Petition urges Obama to run for Congress in 2018

Mathis-Lilley noted that Obama’s national favorability rating is 53.5 percent, though he acknowledged that figure “reflects the reality that, as a soon-to-be-ex-president, [Obama is] no longer involved in contentious advocacy for specific policies. He’d likely become less popular the minute he stepped back into the political fray. But the hypothetical Obama for Speaker campaign would still pretty clearly be the Democrats’ best chance at swinging Congress.”

Moreover, Donald Trump is “the least popular incoming chief executive in modern history by a large margin. Speaker Obama would be a formidable national foil to President Trump…An Obama who occasionally speaks out about issues of public importance while mostly, like, working on his memoirs is one thing. An Obama with formal powers over the legislative process is another thing altogether, and the prospect of putting such a trusted figure in a high-leverage position would likely motivate midterm Democratic turnout more than anything Obama may be planning to do as a civilian.”