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Obama 2020 Asset or Liability?

Barack Obama, asset or liability?


2020 Race for the U.S. Coin
Photo:  Nonqaba waka Msimang.
The former U.S. president might be a liability for Democrats in the 2020 presidential election, for the simple reason that political wounds take time to heal, scars even longer.
Republicans are on record that they wanted Obama to go down in history, as one of the one-term presidents. It didn’t happen, and any strategy by Democrats to tout some of the 44th President’s achievements might be suicidal, because Republicans are working round the clock to re-elect Donald Trump, the heir apparent and torch any idea of making Barack Obama great again.

Obama has not endorsed any of the 2020 presidential hopefuls and if Democrats are wise, they should not pressure him into anointing any candidate.  That is better said than done because some of them carry residue pollen from the Obama administration.
Joe Biden, former Vice President is the most obvious example.  Republicans are likely to use him to rewind what they perceive as ills of the Obama legacy for example, Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare.  It is still an open wound for President Trump.
The attempt to repeal it failed in March 2017.  Republicans were in the majority. They practically controlled every corridor, elevator and furniture in the House of Representatives.  House Speaker Paul Ryan had a bill that would have killed ACA. 

He got wind that some Republican congressmen were not going to vote in favour of Donald Trump’s premium campaign promise which was: annihilate Obamacare.  That would have embarrassed the rookie President of the U.S., so Paul Ryan pulled it from the floor.
Analysts maintain that Republicans that were going to vote no to the bill to repeal ACA were motivated by self-preservation.  Voters back home told them they should not even think about voting yes to the replacement of ACA. 
Joe Biden’s ties to the Obama administration is in history books so it makes it easier for Republicans to use him at a dartboard and pierce him with darts, including another attempt to bury ACA.
What Republicans won’t be able to penetrate though is the latent Obama legacy of reconciliation which makes voters American first and blue and red party second.  

It was one issue in both 2016 and 2017.  Voters in 2016 voted for getting rid of Obamacare.  The new president carried out their wishes and came up with a Republican bill to replace it.  The same voters told congressmen not to touch it.
It was therefore a case of rhetoric vs reality.  Republican voters did the math and realised what they would lose if ACA was replaced.  They then shelved what they voted for in 2016 and embraced what they think is a good idea although it was nursed and nurtured by the wrong colour, blue, the Democratic party.
Is the Obama legacy an asset or liability?  Only 2020 will tell.

By:  Nonqaba waka Msimang.

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