Barack Obama is finally speaking out. And Biden’s campaign needs all the help it can get

Editorial: To win in 2020, the Democrats must overcome a well-funded Trump campaign, with its devoted ‘base’ and all the usual advantages that accrue to an incumbent with control of events and the news agenda

Monday 18 May 2020 22:06 BST

With the possible exception of Harry S Truman and Richard Nixon, there has never in modern times been such public needling between a serving president and a predecessor as exists now between Barack Obama and Donald Trump. Men of such different backgrounds, styles and outlooks don’t have to agree, but neither do they have to go out of their way to exchange unpleasantries.

No moral equivalence is involved, however. The 44th president is right to speak out about the failures of the 45th president at such a time of national, and indeed global, crisis. The Trump presidency, apart from its many other flaws, has been woefully incompetent during the pandemic. The transactional “What’s in it for me?” approach has certainly hampered the responses at state and federal level. The zenith of idiocy came when the president publicly floated to his experts the idea of exposing the insides of coronavirus patients to bleach. Mr Trump retweets claims about corruption in the Obama White House, and he makes ominous hints about investigating “Obamagate”.

The only question over Obama’s remarks is whether they actually hasten the moment when America and the wider world will be free of this deeply damaging administration.

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