For The Record

Obama campaigns in Atlanta for a Georgia breakthrough for Democrats

By: - November 3, 2020 6:37 am

Former President Barack Obama campaigned on election eve in Atlanta Monday. He stumped for Joe Biden for president and rallied Democrats to make a breakthrough. Stanley Dunlap/Georgia Recorder

Former President Barack Obama urged Georgians to get out to the polls Tuesday to vote Democrats into the White House, Congress and the state Legislature in an Atlanta appearance that closed a flurry of battleground campaign stops.

Obama delivered his remarks in downtown Atlanta Monday as the last in a quick series of late-game presidential campaign visits to Georgia that included President Donald Trump, Joe Biden, their spouses and surrogates. 

It’s critical to elect former vice president Biden and U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris as president and vice-president and bring Democrats at all levels along, Obama told hundreds of people at the drive-in mobilization rally.

“After four years of failure, you have the power to change America,” Obama said. “Tomorrow, you can put an end to the politics (of someone) who tries to divide a nation just to win an election, who tries to stoke conspiracy theories and fear at a time when we need confidence and we need hope.”

Obama said new leadership is needed to replace Trump allies in the U.S. Senate, David Perdue and Kelly Loefller.

“A generation from now, two generations from now, three generations from now, we can look back and we can say that this was a moment when we turned towards our better impulse,” he said. “Where we start pulling together as a nation instead of being driven apart.”

Both presidential campaigns have made frequent stops in Georgia in recent weeks, including visits by Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, Biden and Harris. 

Sunday, Trump returned for a rally in northwest Georgia’s Rome where the president dismissed the chances Biden and other top Democrats have to win in Georgia

Perdue is campaigning to earn a second term against Democrat Jon Ossoff, an investigative journalist. Loeffler is in a wide-open competition that includes fellow Republican U.S. Rep. Doug Collins and Democrat Raphael Warnock, pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church.

Trump said he’s the best person to steer the nation back from the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus and that he’ll keep Americans safe from crime.

“If I don’t sound like a typical Washington politician, it’s because I’m not a politician,” he said. “If I don’t always play by the rules of Washington and the Washington establishment, it’s because I was elected to fight for you and I fight for you harder and meaner and stronger than any president has ever fought for you.”

At Monday’s rally, Warnock and Ossoff urged voters to turn out at the polls Tuesday. U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath promoted access to health care and stricter gun control laws as she readies for a rematch with Republican challenger Karen Handel, who narrowly lost the suburban Atlanta 6th District seat in 2018.

Monday’s event near the 1996 Olympic Cauldron included 2018 candidate for Georgia governor Stacey Abrams and Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. They both recalled razor-thin margins in their recent elections, making the case every vote matters.

With potentially 2 million Georgians casting ballots on Tuesday, this election is shattering the previous record turnout at this point in the 2016 presidential election. By Monday, nearly 4 million Georgians cast ballots at early voting locations or by absentee ballots, compared to 4.1 million votes total in 2016.

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Stanley Dunlap
Stanley Dunlap

Stanley Dunlap has covered government and politics for news outlets in Georgia and Tennessee for the past decade. At The (Macon) Telegraph he told readers about Macon-Bibb County’s challenges implementing its recent consolidation, with a focus on ways the state Legislature determines the fate of local communities. He used open records requests to break a story of a $400 million pension sweetheart deal a county manager steered to a friendly consultant. The Georgia Associated Press Managing Editors named Stanley a finalist for best deadline reporting for his story on the death of Gregg Allman and best beat reporting for explanatory articles on the 2018 Macon-Bibb County budget deliberations. The Tennessee Press Association honored him for his reporting on the disappearance of Holly Bobo, which became a sensational murder case that generated national headlines.