Steve Helber/AP PhotoObama’s visit is part of a larger effort to combat flagging enthusiasm among Democrats in the commonwealth, which has become increasingly blue since McAuliffe last ran in 2013. headtopics.com

Despite Democrats’ decadelong statewide elections sweeps in Virginia, the race has tightened in public polling significantly in the closing weeks.“We know this in Virginia: There are more Democrats here,” Jaime Harrison, the chair of the Democratic National Committee, told reporters at the Richmond rally. “If we get the Democrats to turn out, we win. And that’s point blank.”

“You got to juice them up a little bit, let them know what’s at stake,” he added.Obama did not mention either Youngkin or his own successor in the White House — former President Donald Trump — by name. But he leveled withering criticism at Youngkin over a rally last week in Virginia where Trump dialed in to praise the candidate and Trump supporters said the Pledge of Allegiance to a flag they said was carried at the Capitol during the insurrection on Jan. 6.

“You can’t run ads telling me you’re a regular ol’ hoops-playing, dish-washing, fleece-wearing guy, but quietly cultivate support from those who seek to tear down our democracy,” Obama said.(Youngkin called the pledge “weird and wrong” and said he had no involvement in the planning of that rally, but organizers

previously told The Washington Postthat Youngkin had thanked them for setting it up.)Former President Barack Obama gives a fist bump to Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate, former Gov. Terry McAuliffe, during a rally in Richmond, Va. on Saturday. | Steve Helber/AP Photo headtopics.com

Obama’s campaign stop in Richmond is also no coincidence. The state’s capital and surrounding suburbs areone of the key battlegrounds in the state, and is the same city Obama campaigned in for now-Gov. Ralph Northam in the days ahead of the 2017 gubernatorial race.

Youngkin, too, was in the region on Saturday. Around the same time as McAuliffe’s rally, the Republican nominee and former private equity executive was hosting a meet and greet at a Richmond restaurant just a couple miles down the road. He also had a pair of rallies scheduled in the Richmond suburbs, Chesterfield and Henrico, later on Saturday.

But Youngkin is taking a decidedly different strategy than McAuliffe. For the Richmond-area events, and the rest of his bus tour, Youngkin’s campaign said it would be eschewing national surrogates in favor of “everyday Virginians,” with Youngkin mocking McAuliffe in a statement for relying “on big name surrogates to draw paltry, apathetic crowds."

It does not mean that Youngkin has totally cast off national Republicans — he has previously campaigned with politicians like Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, who recently headlined a fundraiser for him. Avoiding big-name Republicans in the final days of the race is an attempt to not further remind voters of Trump, who has backed his campaign but has not physically appeared in the state. headtopics.com

“The biggest reason is because it’s a state that, obviously, is politically challenging for Republicans,” said Zack Roday, a Richmond-based Republican strategist. Roday said that Democrats bringing in big names creates a good contrast for Youngkin and likened it to his work on then-Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s successful 2014 reelection, when he said Democrats also brought in many of the same heavy hitters as McAuliffe to try to energize the base.

He said he expected Youngkin to continue his heavy focus on education in the closing days of the race. “He’s smartly picked tactics,” he said. “He’s deployed tactics with this bus tour to underscore that, versus shifting gears. There’s no point to shifting gears if it is working.”

Democrats have long been trying to goad Trump into visiting the state, hoping to further highlight the connection between Youngkin and the former president and secure voters in the state who fled the GOP because of the former president. But failing that, Democrats hope the visits from top surrogates will fire up supporters nevertheless.

“When you have these core Democrats, like the Obamas,” Democratic pollster Carly Cooperman said, “I think it increases the likelihood of getting Democrats that maybe feel apathetic or maybe don’t want to show up.”“If McAuliffe can turn out Democrats, he should be able to win this race,” Cooperman, whose firm recently

independently polled the race, continued. “Maybe they’re not enthusiastic about him, but maybe Obama will give the extra push.”Former President Barack Obama smiles at the crowd along with Democratic gubernatorial candidate, former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, his wife, Dorothy McAulffe, attorney general candidate Mark Herring and lieutenant governor candidate Hala Ayala, on Saturday. | Steve Helber/AP Photo

McAuliffe’s campaign and his allies in the state have been acutely aware of the enthusiasm gap they are staring down. “Voter fatigue is also very real,” James Fedderman, the president of Virginia Education Association (which has backed McAuliffe), said earlier this week.

Fedderman said his organization has been focused on connecting with its “base voters,” and has been talking about the election differently. “One of the things that really stands out to us this election, that’s very different: We’re just encouraging our people to get out and vote, we’re not pushing a particular candidate,” he said. “When our people get out to vote, we win.”

Read more: POLITICO »

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Uh ohhh, someone’s scared. Who’s next Terry? Biden? 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂 Is this like the tired Democrats you reported on in California for the recall ballot? Proving that Democrats need all the help they can get Obama should go back to Keeeeenya I am a graduate student at Columbia University.I got my bachelor degree and graduated from USC.But just because I was a transfer student from HIT WEIHAI to USC, my U.S visa was revoked under P.P.10043 which should be modified or canceled,It is unreasonable. Best wishes to you.

It didn’t work. Go away Obama Virginia doesn’t need your interference or influence we screw up more often than not all alone lol McAuliffe needs Trump to come in and tell GOP voters not to vote. It worked in Georgia. Reject mccauliff. He had 4 Years already. RealNoraC I still love me some sane Obama talk

He should run for president again!!!

Obama decries GOP's 'meanness' while campaigning for McAuliffe in Va.Former President Barack Obama, campaigning for Democrat Terry McAuliffe in Virginia’s closely watched race for governor, framed the Nov. 2 election as an opportunity to decisively reject the rhetoric and politics of another former president, Donald Trump. Make sure all ballot machines are cleared of votes before voting start Make sure all ballot machines are Not internet connected Make sure all ballots come in envelops marked by the US postal service. Stay at polling place and do not let demorats through you out FIGHT IF THEY TRY You want inflation? Vote D! You want supply chain issues? Vote D! You want a woke culture telling you everything you believe in is wrong? Vote D! You want cops and hospital workers being fired? Vote D! Bottom line. You are a D if you vote D! BidensAmerica Man, the Dims sure miss Trump. They're still running against him even though he's not on the ballot, yet!

What Obummer is really saying is the Republicans is an existential threat to their Socialist adjectives and their one word order. BarackObama 😂😂😂😂😂 Are Dems that worried? I want to shout out to the U.S. Senate for all you do for yourselves... 🤏👍🎩💰🪙🏛🇺🇲 CNN senior data reporter Harry Enten detailed Biden's hemorrhaging support amongst all political affiliations, but specifically pointed to his massive loss of independents as the main reason his numbers are underwater❗️ vademocrats

Stay away, far away. The man is amazing. Going from honor to manure (2016) is a huge stain on our history Obama needs to help out dems more cause he just makes sense! The machine politics is firing up the machine. This would have no effect on me and a lot of other guys but I guess a lot of women love Obama's manhood. Women make up the backbone of Democratic Party so this is playing to the base.

Blackface is okay with Obama

Obama decries GOP's 'meanness' while campaigning for McAuliffe in Va.Former President Obama campaigns for Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe: 'There's a politics of meanness and division and conflict, of tribalism and cynicism...but the good news is there's another path.' Division and conflict like following a Senator into the bathroom yelling and screaming at the top of their lungs? The Let’s go Brandon administration owns it and lives it out daily Yeah, voting third party 2 political bums

I miss Barack Obama. He’s the best of America. My encounter with Geoffreypreud actually change my life and for that I'll keep upgrading people for his good job thanks once again Geoffrey AWWWWW Look .... Terry and his Girlfriend ... Lol We only hope Virginians are listening to reality and ignoring smoke and mirrors.

Obama hits campaign trail ahead of gubernatorial elections in Virginia, New JerseyWith just over a week to go until the last day of voting in Virginia and New Jersey, former Pres. Barack Obama is joining each state's Democratic nominee for governor on the campaign trail. I wonder if SOPHISTICATED obama care a bit about current issues... INFLATION PORT CRISIS DRUG CRISIS BORDER CRISIS VIOLENCE CRISIS OIL CRISIS CHINA Covid19 crisis 🤡 The fact that it’s not Biden speaks volumes.

Kamala Harris and Michelle Obama make waves with heartwarming photo togetherMichelle Obama shared a heartwarming picture of her and Kamala Harris to celebrate the vice-president's birthday Oooh - forgot about her. Where’s she been!?!?

Obama sharply criticizes Youngkin in Va. governor's raceRICHMOND, Va (AP) — Former President Barack Obama offered a sharp rebuke of the Republican candidate for Virginia governor, Glenn Youngkin, as he encouraged voters on Saturday to support Democrat Terry McAuliffe in the closely watched race. Maybe Biden is not wrong about Jim Crowe... what I see is a white guy having a black guy support him and do his work. nobodyscow ReformSenateB4SCOTUS AP is so happy I can't believe how Obama became the leader of America one day He is only good at spoiling and ripping countries apart He's a deceiver, and he'll tear up national unity

Obama hits campaign trail ahead of gubernatorial elections in Virginia, New JerseyWith just over a week to go until the last day of voting in Virginia and New Jersey, former Pres. Barack Obama is joining each state's Democratic nominee for governor on the campaign trail. I wonder if SOPHISTICATED obama care a bit about current issues... INFLATION PORT CRISIS DRUG CRISIS BORDER CRISIS VIOLENCE CRISIS OIL CRISIS CHINA Covid19 crisis 🤡 The fact that it’s not Biden speaks volumes.