Obama To Come Off Bench For Democrats In Battle For Congress

Former U.S. President Barack Obama plans to come off the sidelines to campaign for Democratic candidates across the country this fall, injecting himself into a contentious election season in which control of Congress is at stake.

On Saturday, the two-term president will stump in southern California on behalf of seven candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives, his office said. That state is critical to Democrats’ hopes to capture 23 seats and take control of the House in November’s congressional elections.

Those seven are running in districts currently held by Republican incumbents but won by Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in 2016. Clinton, who hoped to succeed Obama in the White House, lost to Republican Donald Trump.

“Now that he is out of office, Obama could provide some Democratic candidates a boost in parts of the country - primarily in states and districts where he was successful as a candidate himself,” said Ford O’Connell, a Republican political strategist.

During his presidency, Obama was criticized for heavy Democratic congressional losses under his watch. Republicans took control of the House in 2010 and then seized the Senate in 2014.

Read more from James Oliphant at Reuters

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