Home U.S. Obama plans to hit the road for Biden. But first, a podcast.

Obama plans to hit the road for Biden. But first, a podcast.


Former President Barack Obama plans to hit the road on behalf of his former vice president, Joseph R. Biden Jr., over the next two weeks for socially-distanced appearances in battleground states to encourage Democrats during early voting, according to people familiar with his plans.

Aides to the former president would not say where or when Mr. Obama plans to travel but a person familiar with the planning said his team had discussed possible visits to Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin or Florida with Mr. Biden’s team.

It is not clear if Michelle Obama, the former first lady and a figure whose popularity rivals her husband’s, will also make in-person appearances.

Aides to Mr. Obama and Mr. Biden would not respond to specific questions about his schedule and said an announcement would be forthcoming when the arrangements had been finalized.

Mr. Obama’s endgame re-engagement, a reprise of his efforts on behalf of Hillary Clinton four years ago, kicks off this afternoon when he sits down with two former White House advisers, Jon Favreau and Tommy Vietor, who host the popular Pod Save America podcast.

The podcast episode, due to run 30 minutes, will be taped at 4 p.m. and posted Wednesday evening; interview topics will include “his thoughts on the race, his pitch to voters, his thoughts on the future of Trumpism and democracy,” Mr. Favreau said.

Mr. Obama, who adopted a posture of neutrality during the Democratic primaries, expressed initial reluctance to take on President Trump personally — to deprive him of an easy foil that could motivate the president’s base.

But he cast aside caution over the summer and fall, appearing at fund-raisers, roundtables and side-by-sides with Mr. Biden and campaign surrogates over Zoom.

Mr. Obama’s address to the Democratic convention in August painted a dire picture of the country under Mr. Trump, portraying him as a man unfit, uncaring and unserious, who threatens both the nation’s welfare and its core democratic institutions.

“This administration has shown it will tear our democracy down if that’s what it takes to win,” Mr. Obama, hair grayed and manner grave, said in one of the most comprehensive denunciations of a sitting president made by a predecessor.



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