Edward-Isaac Dovere writes in Politico that President Obama’s aides are now taking Republican nominee Donald Trump’s appeal to voters very seriously, worrying that Trump “represents more of America than a fringe” and could win the presidency “in part due to a backlash against Obama.”
Obamaworld laughed as it watched Donald Trump’s hostile takeover of the GOP. After eight years of Republican opposition, inconsistent policy demands and racialized hate against the first black president, President Barack Obama’s aides, past and present, thought Republicans had gotten what they deserved–and more, all but forfeiting the 2016 race to the woman they defeated eight years ago.
They’re not laughing anymore.
Going into Monday night’s debate, Obama’s team is feeling that same anxiety expressed by some top Hillary Clinton aides: maybe the country isn’t what they thought, maybe the resistance to Obamacare and gay marriage and the progress they’re so proud of is broader than the vocal fringe they’ve always dismissed. Maybe, the president’s aides – current and former – now concede, they’re going to have to live with the fact that Trump could end up in the Oval Office in part due to a backlash against Obama.
“I’m trying to think of a series to compare it to, which was a series that started as a comedy and became a high stakes drama,” said Ben LaBolt, a former White House aide and press secretary for Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign. “I feel like we’re maybe in the fifth season of ‘Breaking Bad’ here. We’re way beyond the laughs, and just sitting on the edge of our seats in terror.”
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