Stumping for Virginia Democratic Candidate, Obama Faces First Test of Post-Presidency Political Clout

Former President Barack Obama boards a Marine helicopter Jan. 20 after President Donald Trump’s inauguration. (FILE, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Former President Barack Obama boards a Marine helicopter Jan. 20 after President Donald Trump’s inauguration. (FILE, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Former President Barack Obama will return to the campaign trail next Thursday to stump for Democratic gubernatorial nominee Ralph Northam at a rally in Richmond.

Details on the location of the get-out-the-vote rally were not yet available. Northam tweeted “Fired up, ready to go!” and provided a link through his campaign website where supporters can R.S.V.P. for a ticket at RalphNortham.com/Obama. The campaign said space will be limited.

Northam used the Obama news to fire up a crowd gathered Wednesday at Richmond’s Secco Wine Bar for a women for Northam happy-hour event.

Saying he wanted to end with some “really good and exciting news,” Northam said he got a call from Obama about a month ago.

“President Barack Obama said that ‘I want to tell you how important Virginia is to me. It means the world to me. It means our legacy, for me and Michelle. I’m going to do everything that I can to come to Virginia to campaign for you,’ ” Northam said.

The decision to hold the rally in Richmond “is an important choice,” said Bob Holsworth, a longtime Virginia political analyst, formerly at Virginia Commonwealth University.

“It’s crucial for Northam to get out the Democratic base,” said Holsworth, who noted that Hillary Clinton carried the city by more than 65,000 votes in November.

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SOURCE: ANDREW CAIN
Richmond Times-Dispatch