In a new Op-Ed for “The Hill,” Fox News contributor Juan Williams writes about four black leaders that he believes can help Biden defeat Trump.
These days, you also have to keep an eye on social media, where Trump gets far more attention with the help of loony websites and the Russians.
And eyes wide open at the work being done for Biden by four black Democrats — let’s call them the “Fantastic Four.”
Let’s begin with the former president, the most powerful political player not currently in office.
When Obama endorsed Biden earlier this month, The New York Times ran a quote describing Obama as having unique superpowers. He is “a surrogate unlike anyone else anyone can bring to bear — I mean, who has Trump got?” said Democratic pollster Joel Benenson.
Even if the previous Republican in the White House, President George W. Bush, agreed to campaign for Trump, he does not excite Trump’s anti-Republican establishment base of voters.
How about Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)? I’ll let you answer that.
By contrast, Obama is revered among Democratic voters. He even has pull among swing state independent voters, some of whom backed Obama before voting for Trump.
Obama also has the power to stir up the maximum turnout from black voters, the most reliable voting bloc among Democrats and a group that overwhelmingly disapproves of Trump, as shown in poll after poll.
Getting the full black vote to the polls could be fatal to Trump’s reelection. In 2016, the black voter turnout declined 7 percentage points from 2012. Almost 67 percent of black voters turned out to reelect Obama, whereas that figure fell to 60 percent four years later.
The absence of those black voters in swing states was bad news for Hillary Clinton. She lost Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin by a narrow margin, a combined total of about 80,000 votes.
Black voters in those states, potentially energized by Obama, can erase that shortfall by themselves.
Obama also retains appeal to older, white moderate voters who twice put him in the White House. And his reputation for competence and compassion makes him an effective critic of Trump’s bungled response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The second member of this fantastic real-life foursome is his wife.
Michelle Obama grabbed headlines last week when Biden smiled at the idea of having her as his vice presidential running mate.
“I’d take her in a heartbeat,” Biden said last week. “She’s brilliant. She knows the way around. She is a really fine woman. The Obamas are great friends.”
Since leaving office, the former first lady has stayed in the public eye and become the rare political leader who can fill arenas nationwide with female voters of all races.
Her memoir, “Becoming,” was the best-selling nonfiction book of 2019. A December Gallup survey said she is the “most admired woman in America,” a title she claimed for the second year in a row.
And she packs a political punch with her nonpartisan, nonprofit group to protect voting rights, When We All Vote.
She started the group in 2018 and recently weighed in on the controversial decision by the GOP majority on the top Wisconsin court to insist on going ahead with the state’s primary elections during the coronavirus.
“Americans should never have to choose between making their voices heard and keeping themselves and their families safe,” Obama said, putting a new, compelling face in the front of the Democrats’ fight against voter suppression.
The third member of this Biden-backing group is Holder, Obama’s former attorney general. He is now chairman of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, campaigning against GOP efforts to gerrymander congressional districts.
He is calling for an expansion of voting options including mail-in and absentee ballots. While these proposals are getting a closer look as a practical response to coronavirus, they could eliminate barriers to voting for elderly and minority voters if they become permanent.
The final member of the team is Stacey Abrams. She narrowly lost her race for governor of Georgia in 2018, but the powerful sight of a black woman doing well in Southern politics made her a political rock star.
She wrote a best-selling book in 2018 and now heads up a nonprofit encouraging people, particularly minorities, to fill out the 2020 census so they can be accurately counted for federal aid and congressional reapportionment.
Biden has pledged to put a woman on his ticket and a black woman on the Supreme Court. Abrams’s name comes up regularly for consideration for both spots.
These four black champions hold the keys to a Biden victory by juicing Democrats’ energy and turnout in an election likely to be decided by which side gets out its voters.