"Do not wait for the flawless message, don't wait to feel a tingle in your spine because you're expecting politicians to be so inspiring and poetic and moving that somehow, 'OK, I'll get off my couch after all and go spend the 15-20 minutes it takes for me to vote, '" Obama said to those present and the few media personalities given the go-ahead.
"The simple message right now is that if people participate, and they vote, then this democracy works", he said, "And if we don't vote, then this democracy does not work". "I would caution us from extrapolating too much from a bunch of special elections and starting to think that, 'OK, this will take care of itself.' Because it won't", he said, going on to note the power fear has to motivate voters. Over the course of his presidency, Obama cast himself as the country's secular minister as much as its commander-in-chief, someone who understood the moral core of the nation and felt compelled to insist that we live up to it. Politics, like life, is imperfect.
Obama didn't mention President Trump at the event at all, Eshoo said, and the former president has avoided directly criticizing his successor since he left the White House.
Grammy Award-winning pop singer Christina Aguilera is set to perform at the event, which will be Obama's second appearance at a Democratic fundraising event in the Los Angeles area since leaving office in 2017. There were really only two items on the agenda: soaking up that Obama inspiration and donating some major dough to the Democratic National Committee. "I'm giving you the executive summary: Vote". If Democrats are successful in retaking the House or the Senate in November, they could act as a firewall in helping defend Obama's own policies.
"That's the bad news", he said.
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"We shouldn't expect (politics) to be entertaining all the time - and Christina Aguilera was wonderful - but you don't need to have an unbelievable singer at every event", he said.
Both Democratic and Republican critics have argued that Trump's departures from those norms call for an equally aggressive counterpunch.
In a poll last month by CNN, 56 percent of Americans said Obama was a better president than Trump has been, while 37 percent preferred Trump over Obama.
Turning to the larger political picture, Obama said, "This is a moment of great urgency".
Obama's self-imposed exile has been felt even more acutely by Democrats of late, as President Donald Trump has seen events conspire to hand him a golden opportunity to remake the Supreme Court and the party Obama once led has shown signs of devolving into the same sort of establishment vs. grassroots war that Republicans weathered in 2016 - and ultimately produced Trump's candidacy and presidency. The Democrats' job is not to simply mimic the tactics of the other side. "People are angry, and I don't think a lot of progressives want to hear it", he said. "Give them a voice", NPR reported.