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By Thomas Phippen
Former President Barack Obama has an active role in rebuilding the Democratic party, The Hill reported Sunday.
Obama, who left office January 20, has regular “check ins” with Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez, one aide told The Hill. He will campaign for Democratic candidates this fall and publicly decried the Republican plan to replace Obamacare. (RELATED: Obama Trashes Senate GOP Health Care Bill)
The former president has a larger role behind the scenes of the Democratic party. He’s met privately with various lawmakers who are trying to build party consensus after a devastating presidential election in 2016 and multiple defeats in special elections this spring.
“[Obama] doesn’t want the focus to be on him,” one source close to Obama said. “He doesn’t want to be out in front.”
During one conversation with Perez, Obama said “Hey man, it’s only the future of the world in your hands,” a DNC staffer told The Hill.
Obama’s staff confirmed that the president would return to the campaign trail this fall to stump for Ralph Northam, the Democratic candidate in Virginia’s gubernatorial race. (RELATED: Obama Going Back To Campaigning Months After Leaving Office)
It’s normal for former presidents to take some time away from politics after leaving office, but usually they return to the public sphere. After leaving office in 2001, Clinton considered seeking a post at the U.N. but worked to build up the Clinton Foundation instead while his wife Hillary Clinton went into electoral politics.
George W. Bush took a different approach and has largely avoided the public sphere for private life on his Texas ranch.
“Well the other person who has served as a role model for me for a long time was George H. W. Bush, who famously said once you leave the stage you stay off the stage, and I thought long and hard about that,” Bush said at The Hoover Institute in 2012. “And decided that not being on the stage was something I am comfortable with.”