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President Obama Clears Calendar to Campaign in October

A New York Times article confirmed that President Obama plans to devote much of October 2016 to Hillary Clinton campaign activities, but not to the extent of ignoring significant events.

Published Aug 26, 2016

 (Michael Candelori / Shutterstock.com)
Image Via Michael Candelori / Shutterstock.com

In late July 2016, multiple web sites published items reporting (and criticizing) that President Obama "cleared his calendar" in order to join Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail:

Barack Obama will take October off from work to campaign the entire month for Hillary Clinton.

Because things are going so well under his leadership…

With ISIS on the march and the economy in turmoil Obama will take the month of October off.

Unreal.

Such reports widely framed the calendar clearing issue as demonstrating a dereliction of duty on the president's part, with most of them citing a 27 July 2016 New York Times article ("Threat to Legacy Gives Obama Powerful Motive to Stump for Hillary Clinton"). That article pitched President Obama's Clinton campaign-related plans as an effort to ensure that the policies and initiatives achieved by his administration didn't get "reversed" under a Trump presidency:

Nobody knows better than President Obama how easy it would be for Donald J. Trump to reverse the policies of the past eight years if he defeats Hillary Clinton this fall.

Mr. Obama knows because he did it himself.

In the weeks after Mr. Obama won the White House in 2008, the president-elect met with his top legal advisers, political strategists and cabinet nominees to map out an aggressive plan to unwind the George W. Bush presidency. They prepared more than three dozen executive orders for the first year.

In the days immediately after he took office, Mr. Obama ended the use of torture, lifted Mr. Bush’s ban on stem-cell research, relaxed enforcement of marijuana laws, blocked oil and gas leases on public lands, ordered the closing of the American prison at Guantánamo Bay within a year, scrapped oil-shale development in the West, reversed restrictions on union organizing, overturned bans on the use of affirmative action by colleges and approved stricter emissions rules.

Eight years later, as Mr. Obama and the veterans of his administration gear up to help Mrs. Clinton get elected in November, there is no better motivation for them than the prospect of a President Trump ordering a similar reversal.

Driven by those fears, the president plans to campaign aggressively for Mrs. Clinton this fall. Aides have largely cleared his calendar in October, and barring new crises, the White House expects Mr. Obama to be on the campaign trail almost daily leading up to Election Day.

As the Times pointed out, President Obama's aides "largely" allocated the month of October 2016 for activities related to campaigning for the Democratic candidate. But they also included a stipulation that the calendar clearing was "barring new crises," indicating campaign events wouldn't be prioritized over major presidential duties or obligations.

Kim LaCapria is a former writer for Snopes.

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