George Bush Teams Up With Obama To Promote Democracy

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Former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama will both be holding high-profile events to promote democratic ideals this coming week.

The aftermath of the 2020 elections showed yet again how the preservation of democratic ideals in the U.S. wasn’t a given. Outside of the direct threats Trump and allies of his have made to the outcomes of elections, there are also the issues posed by Republican attempts to implement restrictions on the handling of elections themselves that don’t respond to much of anything in terms of actual problems with elections but instead make voting essentially pointlessly more difficult. Obama spoke about these problems in rally speeches he delivered in swing states in the lead-up to Election Day. Obama stopped in some half a dozen swing states, including Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin, Nevada, Arizona, and Pennsylvania. Democrats have since notched victories in statewide contests in all those locales — except in Georgia, where the Senate race is going to a runoff election next month.

Bush’s event this week will be in Texas, with Obama’s taking place in New York. Apparently, the former presidents’ respective teams didn’t coordinate the timing of their gatherings, although figures working with both Bush and Obama welcomed the other team’s event. “I actually think it’s terrific that we will have these back-to-back conferences,” David J. Kramer, who serves as executive director of the Bush Institute, said. “We’re very mindful of what’s happening in the United States, and we have to make sure we stay on a democratic path. At the same time, we have to help and support others around the world. So we can’t simply fold up our tent and focus on everything at home. We have to focus on both things.” Obama Foundation CEO Valerie Jarrett added to Axios that, amid challenges to democracies worldwide, “the potential of the next generation of leaders needs our full support… We are delighted to see the Bush Center — another institution doing the hard work to strengthen democracy — convene in Dallas to advance our shared values.”

Trump is also expected to potentially formally confirm his intention to run for president in 2024, and that should happen — unless someone convinces him to delay it — on Tuesday, a week after Election Day in the midterms. Multiple candidates associated with Trump have opted to be generally accepting of the results of elections this year in which they lost, although others, like Kristina Karamo, who was the Republican nominee for Secretary of State in Michigan, are still promoting electoral conspiracy theories.