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Could Obama’s Memoir Influence The 2020 Presidential Election?

Former President Barack Obama’s memoir will not be ready in time for release by the end of this year — which means it could have influence over the presidential selection process in 2020.

BERLIN, GERMANY – APRIL 06: Former U.S. President Barack Obama speaks to young leaders from across Europe in a Town Hall-styled session on April 06, 2019 in Berlin, Germany. Obama spoke to several hundred young people from European government, civil society and the private sector about the nitty gritty of achieving positive change in government and society. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

The publisher for Obama’s impending memoir, Penguin House, alerted its foreign partners about the status of the book earlier this week. Obama’s process for penning his memoir, which he’s writing himself, is a long one — the former president is writing out the first draft by hand on legal pads, USA Today reported.

There could be consequences from the delay. Obama has said he doesn’t plan to endorse any candidate for the Democratic primaries, according to reporting from People. But the timing of the release of his memoir could give some candidates advantages over others.

If he hands out glowing praise to Joe Biden in particular within his book, for example, that could give his former vice president an edge over other competitors in the primary contests. On the other hand, if he has some criticisms to share about Biden, that could have the opposite effect.

Obama’s memoir could, on the other hand, help whoever the eventual nominee is as well. The memoir might be delayed even longer, to a time that’s beyond when the nomination has been secured by one of the many Democratic candidates running for president. After that, Obama’s memoir may help propel Democratic policies during the general election battle — and thus, aid the Dem nominee or hurt Republican incumbent President Donald Trump.

Obama’s influence either way could definitely be a factor. The former Democratic president had double-digit net-positive favorability ratings in several polls as he was leaving office. In more recent polling, voters who chose Obama in previous years but switched to Trump in 2016 are beginning to waver, as some are now preferring a different candidate than voting for Trump again in 2020.

Whenever it’s released, Obama’s memoir is sure to be very popular. Former First Lady Michelle Obama’s memoir “Becoming” was an international success, one of the most popular political memoirs of all time, selling more than 10 million copies.



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