It was a nostalgic time at the White House on Tuesday when former President Barack Obama visited his former residence for the first time in five years. And the former president’s advice to the embattled administration and its fearful party colleagues?
“Tell your story.”
Is that the story of skyrocketing prices, bumbling foreign policy failures, border chaos and surging violent crime? That will make for some interesting campaign ads.
Biden, for his part, recently declared that Democrats have “a record to be proud of” and a list of accomplishments that simply needs to be sold with “confidence, clarity, conviction and repetition.” Not exactly the message Vice President Kamala Harris imparted when she told fellow Democrats recently that Americans “got what they ordered” with the administration.
Obama vocally expressed his support — or was it sympathy — for his former vice president, even as a video circulated showing Obama surrounded by staff while Biden wandered aimlessly and ignored.
Obama’s visit was scheduled to coincide with the 12th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as “Obamacare.” The event was highlighted by President Joe Biden announcing expansions to the former president’s signature legislation.
“Nothing made me prouder than providing better healthcare,” Obama told the gathering, noting that when Biden told him of plans to expand the program, he had to show up.
Biden announced a proposed change to end the “family glitch,” which means if one person in the household has access to an affordable health plan through their job, the rest of the family is disqualified from ACA. Millions of families are ineligible due to this restriction, which would end next January if the change is approved, and the White House estimates about a million individuals will benefit from lower insurance costs.
The president also issued an executive order for agencies to do everything possible to make healthcare more accessible and affordable, in part by ensuring coverage is easier to start and keep. Biden pledged to strengthen the ACA during his 2020 presidential campaign.
There are doubtless some Democrats who enjoyed the former president’s visit as a reminder of the “good old days.” Obama’s message to “tell your story” may fall flat, but it’s a great reminder to conservatives of how little the White House has to boast about. And it may be a wakeup call to everybody about the need to change direction this November.