WASHINGTON (AFP) – Former US president Barack Obama, still a hugely popular figure among Democrats, fronted a new video campaign Tuesday (Oct 13) to get out the vote for Joe Biden.
In videos tailored for states vital to Biden’s challenge against President Donald Trump, Obama urges voters to get organised ahead of an election disrupted by Covid-19, increased use of mail-in ballots, and Trump’s unprecedented – debunked – claims of a rigged contest.
“So much is at stake in this election,” Obama says.
“History shows that the easiest way to make sure that you and your friends vote is to make a plan. And when it comes to voting this year, having a plan has never been more important.”
Twenty-four states are individually targeted in the videos, including battlegrounds Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Florida.
The message delivered by America’s first Black president – who chose Biden as his vice president – is less ideological than practical, listing voting options and sending supporters to the Democrats’ IWillVote.com site.
The choice of a high-powered messenger reflects the party’s apprehension that despite Biden’s solid lead over Trump in opinion polls, turnout will be a disappointment.
On the Republican side, Trump has focused on energising his considerable base which, although only a minority of the population, is expected to vote enthusiastically on November 3.
Obama remains a potent force in US politics, even if he now works mostly off-stage.
His wife Michelle Obama has her own powerful following and has likewise come in to support Biden’s bid at key moments, including at the Democratic party convention.
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