Former President Barack Obama remains a revered figure among Democrats, but many of them are letting it be known that they’re not happy with his actions leading up to the midterm elections.
On Aug. 1, Obama offered up a list of 81 Democratic candidates he’s supporting in races across the country in November.
Today I’m proud to endorse such a wide and impressive array of Democratic candidates – leaders as diverse, patriotic, and big-hearted as the America they’re running to represent: pic.twitter.com/gWzalQhFas
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) August 1, 2018
Those who received Obama’s support include gubernatorial candidates Gavin Newsom of California, Stacey Abrams of Georgia and Richard Cordray of Ohio; U.S. House hopefuls Susan Wild of Pennsylvania and Sean Casten of Illinois; and Nevada Senate candidate Jacky Rosen.
“I’m confident that, together, they’ll strengthen this country we love by restoring opportunity that’s broadly shared, repairing our alliances and standing in the world, and upholding our fundamental commitment to justice, fairness, responsibility, and the rule of law,” Obama said in a statement, according to USA Today.
“But first, they need our votes — and I’m eager to make the case for why Democratic candidates deserve our votes this fall,” he said.
Many Democrats, however, are irate about the timing and the size of his endorsement list.
They say it “came too late in the midterm season and failed to put Obama’s stamp on Democratic primaries,” The Hill reported Friday.
The report said those upset with him include party strategists as well as former Obama aides and fundraisers.
“I think a lot of us have wondered why he didn’t feel the need to get involved earlier,” The Hill quoted one former senior Obama administration official as saying. “There are a lot of folks that could have used his help much earlier. And there are a lot of people who think he should put a stamp on the party.”
The report said a top Obama fundraiser blamed him for the fact that some of his former aides — including congressional candidates Ed Meier in Texas, Alison Kiehl Friedman in Virginia and Sam Jammal in California — lost their primary races.
“His endorsement during the primary would have changed the outcome of a number of races,” the fundraiser said. “Obama was playing it safe and doing what was best for him not them and not for the country.
“I love the guy but gotta call him out on some of this stuff when it happens.”
The Hill quoted a Democratic strategist as saying Obama’s decision to sit on the sidelines has hurt the party.
“I was on a call this morning where it was coming up a lot,” the strategist said. “I think a lot of people say it as lazy, a bit half-assed and a little too methodical. There are ramifications for this and I hope we don’t suffer the consequences. We can’t just go red to blue. We need to make states blue for the long term.
“Now’s not the time to sit out and be too cute by half. Where’s the audacity of hope?”
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