Barack Obama’s Final Fight

It’s not simply for Hillary Clinton. It’s for an optimism and a set of values at the very core of his own story.

Comments: 194

  1. “Nobody who looked like Barack Obama or me would have been included back then,”

    ...and so it is that HRC's candidacy rides on the coattails of the first "barrier breaking" two term president, and she and he are proud of it, and are banking on good will and the president's record. But will that be enough? We heard the "roll-out" of accomplishments, but polls indicate that nothing Mr. Obama has accomplished during his hard fought two terms appears to be entirely embraced as overwhelmingly successful, (many thanks, of course to the boarderline seditious Repubs). And the American public seems to be buying in to the notion that race relations are "worse" under Obama. I'm not convince that this is the winning recipe for success.

  2. Call me a sentimental fool, but watching two former adversaries campaign together with obvious affection and admiration was remarkably inspiring. It speaks to both their characters and intellects that their relationship has progressed to this level. For any Obama supporter who harbors reservations about Ms Clinton - the unwavering support from the man who knows her professionally the best should more than satisfy any concerns.

  3. Yes, Dana, I agree. The democrats motto is that "we are stronger when we work together for the good of the country". Republicans motto - every man for himself and women stay home barefoot and pregnant. It's not even a question as to which America will be better for myself, my children, my grandchildren and all future generations.

  4. There's that and then there's also the alternative, an unstable, ignorant megalomaniac and the smoldering dung heap of reaction that is the GOP these days.

  5. I feel inspired by having President Obama and Sec Clinton reminding us the arc of a moral universe bends toward justice. Yes, the country is very different from the time of the founding fathers and mothers because of the hard work of the American people. We are better for all the changes and I look forward to another ground-breaking presidential term under Hillary.

  6. Bruni, you are such a bore!
    Axelrod, with roots in Chicago, speaks from both ends of his mouth, as long as someone is paying him.

  7. I would beg to differ. Though you might like her "identity politics," and her eagerness to pay lip service to favored minority constituencies, when you ask yourself what she has tangibly done for people, the picture becomes a lot darker. Her identity politics is merely a sham.

    As a progressive, her record is spotty at best.

    She served on the board of Walmart and did nothing to help its minimum wage employees, who not only lacked adequate working hours but health care, as well. Who knows, perhaps she was instrumental in setting up the Wal-Mart offices that informed people of their eligibility for federal benefits, a taxpayer subsidy to Wal-Mart corporation that makes it the biggest beneficiary of federal welfare payments.

    She opposed single-payer healthcare because it would not bring in campaign contributions from vested interests in the healthcare industry.

    Her record as a neocon is far more more readable.

    She megalomaniacally sought to undermine or overthrow recognized governments throughout the world, from Honduras to eastern Europe and the Middle East, and always supported the use of force where diplomacy had not been tried.

    Every policy she has instigated suggests she is angling for war with both Russia and China, which could mean the end of civilization.

    The world might muddle through Donald Trump. It is far more unlikely to survive Hillary Clinton. That is why I will vote Green this election.

  8. You are no progressive, as you see the world through an ideological lens, black and white, without nuance and hope.

    "Every policy she has instigated suggests she is angling for war with both Russia and China"

    And voting "Green Party" is absurd in light of the stakes.

  9. When the Red Hats come for you, they will not pass you over based on your principled Green vote. They will come for you for not supporting President Trump...

  10. This 2016 presidential race is indeed the Twilight Zone of American politics. There has never been anything like it. Not 2008 when we elected our first president who was not white. Not 2000 when the Supreme Court decided the popular election. Not 1864 when Abraham Lincoln decisively turned back one of his ex-generals, George B. McClellan.

    This toxic, rather than intoxicating, swirl of politics and intrigue and mean-spirited treachery has, as its backdrop, the outgoing president's rising popularity. Why is that? Could it be that America now, in spite of the pile of soiled laundry left unwashed by a lazy, incompetent, bought Congress, now realizes the rare gift it owned but spurned by its acquiescence to the dog whistling of ALEC, the Koch Bottles, John Boehner, Paul Ryan and their unrepentant captain, Mitch McConnell?

    Is it that America is finally now willing to acknowledge the decency and goodness of this singular man? Or, perhaps, President Obama looks so much better in the nightfall of his presidency because the two individuals who seek to succeed him have more than amply demonstrated that, yes, virtue isn't always sold by the tongue but by the deed. The quiet persistence of integrity and rectitude carry their own currency, one that cannot be donned by mere whim regardless of the charade that impostors employ to the contrary.

    It will be seen in the end, next January, that we came out ahead, that our reward for his eight years were his gifts of nobility and strength.

  11. I'm so sick of that slogan of "make America great again"! America is great, it's not perfect, but it's great!!! If the "one" doesn't think so than he has no business running for the most esteemed office in the free world.

  12. Mr Trump misspells: under his presidency he would 'make America grate again.'

  13. I remember the GOP outrage when Michelle Obama said, on the eve of the election of Barak Obama, something like "Today I'm proud of being an American." How the Right went after her for supposedly implying that she wasn't proud of being an American before that day. And how ironic it is that these days it's more than OK with Trump supporters for him to imply that today America in NOT great. Could it be that they are OK with it because these days there is a Black man who doesn't belong in a white house?

  14. Palpable fondness for each other? Who in the world believes it's about anything more than his legacy and her becoming president.

  15. "Dwight Eisenhower? When asked what Richard Nixon had accomplished as his vice president, he said that he needed a week to think about it." I'm glad Bruni mentioned Eisenhower because he was - from what I've read as I wasn't around - that last president resoundingly admired by the American public. And believed too as trustworthy, honest, capable, dedicated, patriotic and unselfish. Ike - a genuine American hero.

    That was then - and now? Where have we gone wrong? What sins have we citizens done to deserve Hillary and Donald? Can either begin to match the Ike qualities; the qualities once expected - demanded - of a president. Not sharing Bruni's endorsement of Hillary; compared to Ike - well, there is no comparison.

  16. Uh, the esteemed Eisenhower deposed Mossadecq of Iran, radicalizing and destabilizing it for generations.
    Eisenhower deposed Guatemala's Jacobo Arbenz, returning Guatemalans to feudal peasantry.
    Eisenhower deposed Patrice Lumumba of the Congo.
    Eisenhower underwrote the French efforts to continue colonizing Viet Nam. With the encouragement of the Dulles Brothers he considered dropping a nuke on Dien Bien Phu.
    HRC may have voted for The Charge of The Fools Brigade into Iraq but has done nothing compared with the horrors noted above.

  17. Perhaps the sins were the votes for Nixon, Reagan, and G W Bush?

  18. Obama is in the fight. Where is Bernie? The President knows that the fight is raging and the outcome uncertain. He knows that Trump is the real threat to the progressive ideals that he has advanced, not Hillary or the Democratic Party. When will Bernie get into the fight? When will he put his considerable weight and force behind the fight to defeat Trump? Must the flames consume our nation before Bernie joins the fight to save us from an outcome that he himself calls unthinkable? Think it, Bernie, and act accordingly. It could well happen. You could help to stop it. Please get into the fight.

  19. Bernie is fighting to make the Democratic Party and it's platform stand for progressive ideals. He's in the fight, no question.

  20. Exactly-where is Bernie? He is as narcissistic as Trump. He never was in this as a candidate of the Democratic party. He cravenly used the party for his own good and has no intention of helping Hillary get elected. He suckered an entire age group of people with promises of a free education that he could never keep, or indeed, never had a plan to fund.

  21. Right now Bernie Sanders is focused on supporting down ticket progressive Democrats, supporting his Delegates to Philly (most of his unlike Clinton's are not politicians and lobbyists) and working to make the Democratic Platform as progressive as possible. He is working hard for a $15 minimum wage, for universal healthcare, and against private prisons. And he is working against Fracking. In other words, he is working hard and using his influence for good -- and regularly speaking against Donald Trump. Does that answer your question?

  22. The danger for the President is that Hillary Clinton's unpopularity may drag his favorability rating down.

  23. He likely realizes this, but is more concerned for the nation than about his own popularity. Bless him.

  24. The names Obama and Trump ought never appear in the same sentence. Obama has the aura of a president, measured and reassuring and caring. Trump has the aura of a bully, loud, aggressive and unruly. Even if one disagreed with Obama on important issues, one would have to admit that he was dealing with a sensitive, caring and well informed person. If one disagrees with Trump, it's rigged, get him outta here, who's David Duke? Hillary may be far from perfect, but she represents an honest yearning for an America with a bigger heart. I will miss the Obamas. Say what one will, they represented what is best about us, and I am profoundly delighted that we elected him twice. I think it is divine madness to suggest that Trump is a reasonable choice. He is the antithesis of what is best about us. His obvious bigotry aside, he thinks he can deal with legitimate nations the way we swat flies. His solution to terror is to imitate them and commit war crimes against them. Despite his boasting about his personal wealth, he doesn't seem to understand the world's economy and how it works. My hope is that there are enough caring people who will come out to vote. Because if one cares about America, one cannot vote for Trump.

  25. "Because if one cares about America, one cannot vote for Trump."

    Or allow him to be elected by staying home, or petulantly voting for some placebo third party candidate on "principle."

  26. After the disastrous years of the Bush presidency, I was never as proud as an American expat, as when Barack Obama was elected in 2008. His election seemed to forever put to rest some of those unfortunate stereotypes of many Americans being narrow minded bigots. My French and other European friends even ruefully admitted that their own countries were not yet capable of electing a black man as head of state. During the last eight years in France I have rarely heard anyone here speak of our President with anything but respect and admiration.

    Barack Obama (and his family) have done more to restore America's reputation and standing in the world than any POTUS I can remember. If we follow the presidency of this decent, thoughtful and dignified man with Donald Trump we will undo all the goodwill Obama's efforts have brought us among our friends and allies, give comfort to our enemies, and bring America into disrepute as never before.

  27. Susan, you echo my experiences in France. The respect for PBO is striking. He could walk straight from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue into the Elysee Palace. J'aime La France and PBO!

  28. Interesting how neither Bruni, Obama nor Clinton brought up the FBI's findings on the email scandal. Best not to talk about the uncomfortable, as maybe the party faithful will just forget.

    "She was not indicted" is now the rallying cry for exciting those on the fence. Add to that a huge does of, "anyone but Trump," and the "everyone else did it" defense. A defense that never works for the average Person, but always seems to be invoked by Politicians and their ardent followers. As if "W" and Trump are the litmus test for bad behavior.

    Hillary lied to the public when caught using the private server. She told us it was merely for convenience, that the State Dept. authorized its use and that she never sent or received any documents marked classified or Top Secret. Turned out that was all hooey. Do her supporters care--brace yourself for the rationalizations of why she didn't lie and even if she did fib, look what W did and Powell.

    No--everyone did not do it. Hillary is the first public official in history to install a private basement email server to use for all of her PUBLIC email. She did it to avoid requirements under FOIA and upon leaving office turned no public emails over until caught 15 months later.

    And she did all of this knowing she would some day run for President. Why? Because she knows her loyal supporters will never hold her accountable. And she is right.

    Donald v. Hillary--two people that should not even be allowed on the White House tour.

  29. 30,000+ of Hillary Clinton's emails were provided to the FBI which found that 8 emails labeled top secret and 36 with secret information were put in the wrong outbox. Hillary Clinton, her lawyers, and the State department only provided the FBI emails that were germane. Emails discussing Hillary Clinton's private life were not provided. Emails about everyday office routines -- coffee breaks and office supplies were not provided.

    Less than once a month, in her 49 months of service, Hillary Clinton forwarded an email improperly.

    Thank God, Donald Trump has demonstrated such exemplary conduct in business and on reality TV that the American people can be assured that his error rate, if elected, will not possibly be as high as Hillary Clinton's error rate in forwarding email. Truly, we are blessed.

  30. Trump and Hilary ..... Those are the 2 choices we have now . So tell me, what do we do ?

  31. For all the talk of moral journeys and bending arcs, for all the work it took to bring this country to a point where race and gender don't matter, we've got Donald Trump nipping at Hillary's heels and making a mockery of everything this country stands for.

    The poise and intelligence of Barack Obama count for nothing with Republicans, who have demonized and insulted him from the day he was elected. His endorsement of Hillary Clinton means nothing to them. Even a Republican like Paul Ryan who can't stomach Donald Trump has joined the chorus of Republicans who are demonizing Clinton.

    Hillary's foolish use of a private email server pales in comparison to Trump's sleazy deceit, profound ignorance, vulgar tone and narcissistic self-aggrandizement. Yet Republicans are suddenly outraged by the fact that Hillary committed no crime. The system is rigged, shouts Trump.

    In a way, Trump is right. That anyone with his utter lack of presidential qualities could be so close to achieving the presidency means that something is seriously wrong, either with the rules, the swarming media coverage or the people who think he's a good idea. Clearly qualifications don't matter.

    The security of our country and our standing in the world are at stake. But even as we speak, the man who would be the first Emperor of America is being fitted for invisible clothes.

  32. well said... so well said, no further comment from me is warranted.

  33. Perceptive observations. I can think of one additional concern many Americans seem to be overlooking. Trump is duping a great number of American citizens. He riles up their anger and frustration but in no way is he concerned about their improving their lives. His motivation centers on increasing his own power and wealth.

  34. " we've got Donald Trump nipping at Hillary's heels"

    I thought it was Comey, and Warren herself a few months ago, and Bernie Sanders.

    Trump is not alone.

  35. Elections aren't supposed to be about the legacies of rich and powerful politicians. They also shouldn't be reduced to appeals to fear and voting for the lesser evil.

    As I wrote in my comment on today's editorial, the Clinton-Obama campaign rally was like something out of a Fellini movie. Spectacular as the president's down-home, G-droppin' oratory was, it was utterly divorced from reality. The scathing non-indictment indictment from the FBI director might never even have happened, given the president's outlandish praise of Clinton as the most qualified and tested candidate who ever walked the face of the doomed, melting earth.

    Yes, he's still got that rare charisma..The crowd jumped to its feet in a frenzy that hearkened back to the good old Hope & Change days. And Hillary didn't only look embarrassed, she looked wan and chastened. I suspect that even with all her supreme self-regard, she, too, saw Obama's performance as excessive to the point of satire.

    I get it. The president doesn't want Trump to succeed him. As many as two-thirds of the electorate don't want Trump to succeed him either. But come on: to frame the case for Hillary around how great things have been since Obama took office is an insult to the intelligence of the American voter. Most people don't even have a thousand bucks saved up to cover a household emergency.

    And the vow that she won't hesitate to use military force? Utterly, utterly terrifying.

    Election '16 is not a choice at all. It's blackmail.

  36. Give it up please; you have become very tiresome. (And I voted for Sanders in our primary.)

  37. Bruce,

    Sorry, but I don't think I'll be taking you up on your kind advice.

    Now, here's a suggestion for you: just avoid reading my comments from now to election day and beyond, and maybe you can overcome your debilitating weariness in advance :)

  38. Re. Trump's "Make America Great Again," there's much more than an "element" of "turning the clock back" on racial progress to the slogan. It's one of the focal points of Trump's campaign. One can imagine Pat Buchanan saying the same thing in 1992 when he declared that there was a "religious war" going on in America. "It is a cultural war, as critical to the kind of nation we shall be as was the Cold War itself, for this war is for the soul of America.”

    Buchanan's meaning was clear then. When he rails against "political correctness," Trump's meaning is just as clear today: make America great for "people like us."

  39. Frank, you nailed it this week:

    Obama campaigning for HRC = desperation (self-preservation).

    It must be hard for a man to suck it up and stand up for someone like Hillary, a person of her character and obvious ambivalence toward his agenda.

    If she is elected, it will be all about Hillary. We will get a lot of hype about women in power, but the main story will be Hillary, her arrogance, her willingness to bend principles to get field goals rather than touchdowns, and her constant reworking of the message that will stand as her legacy.

    She will not be a great President, if elected. And she will not be a defender of the Obama legacy.

    But BHO has no choice. And it must be brutal flying around with her.

  40. “The thing that I’m sure aggravates him — enrages him — is the invocation of race and ethnicity in our politics,”
    Oh god it is funny that you mostly attribute this to the right. I'm sorry, but leftwing identity politics are the single most divisive idea in the history of this country, completely throwing out the dictum "to be judged not by the color of their skin." Want to know why Trump can exploit these ugly feelings? The far left has spent the last five years referring to "angry old white men" and telling the country how it is just impossible for minorities to live here. If I began referring to the left only as a bunch of "idiot anarcho-communist children" or even more ominously as "young angry black men" all the time, you'd stop listening to me, and do everything possible to repudiate my claims, which being mostly baseless means I have to attack your character as you did mine. A vicious circle, highly accelerated by identity politics if not caused by them

  41. "He's your antithesis" It is chilling to contemplate PBO on the platform as Hair Duce is being sworn in as President. I am reminded of a quote by Ray Bradbury-"I don't see the future, I try to prevent it." It is time for us to prevent Trump from getting anywhere near 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

  42. The contrast between Obama and Trump could not be more stark. Our national identity hangs in the balance in this election. It truly is a referendum on who we are as a people. Since the 60s we have been on a trajectory of becoming a more open and diverse nation. Barmier after barrier has fallen. Can anyone deny this has made us stronger as a people. And now comes Trump with a large stop sign. Unlike Christie who just jammed up traffic, Trump wants us to back up our forward momentum and throw it into reverse. The Civil War was about the soul of this nation. It is not a reach to view this election the same way.

  43. "He’s not merely your adversary; he’s your antithesis. And his victory would do more than endanger your policies. It would question the very moral of your journey, the very bend of the arc you frequently invoke."

    Yes, President Obama has joined the fight, and without question, injects notes of integrity into a Clinton campaign that badly needs it after the oh so public dressing down by the FBI.

    I have no idea what he and Clinton say about the emails. Those "damned emails" have finally been adjudicated in the tecno-legalese only an FBI Director can muster.

    But I hope as he campaigns for her, he also advises her about how to deal with the fallout of her terrible judgment on use of a private server. Because without both sides addressing it, the disconnect between our popular (for a reason!) President--who calls us to transcend our worse natures--and a candidate whose passion for privacy becomes an example of her own worse nature widens.

    President Obama can't bail Hillary out of this one, as much as we supporters would like it. We are left with a bitter taste in mouths, a situation only Clinton can address.

  44. A scolding from a school marm. How quaint and stale.

  45. @Ed: how kind of you to write such tasteless words. What are you, as you mock me, adding to the debate?

  46. Can Hillary's competence make her more dangerous than Trump's incompetence?

  47. Nothing is more dangerous to our country, and indeed the world, than the prospect of a know-nothing, finger-on-the-button narcissist in the White House.

  48. If there is a corner in the Oval Office that can be backed in to, Trump will find it.

  49. Indeed, Mr. Bruni? Mrs. Clinton's distinguished resume is tarnished only by her apparent penchant for unforced errors and the perception of her character nurtured by her opposition. Were she up against a more suitable opponent this conversation would be quite different. But our decision at the polls will be dictated by the choice we have, and the contrast could not be more stark. A vote for Trump is as unthinkable as any I can imagine.
    Because she is undoubtedly qualified, with a long history of distinguished public service I will campaign enthusiastically for Hillary Clinton, hoping she will learn from her experience, follow her better angels, minimize her self-inflicted wounds and bring our nation further along the path as a force for good in the world.

  50. As your colleague Patrick Healy noted in an article in today's paper, FBI Director Comey's findings undercut Mr. Obama's proclamation that “there has never been any man or woman more qualified for this office” than she. Mr. Comey didn't indict her legally, but he certainly provides grist for the "vast right wing conspiracy" who question Ms. Clinton's honesty and qualifications to lead the country. Alas, it looks like we're in for four months of mudslinging and four more years of the status quo....

  51. Part of Obama's legacy will be the Supreme Court.

    Most voters probably will not, but should, think long and hard about what type of person they will want to see occupy the highest court in the land for the next few decades.

    If your preference is someone in the mold of Scalia, Alito or Thomas, then your vote is pretty clear.

    Without a doubt, Clinton is a flawed candidate, and yesterday's decision by Comey not to indict is a real "get out of jail card", but with an asterisk.

    But all one need to do is listen to the other candidate and what he represents, and the seamy underside of America he is bringing to the surface, and the choice is painfully obvious.

  52. can we drop the obligatory "flawed"? All humans are. let's celebrate what a wonderfully accomplished woman she is, and her long history of working to help others.

  53. Obama is a failed president with questionable accomplishments.

    Whatever he claims is a "win" - from helping mortgage holders (that still lost their houses to banks that didn't even have the proper paperwork), to ISIS (where foreign policy is so muddled he can't figure out what is more important - getting rid of despots or killing terrorists) he takes credit for things that don't hold together over time. And in all cases big influence and big money and cynical political ploys took precedence over policies and laws and enforcement. The average American citizen knew exactly where they stood with this president. At the end.

    And Hillary is a damaged, corrupt candidate. She recently won a battle, but is losing the war of ideas and trust to Trump.

    Both the President and Hillary have self-inflicted wounds. I'm not surprised that the two are now campaigning together. The photo-op that is so appealing to the Obama and Clinton groupies only serves to remind the regular folk that the system is broken, the "anointed" candidate will win, no matter what, and we're all supposed to think it's great.

    Sorry, no. This is an election for change. Not a 3rd Obama term. And Trump will be elected due to Hillary and Obama's self-inflicted policy blunders, if he doesn't make more of his own.

  54. If 75 straight months of job growth creating 14+ million new jobs while facing Republican obstruction that even shut down govt and cost the economy $24 billion in 15 days over debts Congress had already rung up is failure--give me more "fail!" In fact, add to his failures healthcare for 17 million uninsured, no caps on coverage, no exclusions for previous conditions. His diplomacy prevented an expanded nuclear threat, opened Cuba (a ridiculous stand that hurt US businesses from travel to farming (Cuba is a net buyer of corn and grain, state agricultural associations are waiting the competition of agreements!), to music and art to medicine (Cuba is a world leader in vaccines).

    Bin Laden's death will hold over time! The world is changing--it is not his job to hold it back but to meet its challenges--which he has done with skill and finesse. You assign the cause of those changes to his leadership; not so! What leaders do is deal with the effects of issues caused by others to promote stability and peace. Since WW2, the US has responded to issues, not due to failed leadership, but because Reagan, Bush, Clinton, and Bush--as did Obama--put aside global hegemony, a truly failed view and system that only made things worse.

    Thanks to Obama, the US is a net exporter of oil, has more producing wells than ever before--and a deficit lower than when he came into office. All achieved against the most ardent resistance witnessed in our history by a rabid Congress.

  55. "ideas" and "trust" have nothing at all to do with Trump

  56. Thank you, Frank Bruni. Nobody who looked like either of them would have been welcomed to the table even 50 years ago, much less 250. There is still hope for the future of this country, despite Trump and the extremism of the right. I still have hope anyway, seeing these former antagonists campaign together "with palpable fondness." That, and the faces of my grandchildren.

  57. You said it! And so did they on the campaign trail yesterday. There is only one choice in this election. People will make hay about Clinton's judgment, but have you paid attention to the judgment and character of our other option? Time to put your big boy and girl pants on and continue Obama's legacy.

  58. There actually are other options. In the United States we are still able to vote for other than Democratic and Republican candidates. There are other Parties.

  59. Obama should end our long national nightmare by letting his AG pull Hillary's security clearance for her violations of security rules, and quickly endorse Bernie. She does not deserve to be president.

  60. I watched the rally on MSNBC and Bruni is right: Hillary did blush. She was looking at Obama with sincere fondness and gratitude. And I felt grateful that there are still two experienced, passionate human beings who are willing and able to take on the excruciating job of president, and fight back against the greed and stupidity coming from all directions.

  61. It is difficult to believe that our choices are a serial liar and another serial liar.
    Both have gone beyond the limits of 'puffing', straight into the realm of bald faced lies. Regularly.
    It is hard to believe that not so long ago John Kerry's campaign tanked for the simple act of changing one Senate vote and being regarded as a 'flip-flopper'. Now we have two people that openly lie with apparent impunity and that most voters are not the least bit interested in.
    If the goal of the two Parties was to keep people away from voting they have succeeded spectacularly.

  62. This is all you see? The starkly painted, one side or the other, with no space for human frailty?
    How sad for you.

  63. That's false equivalence.
    Hillary Clinton received 6000+ emails per month in her inbox and put 1 a month in the wrong outbox.
    Donald Trump systematically sold his name for schemes that failed, very profitably overpaid himself from firms that went bankrupt, pays ALL his bills and employees and vendors late, incompletely, or not at all, and more than half of everything he says is completely false.

  64. @Michael Thomas: If all you see is a contest between two serial liars, then you are missing the fact that one of them is committed to wrecking the social progress of the past 60 years while the other is devoted to furthering a progressive agenda that actually helps people.

    That the next President will nominate two or three Supreme Court justices is reason enough to vote for Hillary no matter what other flaws you might see in her.

  65. Thank you Mr. Bruni. As you note: "Campaigning together is an imperfect arrangement, inasmuch as [Hillary] may seem to be arguing for the status quo instead of a better tomorrow."


    Hillary, Billery--Cripe!
    Both of a liberal stripe,
    Neo- is ever their type!
    Globalist dreams they do hype.

    Came then along a hot Bern,
    Populism's longing to churn.
    Voters may Hillary spurn!
    Yet to dread Donald might turn!

    Trumpster's dimocracy spreads!
    His once Great Party's in shreds,
    Tottering, losing its creds!

    Time for us all to recall
    Sanity, duty and all--
    Lest in disgrace we do fall!

  66. This is the America I recognize. The Country I love where everything good is being renewed with hope, endurance and great will. The welfare of every Nation depends on the virtue of its People, and Any One who offends in a gross manner against decorum and propriety was certain to hasten its ruin.

    To the President, as a true believer of his, I pledge my oath of allegiance; to Hillary Clinton, I tender my heartfelt vote of confidence in all honesty. The last few years have been a show of Pride and Prejudice on the part of many Americans, and it is time to reconcile.

    Thank you, Frank Bruni, for never giving up. This American hears you. We have a long road ahead, it will not be easy but we will prevail. Standing tall again on this Summer day, I believe we are going in the right direction. With thoughts of Alexis de Tocqueville in mind, we took a pause in our History, and I am able to report that the spirit of Democracy is on the mend, well and alive once again.

  67. President Obama and Hillary Clinton share a vision of progress and growth. Voting for Trump negates all of that.

    We can't allow this nation to go back to a time where bigotry and misogyny reigns.

    Even Republicans want a better nation and vision of American than one proffered by Trump.

  68. You know what? President Obama really is dedicated to the United States. In spite of all the insinuations and revolting slander: he is the Islamist that al-Qaeda couldn't hit the White House with on 9/11; he is a socialist turning us into a different country; he coddles terrorists.; he was never a legitimate President - this man puts himself aside and charts America forward. Despite 8 years of a Congress that would rather see everyone stagnate than him succeed - this man puts himself aside and charts America forward.
    And now, rather than stay out of a political arena which continues to treat him cruelly, with a Republican nominee so shameless he told the President to resign, this man fights to 'pass the baton' onto Hillary Clinton, his onetime opponent and a woman who will chart America forward.

  69. Hillary represents all that's good in America: Progress. Inclusion. Diversity. Equality. Trump represents all that's wrong with America: Racism. Arrogance. Inequality. The choice in November could not be clearer. Let's move forward!

  70. Hillary is the presumptive nominee for the Democratic Party. She does not and never has represented "all that's good in America." Regardless of who the Republican nominee is (Trump is the presumptive nominee for his Party as she is for hers) or how awful he may be, at least let's tell the truth. Hillary has spent her life acquiring wealth and power and influence. She is not about America she is about Hillary. And she just yesterday barely missed being indicted for Federal crimes because of the inability of the FBI to prove intent. Meanwhile others (see for example Brian Nishimura) are jailed or exiled for the same transgressions.) She is not "all that's good in America".

  71. "Hillary has spent her life acquiring wealth and power and influence."
    How dare she behave like a white Republican man...

  72. How ridiculous.

  73. Never has a choice been more clear.
    On the one hand, a notably flawed politician who has worked her entire life for women, children and working Americans. On the other, a pampered, incurious and narcissistic Creature, the creation of a cynical Party with nowhere to take our democracy but down.

  74. It's highly inappropriate for the president to campaign for Hillary before she is nominated at the convention.
    I wonder if this was planned by Wasserman back when sherecruited all those superdelegates before a single primary or causus was held?

    DNC the Does Not Care about is lowly members party.

  75. Bernie Sanders doesn't have unlimited carte blanche to gum up the works until he has it his own way. He could have been up there full-throatedly defending democratic values and policies and putting Trump in his place, but he was too busy making the perfect the enemy of the good and putting himself above party and country.

  76. There was nothing false or forced in The President's speech yesterday. There never is. Once again he spoke to the truth with passion and courage. Republicans haven't just obstructed another black man, they've obstructed the entire country. The only things that stopped more of their wreckage was Obama and those of us who voted for him.

  77. A chief executive, unbound by Constitutional niceties and disdainful of the separation of powers, endorses a deceitful, congenitally mendacious aspirant to continue his destructive work here and abroad. Outside the insular amen corner this paper fit for piscine packaging preaches to, the antipathy toward all she is grows ever more intense. The crescendo that will sound on a coming November Wednesday will be music to the ears of the sensible, the law-abiding, the decent and the whiny dissonance of the entitled, the smug, the disdainful of honest work who worship at the feet of these charlatans will make for fun reading in these oh-so-self-satisfied pages.

  78. Sounds like you would be happier listening to music and enjoying the self-satisfied living in North Korea or Russia.

  79. Thank you for your words Mr Agnew!

  80. It would have been nice in light of Hillary Clinton's near indictment to stop campaigning for her. At least one day of reflection on her arrogance and Obama's inability to manage his staff....but no, a full throated commendation. Yes, Trump is a disaster, but Mr. Comey validated our worst fears about what we might get with more Clintons.

  81. Claiming that Trump "is cynically exploiting racism and xenophobia" is smear tactics that are unjustified.
    Bruni ignores the real issues such as illegal immigration and religious terrorism.
    The legacy of the Obama Presidency is historic divisiveness and government paralysis.
    Obama and most Americans hope that the next President can accomplish what he failed to.

  82. Paralysis was the chosen approach of the GOP. Mitch McConnell clearly stated the goal of blocking Obama's activities.

  83. Mr. Bruni is right. President Obama is in this last fight to salvage the "core of his own values" through his support of Clinton. And if one looks only at their respective political positions, Clinton and Obama are very close on most issues so his support is warranted.

    But today voters are looking beneath the more conventional issues and asking different questions. They ask why have we been at war for 14 years in the Middle East? They ask why is our economy so efficient at serving the interests of Wall Street and the banks but unable to generate living wage jobs for its average folk?

    They are asking why cities like Philadelphia can't fund its public schools? Why is Flint in receivership while their kids drink poisoned water? Why did the police in Ferguson turn out like a combat infantry platoon? Why does congress respond to white addiction with supportive legislation, but answered black addiction with more prisons?

    They want to know why their parents went to college with modest tuition but their kids have enormous loan debt? Why are our streets and highways full of pot holes while the wealthy pay less in tax than the average worker?

    Yes, Clinton and Obama stand for the same important social issues and that is important. But our economy has been turned into a neoliberal sandbox. The wealthy have prospered and the rest of us have suffered. We know where the GOP stands on these issues, but what does that say about Obama, Clinton and the Democrats?

  84. Perhaps President Obama can help do what REALLY needs to be done to win this election: Convince Democrats and would be Democratic voters that they MUST register, regardless the GOP road-blocks put in their way, and then they MUST vote.

    The hard-won rights of the last 100 years are at stake as the bigots and racists have been finally, unleashed and unfiltered by the Republican Party and their candidate. The attacks on Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, Jews, GLBTs, is unlike anything we've seen since the 1930's that led to the most cataclysmic war humanity has ever seen.

  85. Already LIttle Donald is screaming (yes screaming, his whine is at fever pitch) that Obama is neglecting his job by helping Clinton. Well, Donnie, his "job" is protecting America and it's diversity, and YOU are the enemy here.

  86. Remember Archie Bunker? Norman Lear's artfully flawed character was suppose to represent the twilight of racism in America. A bygone era where we could collectively muse at our less evolved selves. But instead of laughing at Archie, many laughed with him. All in the Family's success, in fact, celebrated Trump's America; an America both Norman Lear and President Obama would like to eschew. I was 13 years old when All in the Family debuted in 1971, it was wildly popular because of Lear's brilliant writing, fully accessible characters, and, sadly, a dog-whistle that I could sense but -still in Jr High- not fully understand.
    Frank Bruni's perspective on President Obama's motivation is spot-on. And come November, we'll learn the true resonance of Trump's "Those Were The Days."

  87. Who are you?

  88. I think Barack Obama is a honest, sincere person who has been a great president. He took the country from the ashes of George W Bush's presidency to the success of today in spite of the GOPs plan from day one to derail his plans. I can only imagine how far we would be today if the GOP had participated. I think Mrs Clinton can also be a great president and move the country forward, Trump just thinks it will help him make more money for himself!

  89. We will miss you, Mr. President

  90. I voted for Barack Obama twice, and I continue to like him, even though he has not been as progressive as I had hoped. I do not, though, appreciate President Obama's interventions in this year's campaign. First the president tipped the scales toward Hillary Clinton in her contest against Bernie Sanders, helping to ensure that the Democratic Party would move to the center, rather than the left. Now he proposes to aid her general election campaign so she can ostensibly preserve his legacy. Personally, I wish that the president would stay out of the fray, focus on his job, and let Mrs. Clinton campaign and win in her own right.

  91. you might want to think a bit more about the implications of a Trump presidency.

  92. Too much of this season is devoted to the names when the nameless millions have spoken and changed the game; they shock the dungeons and chased the elite from the watchtowers; yet the election is proving more important than their collective voice which has made resoundingly clear their desire and intent to share in and create the wealth. The Wall and the minimum wage both sound paltry beside the larger, sea-to-sea demand for inclusiveness or exclusiveness--for concrete evidence that a pocketful of money, affordable rent, and good healthcare is a pillar and standard in our political economy.

    Instead of the staples, the campaigns struggle with their own fears. Trump is afraid he will be unloved. His fear requires he put others down at every turn--he's mastered the litany of 8th grade insults, and unfortunately uses the same logic for his sparse policy, but mainly he's a white supremacist ("game recognizes game") who denies the visible.

    Hillary's fears losing. Too cautious, too careful, she offers only small steps to our grand dreams. Yet she is great in the trenches, energized in battle, and skillful at cutting apart the pretense of substance to reveal its absence. Boldness in battle must become a vision in voting. She is the warrior! If she becomes the shaman, she can beat the clown.

  93. As a 62 year old I have to say that President Obama is my favorite and the best commander in chief in my lifetime. I can put this in one word, he "OVERCAME" everything that was thrown at him. I love the president, deeply.

  94. Let's not draw false equivalents Mr Bruni. Obama was the quintessential outsider in every sense while Hillary is the ultimate insider despite her gender. I hope president Obama carries his fight on after he leaves office. We need him as an ispiration for many younger generations of all backgrounds.

  95. Hi slegacy goes down the tubes if he becomes a venture capitalist as has been reported he is pondering.

    My primary concern about him from the start has been the apparent sympathy for the monied class, which was made clear by his appointments after the crash and his policies favoring Wall Street, banks, etc. The inequality would be less if he had been hard-nosed about cleaning up the financial mess and its instigators.

    I hope he chooses to live the rest of his life out of his better self since he really is a great man in so many ways.

  96. The speeches yesterday were like jumping into a cool, clean pond after being dragged through a puddle of slime. What a relief to see the better angels of our country emerge.
    We can't let the racist, lowlife elements dredged up by Trump be emblematic of our country.

    Thanks Obama and Hillary for defending us so well.

  97. It hit me a few weeks ago that what disturbed me the most about a Trump presidency was the potential for such a steep drop in dignity, competence and morality from one administration to the next. Who a democracy chooses as a leader says a lot about the people who make up a country. If we were to follow up the tenure of one of the most dignified, articulate and reasonable individuals to ever occupy the White House with his opposite in all regards it would be a devastating indictment of the overall character of the populous.

  98. When the white sheets and the pointy hats come out at Cleveland, and crosses burn on lawns in Des Moines, and the "strange fruit" of Billie Holliday's classic lament again swings from the trees of Macon and Missoula, Phoenix and Philadephia, America will have leaped into history, and we will start from Ground Zero...again.

    Not all of Trump's supporters cheer the grim picture drawn above, but many, oh so many, do. The founding principle of Trump's success has been bankruptcy, which he declares and everybody else pays for, while he converts the money of his projects "investors" into jets and helicopters for his personal pleasure and convenience. He has all but said that, as President, business will proceed as usual. America will be his crowning development project and 300+ million of us will bear the cost of this bankruptcy.

    I will turn 70 a few weeks before the next inauguration. Though I would prefer someone besides Hillary be standing on the dais in DC, with her, I can live. But if it is Trump, newly born-again Christian, Two Thessalonians quoting, bible ignorant and impervious, Trump, I will seriously consider spending my twilight years in milder, kinder climes.

  99. I totally agree with you. FYI, I think it was Two Corinthians, but Donald may have already changed the other epistles of Paul. Two Timothy has a lovely alliterative ring, doesn't it?

    If Trump somehow makes it to the White House, I'm looking at Norway.

  100. You won't be alone! There are lots of interesting places out there. Just have to check on who controls the water supply! Hopefully not the Kochs or Nestle.

  101. Not everyone - like me - who despises Obama and his imperialist legacy is a racist. I despised George W Bush equally - last time I looked he wasn't black. Just sayin'.

  102. Just what our country is calling out for.
    Equal opportunity haters.

  103. "Imperialist legacy" ... what a preposterous claim. Regard for the truth is fast disappearing.

  104. Unfortunately, after Comey's press conference yesterday, President Obama is endorsing severely damaged goods.

  105. Damaged goods? Aside from objectifying Hillary Clinton as does your apparent mentor, have you not seen the creature-candidate's record?

    Outsourcing when he claims he will bring jobs back. Fake fund-raisers for veterans after calling those who are captured "losers." Conning people out of their money for his not-a-university. De-frauding investors and walking away with his money in tact. Misogyny (choose from the menu). Racism (choose from the menu). Narcissism (read: self-congratulation after mass murder and in every uttered sentence). Violence against women (read Ivana's testimony at divorce hearing for physical evidence; read position on "punishing women" for abortion for policy violence).

    But wait ... there's more.

  106. what choice does he have? Sit on the sidelines and let the village idiot and his uneducated, racist, xenophobic supporters steal the white house? Supporting damaged goods is a far better option than letting rotten and foul smelling goods pollute our nation.

  107. Bruni and the NYT know this, their cynical view is in a week the masses won't remember anything. They won't.

  108. Obama is a strategic thinker who is able to take the long view of many issues, and understands the difficult work necessary to make things happen. There is no doubt that the country is much better off than it was when he was elected, even though the Republicans and the media don't want to admit it. I believe Clinton has similar inclinations by virtue of her experience. Both understand that just making proclamations may make people think you are doing something even though you are not. Trump does not get it. He believes he would serve as king issuing edicts that will immediately be implemented. That, of course, will lead to total chaos as it is diametrically opposed to our system of governance.

  109. Obama has no choice but to campaign for Hillary. The opposition candidate, you see, is nuts.

  110. I have appreciated Obama's eloquence and pragmatism. It's depressing to think he might be replaced by an unrestrained fool like Donald Trump.

  111. I admire the President's optimism about our country's commitment to equality and diversity. Having said that, for his entire term, I have had to listen to my Trump like neighbors, waiting for the right moment, the right person, to let them go public with their tribal disdain for equality and diversity. And that moment has now arrived.

  112. Watching Trump last night do a speech in North Carolina revealed how little he has grown as a candidate. Unfocused and angry, he once again demonstrated how temperament could be the issue in November.

    Seeing President Obama with Hillary Clinton on stage will remind voters how temperament will be decisive in the election.

    I can already see their closing argument: do we really want to give this man to have control over nuclear weapons with the only hope for our safety coming from the military unwilling to obey his orders?

  113. Without the "invocation of race and ethnicity" into electoral politics, Barack Obama would not have become President, nor would he have been reelected.

  114. The previous 42 Presidents were also elected because of their "race and ethnicity." They just didn't have to invoke it because it was understood by everybody that in order to be elected to the Presidency one had to be white (and male).

  115. Baloney. I voted for him because he is smart and serious and oriented toward solving problems.

  116. It will come as news to millions of Americans that being an African-American now gives one an unfair advantage in politics and, presumably, life in general.

  117. I want Obama to do everything possible to help Hillary be elected. Trump is not only unqualified, he is foul.

    That said, I'm sure Obama, a person of great integrity, knows how flawed she is.

    But to expect him to sit by, or be unenthusiastic about the Democratic nominee, knowing that the opponent is a con man, racist, chronic liar and mentally unstable - among many other flaws - is ridiculous.

    Obama is invested in the future of this country. Anyone who's invested in our future will work to deny Trump the presidency.

    There's way too much at stake not to help her.

  118. for a minute there I thought you were describing the heinous clintons

  119. Trump is a menace. Sane Americans of all races, creeds, colors and political affiliations should be asking him to publicly reveal his tax returns.

  120. And while we're at it, let's also have a look at his prenuptial agreements. They might be even more revealing.

  121. I have a feeling and it niggles slightly more almost everyday.

    Trump has his Ego and he likes to show and see it win to such degree he will let it take him past the post and sometimes see him make a new one much further than needed or even makes him go to far.

    But reality is beginning to to make its play and things can only get more real and as November draws closer , its shadow ever larger looms.

    In a nutshell, I don't think Trump is going to make the play, or go all the way.

    For good reasons and for bad. And these niggles, niggling more each day.

    Trump knows how serious its all about to come and I also think he recognizes that even he will if by some chance he wins, that even he is not can't be Bigger than the role he says he seeks the office he says he'll hold.

    But its bigger than him. He cannot remake it and it will by its standing and its role always sublimate, control and prioritize itself over and above him as he must follow protocol and it dictates to him.

    I don't think Trump would accept this and I know he wouldn't want this. He is about control nothing else can take that from him.

    But this.

    Is the appeal of being The President and the "Bragging Rights" it gives him worth the cost? What about the the challenge to be the best ? This is one job that will test.

    Either he knows he wont win (and I think that is what ideally he wants to happen) or if he thinks he might he will do something...

    I think at the convention we will see it happen.


  122. For many years, I heard the complaint that there was no real difference between the two political parties. For the last three Presidential election cycles, at least, that clearly cannot be said and I believe that is a good thing. There cannot be a starker contrast between two Presidential candidates' visions for our country than Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. There cannot be a starker contrast between the two major political parties. It takes two to tango and when, year after year, the majority of Republicans in Congress reject any efforts at bipartisanship, who can blame the Democrats for deciding to exercise their muscles and move forward alone? Will there be setbacks until the membership on the Supreme Court changes? Absolutely, just as their was during the early years of FDR's presidency. But, we're on the precipice of having the Democratic Party maintain control of the White House beyond two full terms for the first time since FDR and I think that is a good thing for our country's future.

  123. Mr. Axelrod is right that it is a referendum on the character of our nation. A vote for Mrs. Clinton is a vote for equal opportunity. A vote for Mr. Trump is a vote for bigotry and hate. The choice is never more stark. It is a choice between the Statue of Liberty welcoming wretched refuse and giving them a dream vs the Confederate flag taking some people back to a more glorious past the at cost of the liberty of some other fellow citizens. Look at Brexit and the rise of hate crime during and after its passage, it is a cautionary tale for America. A candidate like Mr. Trump is poison to our country validating racism and bigotry in the hearts of many people and give them tacit permission to indulge their hatred. A president like Trump will be far worse.

  124. The character of our country is being changed by Donald Trump and his xenophobic, demagogic, bigotry-laden racism which passionately arouses his ignorant followers to "Make America Great Again!" by returning her to the 1960s racial wars. President Obama, in his appearance on the hustings in Charlotte North Carolina yesterday with Hillary Clinton, "carried the ball" as you say, Frank, and Hillary's asking her North Carolina audience to think of the early patriots meeting in Philadelphia in 1776 reminded us that people like herself (a woman!) and a half-black Hawaiian via Kenya and Kansas would not have appeared at that Convention of rebels against Britain. Donald Trump doesn't fit in any way in the ethos of President Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton - both exceptional American patriots. Listening to Trump's shouting and ranting hour-long speech to his followers in Raleigh last night, we the not Tea Party people, were appalled by his diatribe against "Crooked Hillary" and the President, by his praise of Saddam Hussein as being a great killer of terrorists, a strong man. Trump slammed Hillary Clinton, the President, Bill Clinton and Loretta Lynch for their meeting at Arizona airport to great huzzahs and kudos from his followers This is not "Obama's final fight", there is still lots of brilliance, nous, passion and strength in him to leave a great legacy to our country.

  125. Obama has never believed in the balance of powers, and that is why he wants the Presidency so badly. He has broken the Constitution through his illegal actions, and even democratic judges have rebuked him for it.

    Deep down, Obama knows that Hillary is an awful person and will be a bad President, but he has no choice but support her. It is part of his legacy that he destroyed the balance of power, directly leading to the gridlock and dysfunction of our government. Yes, the republicans are to blame as well, but as leader Obama must shoulder the majority of it.

  126. I strongly disagree with your characterization of Obama. What this man has, above all, is a strong sense of ethics, a moral compass this country has not seen in decades. And you are incorrect in your comment that Obama "knows that Hillary is an awful person." They have worked well together, with mutual regard and respect, for years. Frankly, he could have replaced her at any time.

    The only awful thing I can see here is your myopic, jaundiced, unbalanced, and negative view of our great country. For shame.

  127. Nonsense. Remember Mitch McConnell's saying at the start of Obama's term that the GOP would do everything it could to keep him from being re-elected. It is the one GOP promise they kept ! Gridlock comes mainly from the GOP's refusal to work on the country's problems, preferring to harm the country rather than let Obama get anything done.

  128. @Surgres: A civics course might reveal that there is such a procedure as executive order, and it is legal . But you know this. Your irritation comes from his checkmate of the Republican Congress. He has made your fellas look like fools.

  129. Obama likes this fight. You could see that at the 2012 White House correspondents dinner. This is not political, this is personal. So, yes, I agree that Trump represents the opposite of what the president represents. Trump wants to "make America great again" which is a dog whistle chant meaning "a time before those other people came to prominence."

    Donald Trump wants to go back to the time of black and white TV when everyone on TV was white except for the servants.

    Obama and Clinton represent flat screen TV with color images and an America that includes opportunities for women, gays, and people of various ethnic and racial backgrounds.

  130. Yesterday in North Carolina the visual dissonance between the dueling images of Barack Obama, with his rationalism, urbane humanity, self deprecating humor, and the narcissistic ,loutish,vulgarity of Donald Trump, was Manichean. It was the intellectual laser against the mental meat cleaver. It was orator against demagogue. It was multiculturalism against ethnocentrism. It was aspiration against fear. It was America

  131. Obama has a singular opportunity to reinforce his legacy. On this Op-Ed page read:"Can Obama Pardon Millions of Immigrants?" By PETER L. MARKOWITZ.
    Yes he can.
    He should ascertain support among the voters, and among Democrats and among legal scholars. If voters and scholars support pardoning immigrants he should persuade Democratic candidates. Finally he should discuss this option with Hillary Clinton and see if she has the courage to endorse a pardon.
    The Gallup Poll reports that: "In U.S., 65% Favor Path to Citizenship for Illegal Immigrants" that 50% of Republicans, 80% of Democrats, and 63% of Independents support a path to citizenship. The Hill reports that 52% of Republicans continue to support a path to citizenship. Poll support of a Presidential Pardon for immigrants, and for immigrants with American children.
    If Obama acts with the support of voters, Democrats, and Clinton he may be remembered more for this act of courage than any other.
    This is the fight worth fighting with those who provoke xenophobia, racism, misogyny and who would turn their backs on democracy and our national foundation as a nation of immigrants.
    President Obama: "Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

  132. Yes re the pardons, but they better wait until after the election.

  133. Of course he can pardon them for “offenses against the United States”: the power of pardon is an absolute presidential prerogative. But that doesn’t make them U.S. citizens: he has no authority to merely wave his hand and create citizens in contravention of our laws.

    So we don’t toss them into prison for violating our immigration laws if they’re already among the general population. But that doesn’t mean we don’t deport them.

    The worst thing President Obama could do with the 11-30 million people who came here illegally and live among us is to attempt some diktat which a blanket pardon would not be but certainly some unconstitutional attempt to unilaterally redefine the word “citizen” in contravention of our laws WOULD be. It might be defensibly asserted that Europe’s current crisis was impelled by Angela Merkel’s opening of Germany’s borders to 1+ million refugees last year, largely for the welcome-sign it posted on Europe for all the world’s huddled masses yearning to eat sausage. Imagine what a welcome-sign Mr. Obama would post on OUR borders if he were to do what the author advises.

    What would such a pardon say to all those who have patiently waited on line to lawfully become U.S. citizens – from all parts of the world?

  134. Umm... wrong thread dude. Try a couple tabs over.

  135. I’m sure that Mrs. Clinton thanks Frank for this uncritical panegyric of her eminent worthiness for the presidency, the first Times pundit to weigh in on the matter after FBI Director Comey characterized her use of a private email address and server as “extremely careless”, not to mention putting the lie to all her excuses and obfuscations on the matter since it was discovered. And no doubt Barack Obama thanks Frank, as well, for all the kind words on diversity and the fraught path of the African American in our shared governance. And I thank him for the encouragement he’s given Mrs. Clinton after I scanned the over-5000 comments to the NYT news story announcing Comey’s decision not to prosecute, which were overwhelmingly negative in their regard of her – in the New York Times! Based on those comments, this lady certainly needs encouragement from SOME source.

    Somehow, though, I suspect that Donald Trump won’t be thanking him. Expect the tweets to come fast and furious. We may find that Trump evens-up in the polls pretty soon.

  136. The "real" polls Richard are at the ballot box. your idiot doesn't have a chance in the hell that it came from to win there.

  137. Man, you just don't get it. Hillary has shortcomings, but Republicans have nothing. Trump is manifestly unfit for high (or any) office, plain and simple. The Republican Party is a broken mess, long on vitriol and short on ideas. The contrast couldn't be more stark.

  138. “Nobody who looked like Barack Obama or me would have been included back then,” she said. “But we’re here today because the story of America is the story of hard-fought, hard-won progress.” I'm proud to be an independent progressive and Ms. Hillary Rodham Clinton has my vote as does any strong, socially conscious person who wants to restore true democracy in America.

  139. I hope that Obama will be as fierce and enthusiastic in helping Clinton as he was in running for his own presidency. My other hope is that no other scandals surface involving the Clintons.

  140. There would be no Trump if Obama had been the president that many people thought they had elected. Trump's rise is a result of over 7 years of economic policies that favored banks and corporations. It's the result of talking about climate change but racing toward more fracking and oil exploration. Pushing vigorously for the TPP and other corporate-favored deals. Enacting a pro-corporate health care system that leaves people struggling and sick. Obama didn't raise the minimum wage or support unions. He has been over-testing children and championing charter, for-profit schools. Wealth inequality has soared under his stewardship while the government makes a profit off student loans that are absolutely crushing our young people. The mistake that Obama, Clinton and their cheerleaders make is that they think he is wildly popular. He was at one time, but through the years of utter struggle and despair that millions have endured, he is no longer. He and HRC have the loyal Dem voters sewn up. These are the same people who are immune to facts and are full-throated in their sycophantic adulation of most any establishment Democrat. If Obama had worked for the greater good, used some moral imagination in policies, truly improving people's lives instead of continuing the onward, destructive march of globalization, military misadventures and neoliberal economic policies, there would be no Trump to reckon with.

  141. President Obama's legacy is not just on the line, so is the hard fought social progress that has come at a great price to many. I find it difficult to fathom that now after having come so far in terms of Civil Rights and women's equality in the workplace and a woman's right to choose that we would turn back the clock to a time when women and blacks knew their place, and dared only hope for more. Then in 2008, I thought that at last this country was growing up and moving on when we elected our first black President, and then reelected him in 2012. Along comes Trump this year, and the press is drawn in by the circus atmosphere he created. Primary debates were entertainment, ratings soared. He has made a mockery of what this country has been about for the past 50 years with his xenophobic, racist, misogynistic rants. People have stated in the New York Times that they hope he is elected to just see what will happen! With comments like that, I seriously doubt if some people understand the seriousness of this election, and what really is at stake.
    President Obama has accomplished so much he can be proud of with the ACA, a Treaty with Iran instead of war, and an accord that addresses climate change. Also L.G.B.T. people can marry whom they choose, and serve in the military openly. This could all be challenged in November if Trump is elected. No wonder the President not only wants to preserve his legacy, but the legacy of all who have worked so hard for social progress.

  142. The fight to preserve U.S.'s democracy is in full swing, and no effort should be spared to defeat one of the worst and dangerous charlatans we have seen, crooked lying Trump, a racist bully intent in destroying the very fabric of our common values; he seems intent on exploiting fear and anger of misinformed and prejudiced folks so to rise to power, and divide us, and deny our diversity's richness and the need for inclusion. Hillary, as flawed as she appears to be, is infinitely better than know-nothing pretentious Trump, a vainglorious narcissistic egomaniac whose only interest is, and always has been, himself. Let's wake up folks, and get rid of thuggish Donald, before its too late, when even all the crying in the world wouldn't help close the sinkhole some of us seem so eager to dig.

  143. The first vote I ever cast for president, at eighteen, was for Walter Mondale. I don't remember him as being particularly inspiring, but his candidacy was a stark contrast to that of President Reagan's. His selection of Geraldine Ferraro and his honest talk about taxes undoubtedly contributed to his defeat, but after the dust settled I felt good about my vote. I still do. Now my son is eighteen and preparing to vote in his first presidential election. He doesn't like either candidate very much and his perspective on the race betrays a cynicism I could hardly have imagined thirty-two years ago. I have hassled, cajoled and argued with him enough so he'll vote against Trump (though what form that takes we don't yet know). He thinks Trump is a buffoon, a liar, a cheater, a swindler and completely unqualified, but he still doesn't believe that makes much of a difference for him or the world he will inherit. Of course, part of what forms his position is simply his age (to say nothing of a natural contrariness), and we factor that into our understanding of his position, but it's sad nonetheless. Hillary Clinton can't inspire my son, it's clear, and that's a real shame, especially now. I wish we had a better candidate. I wish my son felt inspired and hopeful. Maybe he will, someday. For now, all I can do is beat the point home every day: Donald Trump is a con man, a fear and hate monger and a dope. If that's all I've got it's good enough.

  144. Glen,
    Your son's (like mine) cynicism regarding the status quo is well placed and true. Good for him.
    Perhaps their generation will finally break the horrendous cycle of voting for the flip side of the same coin.
    Its not that they do not have a vision. On the contrary. The first step forward is to refuse.

  145. "But Americans hold Obama in significantly higher esteem than they do her or Trump."

    Now that's a true statement. Historically unfavored actually. She's second only to Trump. Clinton should go through her rolodex and look for any affable person that might stump on her behalf. Okay, maybe not Bill Clinton. Still, I'd say she's lucky to be in a situation where Obama's help is not only offered but sensibly accepted. In light of recent events, I'm guessing those favorability ratings are only going down in the near term.

    That said, I wonder if there is an element of preaching to the choir here. Meaning, I'm not sure even Obama can convince people who already view Clinton negatively. Similar to Bruni's opinion from just the other day:

    I have a feeling that opinions surrounding Clinton are pretty inflexible. Maybe he'll turn out some otherwise apathetic voters but a groundswell is highly unlikely. I doubt his political celebrity is going to move the needle much. Maybe Obama will be a buoy for Clinton's challenges but he's certainly not a life-raft.

  146. With a gold plated plastic yellow rubber ducky as her opponent she won't need a life raft and she has shown she can outswim the sharks and the torpedoes for years. All Donald has to do is keep wise-quacking.

  147. With a gold plated plastic rubber ducky Hillary as her opponent Hillary doesn't need a life-raft. Plus she has been outswimming the sharks and torpedoes for years. All Donald has to do is keep wise-quacking.

  148. Donald Tr\ump is such a great snake oil salesmen that so many blue collar workers, having been attracted to his hollow promises that they do not realize that the promised land would have more holes than Swiss cheese.

    A supposed billionaire sticking-up for the little guy? Everyone will get a tax cut, but no mention of the ten trillion dollars added to the Federal Debt? And if so, have its he going to pay-off the entire Debt within a couple of years.

    Hey, let's also consider the recession (a la 1930s) that trade wars will usher in, global security due to Isolationism (a aka were-WWII). Also, how safe will we be as Trump gives nuclear weapons to other nations and, then, Russia follows suit. Oh and by the way, where will the world's skyrocketing population live as global climate change raises sea level just eight-to-ten feet in 35 years.

  149. The full realization hit me a couple of weeks ago--soon President Obama, a man of style and brains and of dignity and grace and family values, will be out of office. The first Afro-American President, my President, will be gone. I, a White man living in a red state where a large swath of the population deplored his every action, felt empty. Something important to the sanity of the nation and of myself would soon be missing.

  150. Taken separately, these are two intelligent good people, with their hearts in the right place. Yet they both live in the 1% bubble of their worlds, disconnected from the every day lives of Americans who deal with, among other things, food and financial insecurity.

    Together, against a backdrop of the worst election year in decades, there is a lot of unrest, anger and unhappiness. The American electorate is not interested in establishment politics this year. This country is teetering on having a one party system which is, regardless of any political beliefs, very dangerous waters to be swimming in. This country needs a strong two party system.

    This country needs to take care of the disenfranchised, the unemployed who are shut out and locked out of employment, the runaway housing, healthcare and college costs that kill savings and livelihoods. Despite the higher ideals of immigration, and the constant comparisons to Canada, charity begins at home, and America should not take in hundreds of thousands of immigrants and refugees from anywhere until it can take care of the millions of impoverished at home.

    Caring about Americans struggling to put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads, let along a steady job shouldn't render anyone a racist xenophobe label. It's obnoxious and causing Independent voters, including this one, to look beyond the Democratic ticket.

  151. What a spectacle we are witnessing: A passionate, eloquent president imploring people to vote for a lying, self-serving, above-the-law candidate, and her opponent, a lying, self-serving, above-the-law (he would use torture and kill entire families) fraud. People are telling me it's worse to not vote at all than to pick the lesser of the two evils. Problem is, I can't decide who is the lesser of the two evils. Either way, our next president will be the most flawed in our history.

  152. So Clinton flies with Obama on Air Force One for campaigning. The cost of which is paid for by taxpayers. So whether we support her or not, we're all being made donors to her campaign.

    Little wonder the President is grinning ear-to-ear as Clinton was let off the hook for breaking the law regarding her illegal use of a private email server whilst Secretary of State. A charge that would have landed any lesser person in jail a long time ago.

    I was of the opinion that Donald was running to make Hillary look good. Now I think it may well be the other way around.

  153. The Legacy? Syria, Obamacare and an avalanche of federal regulations. The first triggered a refugee flood into Europe that led to Brexit and perhaps the end of the EU. The second is a rube goldbergian bureaucratic nightmare that will bankrupt the country. The third has rendered the economy into Gulliver on a Lilliputian beach. Hey... but we are now more "tolerant" of every possible form of human sexual behavior.

  154. Hillary is not the best and she has so many flaws. But we have only two candidates for presidency, , her and Trump . We have to choose one which one is better. Obama is right when he said that Hillary is the most qualified candidate . Hillary is really qualified and experienced candidate. Trump has no qualification and experience. He is a racist bigot and became rich with father and grandfather 's money. And also by cheating his poor employees.. He is mentally unfit for presidency. I hope Obama will help her and other congressional candidates to win back both house and senate which we lost under his watch.

  155. HRC is far from the candidate that I would like to see leading the
    Democratic ticket. While true that she has the best resume of any candidate in many years, she has also spent the last 30 or so years wrapped in a cocoon of entitlement (re-read anything by Maureen Dowd over the last 10 years) of which "E-mail gate" is only the latest episode.

    With all that as a preface, I will still vote for her over Donald Trump. While HRC has her issues with the truth, Trump is a flat-out menace who lets every random thought in his head have its 15 minutes of fame, no matter how hateful, foolish or dangerous to American interests. Were Trump to win the Presidency, I think the world would be come a less safe place and America a less tolerant, forward-looking society. HRC, despite all her very obvious faults and baggage, is a far better choice for the most powerful and influential position in the world.

    Edwin Edwards was challenged by David Duke, the KKK grand wizard in their race for governor of Louisiana over Edwards' adultery issues. Edwards' response - "Better a lizard between the sheets than a wizard in a sheet". I think that sums up our choice in 2016.

  156. Much as I despise Nixon I have to say that Ike's comment while very funny indeed is rather unfair. After all Nixon was to that time one of the most active vps, even acting as pres during Ike's illness. (& it shd also be said, plotting the bay of pigs invasion!)

  157. No other President of the United States has ever had to deal with such disrespect and unending obstructionism. He is our first African-American president and he has handled the blatant racism he has faced with grace and skill.

    The Republicans created an enraged party electorate that wanted revenge after eight years of GOP-inflicted government paralysis portrayed through endless and poisonous disinformation. They created the opening for an incoherent, ignorant racist like Donald Trump.

    Not one credible Republican leader wants to put their career and credibility at risk by standing next to Trump. Hillary will have Barack Obama and Elizabeth Warren at her side.

  158. The Republican narrative we'll never hear: he's the most decent, smart, heart-in-the-right-place, judicious, charismatic leader -- not to mention faithful husband, father, family man -- we've had as President in my 50+ year lifetime.

  159. Donald J. Trump has provoked this fight with his time-wasting, tendentious appeal to the basest instincts of our body politic. Trump's birther nonsense was in no way supported by evidence and he knew it at the time of his prolonged "You wouldn't believe what my people are finding out" public rant in 2011. But he was happy to make a public spectacle of himself based on a known lie.

    Trump has used racist insinuation as his own trump card. That's the man he is. If America wants this in November, then that's the nation we are.

  160. Well written synopsis of the way it is. Thank you.
    We Americans need to wake up before it's too late and do an amerexit on the world.
    The president aims to do every thing he can to prevent it.
    The Trump star ad is yet another brick in the wall that Obama will prevent from being built.
    Obamaman to the rescue!

  161. Clinton should be campaigning on her individual merit. Barak Obama obviously does not have enough to do running this country yet campaigning on the taxpayer's dollar.

  162. How about that Governor of New Jersey? What has he done for you lately? Out there with Trump. He was suppose to clean things up. That didn't work out too well either.

  163. first he calls her a liar and unfit - now he says she is most qualified - which lie is true?

  164. The latter. After he worked with her for 4 years.

  165. Obama, in all his grace and purity, is putting his pragmatic realism into action and promoting Hillary.

    Regardless of her perennial taint of lack of forthrightness.

  166. Our diversity IS our strength.
    Bigoted, xenophobic, homophobic and misogynistic attitudes promoted by the GOP belong in the dustbin of history, along with their vulgar nominee.
    Spread the word: America is inclusive, not exclusive.

  167. This election boils down to a stark choice: Together into the future? Or divided back to the past?

    I know where I want to be. I'm With Her!

  168. This country seems to find itself only after great strife and struggle. Even if we end up with Trump as president, it will be the forge through which Obama's presidency will have to run through for it to become part of the solid foundation on which the nation's future will be built.

    It is only when challenged do the people put down their self interests and stand up to demand change and progress.

    I think that Obama's legacy will disappear under Clinton's management, not because she is incompetent but because she tends towards plodding and pedantic. She will not rock the ship of state so Obama's policies will lose their momentum and we will drift along while the Republicans pick away at his legacy until not much is left.

  169. Obama's claim yesterday that "Hillary is the most qualified man or woman to ever run for President" is so absurd, so stupid, so laugh-out-loud ludicrous as to give lie to any claim that Obama is somehow brilliant, thoughtful, measured, and honest. He's a charlatan hack who knows only what he wants, incapable of respecting or negotiating with those who oppose him in any way shape or form.

  170. Comey's naysaying may give solace to the Hillary haters, but it will have no effect on the Obama/Hillary/Warren people.

    That Hillary, she's got some amazing support!

  171. Suppose that if Bruni lost his job at the Times, he would be an automatic hire for the Clinton Foundation, so fulsome is he in his praise of someone so undeserving. To call Trump's supporters xenophobes, racists, bigots is not very nice and is unfair. Am an unconditional DT supporter with 2 African wives and 2 young sons to support, so I would hardly fit his definition of someone who is anti immigrant. Bruni quotes O's saying he can't think of "anyone more qualified" than HRC, but neither cites a single accomplishment of hers, either as a Senator or as Sec. of State.On the contrary, her tenure at State was characterized by incompetence and a disregard for protocol and common sense, and resulted in tragedy of 4 deaths in Benghazi. Appropriate word for Mr. BRUNI and some other Times columnists, as opposed to its reporters, is sloth. Far easier to sit in the safety of one's den, faculty lounge or at a bar stool at P.J. Clarke's,just some examples, nursing a deep dish martini than it is to show gumption by using shank's pony and chasing a story that matters to the rest of his many readers.His characterization of c-in-c as our "first black president"is rich in irony. O has attended primarIly white, upper class educ. emporiums in Hawaii, at Occidental, Columbia and Harvard. He sent his daughters to the exclusive Mrs. Sidwell's School. Public education was not good enough for them.

  172. Bravo, Frank!

  173. A woman POTUS on the heels of an African-American POTUS! What can be better than that?
    Obama has been a great President whose accomplishment is made more remarkable given the situation when he assumed the office and the incessant opposition. Future historians will rank him in the top few.

  174. What a well written opinion! I guess there is nothing left to say but GO Hillary!

  175. "Clinton isn't just the better candidate. She's the better America" She's also a congenital liar, as was recently demonstrated by the FBI Director.

  176. The President needs to be a good liar. What, would you prefer to have her spill every one of our secrets in her first meeting with Putin?

  177. Enough with the 'pink'. Great for my young daughter - really bad for a president.

  178. The bigotry against President Obama is so deep down here in SC that our local newspaper almost daily prints letters from people who blame him for every negative thing that ever occurs. This morning a letter writer accused him of blaming the Airport attacks in Istanbul on Daesh (ISIS as it is labelled by countries of the Middle East) before they claimed credit for it even as they accused him of failing to call attacks "Islamic terrorism." Daesh (or ISIS) is Islamic terrorism. This obsession with specific verbiage is just silly, and to criticize the President for naming the attackers early was just another excuse. If he hadn't named them, he would have been criticized for that!

  179. Mr. Bruni begins his piece referring to "Kenya" and Obama as an "outsider." If a Republican did that, if would be proof of bigotry of course. Amazing how that works.

  180. Thanks Mr. Bruni for this somewhat upbeat column, but to be honest, this election is so depressing. The GOP and Trimp are simply beyond hope. There is no amount of rationalizing along the lines of "We need someone to shake things up/not part of the establishment/no worse than so and so" will sway me to vote for Trump-EVER. He is in my opinion.a hideous, garish, egomaniac who is just not that smart.

    That said OH MY GOD - why can't the Clintion's stop pushing the ethical envelope? Are they obsessed with living on the edge? Do they have no sense of optics? All the intelligence,hard work and accomplishments are overshadowed by the relentless drama.

    For the most part, Clintion's politics are in line with mine, but I can't stop this sense of dread that with both of them in the WH, absolutely nothing will get done because they will forever be cleaning up after the latest fall out from
    shooting themselves in the foot. Seriously - she has created a scenario whereby the biggest liar to ever run for president can claim the high ground on honesty. Did they not see this coming? What else won't they see coming?

    Bill and Hillary - PLEASE STOP! And Mr. President - I will be so very sad to see you go! Thank you for your service and putting up with 8 years of abuse for us - the ungrateful electorate.

  181. "priapic"...I learned a new word today. Thank you, Frank.

  182. This campaign is clearly:

    "Make America greater for everyone"


    "Make America great [for white people] again"

    Most of Trump's supporters clearly understand this, whether or not they admit it.

  183. Hillary and Bill have put a stain on Obama's presidency which is scandal free compared to GOP administrations under Nixon, Reagan and George W. Comey has investigated Hillary and Bill in no less than four scandals (Whitewater, Marc Rich, New Square and now the e-mail scandal.) Their conduct leaves a lot to be desired in all four cases.(He found similar obstruction by Hillary in whitewater investigation.)Surprisingly NY Times and Bruni ignore this history of Comey and Clintons). Comey had no choice but to try FBI's case in the public arena. Bill and Loretta assured that any action without an independent prosecutor would be tainted. It is unfortunate the President chooses to end his legacy by promoting the
    Clintons but apparently and hopefully does so because he hates Trump and knows he is unqualified-.

    Unfortunately our choice in November is between two very flawed candidates and Hillary may ride in solely based on Obama's coat tails.She has more baggage that smells terrible than a fully loaded 747.

  184. Obama is an urbane, civilized and thoughtful man. But he is also the man who sent NO bankers to prison, he is the man whose drones have killed thousands of people all over the globe and under whose administration that hospital in Kunduz was bombed and Libya destabilized giving rise to ISIS. That was not Bush's doing - it was Obama's.

    He is the man who is unable to utter the words "radical Islam" and unable to admit that a black man is far more likely to be killed by another black man than by a white cop.

    An opportunity lost.

    As Ayaan Hirsi Ali said about him, "If you will permit me to say this, I am not too keen on him."

  185. I saw and heard two great, strong and compassionate leaders together yesterday who will work together to soundly defeat Donald Trump and all others who are running for office yet are complicit with the Trump candidacy. The Democrats have an unprecedented opportunity to move the balance of power in their favor in November and for generations to come.

  186. i don't know whether HRC and President Obama are "friends" or "frenemies," but I like to believe it's the latter. In any case, Obama is doing the right thing, both politically and ethically, in supporting HRC. And not for the first time -- that's why people like him more.

  187. The choice we have to make in Nov. is between two visions for America; two sets of values for the country. Where HRC and DT have been in the past have not all been pristine paths, but what they stand for promises hope and competence in Hillary's case; xenophobia, chaos and incompetence in Donald's. That's the choice we have to make.

  188. Face it. Trump is the only reason to vote for Hillary. She lied about her husband's extramarital affairs. She lied about her ill-gotten gains from commodities trading. She lied about her secret email servers. She refuses to release transcripts of her multi-million dollar speeches. She's no better than a typical hack politician. But she's better than Trump. Period.

  189. Calling someone a liar is akin to calling them a murderer or rapist. A liar corrupts public dialog, even a small bore liar corrupts the dialog around himself among family, friends and fellow employees. Of course, Richard, you are utterly certain you are right, beyond any doubt.

    A lie is a specific thing. It is telling an untruth when the person speaking knows it to be untrue. Shading facts, what you call lying about the email servers, for example, is different. If any politician immediately admitted to what someone accuses them of, they would never hold office. The blunt truth does not always work well. There are too many people waiting to slam it against someone's head.

    I have no room in my life for liars and intentional deceivers, nor do I have room for those who certainty about the world exceeds their grasp of facts.

  190. It's lamentably ironic that at this point in time the only Democrat who The Donald could conceivably beat is Hillary Clinton while the only Republican that Hillary could likely beat is Donald Trump. Suddenly two terms of Barack Obama doesn't seem to be nearly enough and a third term, with Joe Biden in the Oval Office, would seem to constitute a grievously missed opportunity.

  191. Watching this unfold makes me sadder each day. I love my country and I do not take our freedoms or democracy for granted. Hillary is the clear choice albeit flawed but after the election I am convinced she would make me proud just as Pres. Obama has done these past 8 years. I never liked Trump...never watched "The Apprentice" and he just makes me cringe each and every day.
    The media need to challenge everything he says. Talk about lies and untruths.

  192. Obama has lost his legacy by a technical knockout - Hillary will win the election by default, then mismanage our economy even more. Trump goes back to Apprentice II and continues to make millions.

  193. This is anything but hard for Mr. Obama. He lives to be campaigning in a room full of admirers. Being a campaigner USED to lead to becoming a leader, but with him the second step never developed.

    Once he gets bored playing golf, making campaign speeches is the only thing he has likes to do. If only he would have tried talking to the other party, the last six years of his presidency would not have had to be wasted.
    But a public servant like him makes D.C. gridlock a very good thing.