Former President Barack Obama doubled down on his endorsement of Democratic gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker.
“I am proud to endorse J.B. Priztker to be the next governor of my home state of Illinois,” he said in a new video. “And let me tell you why. It’s simple. J.B. gets things done.” […]
Wednesday’s endorsement marked the second time Obama has backed Stratton. While he was president in March 2016, Obama offered his support in radio and television ads to help Stratton, a political newcomer, unseat embattled Rep. Ken Dunkin in Illinois’ 5th District on Chicago’s South Side. That contentious Democratic primary battle was the most expensive House race in Illinois history, drawing Obama back into the local politics of his hometown.
Statewide, Obama also endorsed state Sen. Kwame Raoul for Illinois Attorney General. Raoul faces Republican Erika Harold in the race to replace longtime AG Lisa Madigan, who announced in 2017 that she would not be seeking re-election.
Democratic governor candidate J.B. Pritzker’s campaign on Monday unveiled a web video featuring Barack Obama, marking another foray into his home state’s politics for the former president. […]
It’s not a surprise that the former Democratic president would back Pritzker over Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, and Obama this month released a list of endorsements that included Pritzker. The digital spot released Monday, though, gives the campaign another video to spread across the internet in the months before the November election.
Obama has gotten involved in state politics from time to time since heading to the White House, including backing Ald. Sophia King in her City Council race last year. […]
In a March 2012 Bloomberg TV interview, Pritzker hesitated on supporting Obama’s re-election efforts. “We’ll have to wait and see. I don’t know who the nominee’s going to be on the Republican side,” Pritzker said at the time.
Obama and Pritzker do share another connection that Rauner has highlighted in his re-election campaign. Pritzker was recorded on FBI wiretaps in 2008 speaking to former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich about being appointed to the Obama’s U.S. Senate seat, something that would ultimately put Blagojevich in prison. Blagojevich and Pritzker also discussed possible campaign donations.
Obama taped the video in his personal office in Washington a few weeks ago.
Obama spokesman Eric Schultz told the Sun-Times, “President Obama of course wants to be helpful to Democrats as we approach the midterm elections. President Obama wants to help Democrats win at every level this year. He’ll ask voters to take a good look at candidates and their records — not just the top of the ticket — but critical local races, too. We need a strong pipeline to help the Party grow beyond 2018. We need activists poised to engage, volunteers motivated to mobilize and voters motivated to vote.”
Obama on Aug. 1 endorsed 81 Democrats, including many from Illinois: Pritzker, Kwame Raoul, who is running for Illinois Attorney General, and U.S. House hopefuls Sean Casten, Lauren Underwood and Brendan Kelly.
On the sidelines no more, President Barack Obama flexed his political muscle in his home state on Monday.
In a boost to billionaire Democrat J.B. Pritzker’s gubernatorial bid, Obama went beyond his customary political comfort zone, leaning in hard by cutting his first video on behalf of a candidate in the 2018 midterm elections.
Um, the dude cut an Internet video in his office. And if doing that is outside his comfort zone, then what was this?…