Barack Obama will make the first official political move of his post-presidency on Thursday, headlining a private fundraiser for the National Democratic Redistricting Committee at a private home in Washington.
Obama’s appearance Thursday before a few dozen people at a closed-door event in the District on behalf of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee (NDRC) highlights the balance he is trying to strike as his party seeks to regain its footing at both the state and national levels. Obama does not want to cast “a long shadow,” in the words of Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez, but he remains a central figure for a party that has yet to settle on a single strategy to combat President Trump.
Perez said in an interview Sunday that while some Democrats have urged Obama recently, “You’ve got to get out front on issue X or issue Y,” the former president wants instead to “build the bench” for the party. Democrats suffered a greater loss of power during Obama’s tenure than under any other two-term president since World War II.
The event, which will also be attended by NDRC chair Eric Holder and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, is to support the group he’s helping back to coordinate Democratic efforts in state races and lawsuits to push back on Republican success in gerrymandering over many cycles. In many statehouses and Congress, that’s left Democrats at a baked-in disadvantage.