KEY POINTS

  • Former President Obama will campaign for Democratic nominee Joe Biden in the closing two weeks of the presidential race
  • The plan for Obama is to host socially distant events outdoors in key swing states
  • Former first lady Michelle Obama is not expected to campaign

Former President Obama will campaign for Democratic nominee Joe Biden in the closing two weeks of the presidential race and he's expected to visit key battleground states.

Discussions have centered on sending Obama to key swing states like Florida, North Carolina, and Wisconsin, CNN reported.

The pandemic has kept the former president online, holding virtual fundraisers and occasional videos showing his support for Biden. But Democrats have long expected Obama to hit the trail at some point in the 2020 campaign.

"He's doing enough for our campaign," Biden told reporters. "He'll be out on the trail and he's doing well."

The plan for Obama is to host socially distant events outdoors. Obama's plan echoes the sentiments in his convention speech when he delivered a harsh rebuke of President Trump while saying the country’s democracy is at stake if he is reelected. 

"For close to four years now, he's shown no interest in putting in the work; no interest in finding common ground; no interest in using the awesome power of his office to help anyone but himself and his friends ..." Obama said. "Donald Trump hasn't grown into the job because he can't."

Former first lady Michelle Obama is not expected to campaign with her husband. 

Michelle Obama spent much of the campaign cycle working on voter outreach through an organization called When We All Vote. On Wednesday, it was announced that she would team up with LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers’ get-out-the-vote organization to “build momentum and excitement around voting early.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has prevented Barack Obama from holding big rallies as he did during his 2016 presidential campaign. However, the former president has been delivering virtual messages to targeted audiences in recent weeks.

On Tuesday, the Democratic National Committee unveiled a video featuring him talking about the high stakes in the 2020 election, “from getting the pandemic under control to building a fairer economy to taking on climate change to protecting our health care.”

In the video, Obama focused on the importance of voting. 

“History shows that the easiest way to make sure that you and your friends vote is to make a plan,” he said. “And when it comes to voting this year, having a plan has never been more important.”

Obama's commitment to the Biden campaign is key for the former vice president. According to FiveThirtyEight polls that asked respondents whether they had a favorable or unfavorable opinion of politicians, Obama got higher marks than Trump. In that poll, between 45% and 58% of respondents said they had a favorable view of Obama. 

Conversely, former presidents and some high-ranking Republicans will not support the Trump campaign. The New York Times reported that George W. Bush will not support the Trump reelection campaign. In addition, Sen. Mitt Romney won't endorse the president, nor will Cindy McCain, widow of Sen. John McCain.