But with the midterms approaching, people close to him say he’ll shift into higher gear: campaigning, focusing his endorsements on down ballot candidates, and headlining fundraisers. He’ll activate his 15,000-member campaign alumni association for causes and candidates he supports — including the 40 who are running for office themselves. He’s already strategizing behind the scenes with Democratic National Committee chair Tom Perez and Eric Holder, who’s chairing his redistricting effort.
Throughout, Obama is determined not to become the foil that he can see President Donald Trump clearly wants, and resist being the face of the Resistance for his own party.
Obama is aware of his continuing resonance among his fans—proudly pointing out to friends that his tweet of a photo greeting children alongside a Nelson Mandela quote sent after the neo-Nazi march in Charlottesville became the most liked in history. Even his relatively anodyne Martin Luther King Jr. Day tweet got more than 1 million likes.