Obama vastly preferred governing to campaigning, his friends have long known, so they believed him when he said he looked forward to watching from the sidelines. But those plans were tossed aside by the election of President Donald Trump and his first term in office…

“Former presidents tend not to delve too deeply into politics and certainly not the politics of their successors,” David Axelrod, a longtime adviser to Obama, said in an interview. “I think that was his plan, but Trump changed that plan.”…

The demand for Obama is remarkably high, with some Democrats quietly wondering why he hasn’t been even more visible during this high-stakes campaign season, especially after he traveled extensively for Clinton in the closing months of the 2016 election…

“In terms of his value, it’s been smart not to overuse him,” Axelrod said. “They’ve been using him in targeted digital appeals to constituencies that Democrats need to arouse in this election: young people and people of color, who did not come out in the numbers that Hillary Clinton had hoped four years ago.”