>> Former President Barack Obama returned to the campaign trail for the first time on Thursday since leaving the White House.>> Hello everybody.>> Obama is out supporting candidates for governor in both New Jersey and Virginia. The 44th president has kept a low profile since handing over the keys to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Even as his successor has made a priority of gutting Obama's legacy, slashing payments for Obamacare, planning to quit the Paris climate accord, and threatening to tear up the Iran nuclear deal.>> What's been going on while I've been gone?>>
But aside from a public appearance in April, and some private fund raisers, Obama has steered clear of politics.
The fact that he's back is a sign that Democrats are struggling to find their footing in the Trump era.>> Obama's probably the biggest star Democrats can trot out onto the campaign trail. People like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren appeal to the progressive wing of the party. But Obama appeals across all demographics and all parts of the Democratic party.
>> Both New Jersey and Virginia will hold elections for governor on November 7th. Hillary Clinton carried both states last year, but the Republican candidate in Virginia is running a tight race against the Democrat. Bringing out Obama suggests the Democrats have found their biggest weakness, turnout.>> Obama had success in 2008, and in 2012 with bringing a new coalition of voters to the polls.
Young voters, minority voters, infrequent voters. And that's a group that Hillary Clinton failed to attract in 2016 in the same numbers.>> The state contests in Virginia, New Jersey, and a Senate race in Alabama are seen as previews of next year's Congressional elections for control of the House and Senate.