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In Philadelphia, Barack Obama reminds Americans of what a real president looks like

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22.10.2020

PHILADELPHIA—For those who may have forgotten, because bedlam can blunt the brain, this is what presidential looks like.

Sounds like.

Even at the most impassioned, the most het up.

And while the setting was unusual — a drive-in rally at the South Philadelphia Sports Complex, more specifically the parking lot of the Lincoln Center, the NFL venue, car radios tuned in to the audio, horns beeping and tooting — it was vintage Barack Obama. President Barack Obama, the honorific a forever-after homage in the American way of things.

Wednesday was the first time, since the (virtual) Democratic National Convention in August, that Obama had stepped in, stepped up, at a campaign event to support Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, bringing it all back home to the city where, four years ago, he’d launched a home stretch solo tour for Hillary Clinton.

That turned into a zero-sum game.

“This man is my hero,” said Talib Abdul, among those who didn’t have a ducat for the ticketed gig but hung around the edges. “But there are people who say Donald Trump is their hero. How can that be? How can anybody even compare those two men?”

From a 71-year-old retiree. “I find President Trump repulsive.”

But Obama isn’t running for office, more’s the pity. He was here to do Biden — the “scrappy’’ kid from Scranton — a solid.

It’s debatable whether the charisma and integrity of Obama can be extended by proxy. He couldn’t undo the damage Clinton had inflicted upon herself with her notorious “deplorables” comment four years ago. While not necessarily wrong, that description deeply offended mostly white, non-college-educated rural Pennsylvanians. Also, for her sins, Clinton hadn’t paid enough attention to the Great Lake states. Ultimately Pennsylvania — most of which is not South Street Philly — broke for Donald Trump, delivering its crucial 20 electoral votes to him with a slim margin of 48.2 per cent of the vote versus 47.5 for Clinton.

Aggregate polls show Biden enjoying a seven-point advantage........

© Peterborough Examiner


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