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Obama at John McCain's funeral. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

President Obama, after mostly staying out of the spotlight since leaving office, plans to campaign in coming weeks in California, Illinois, Ohio and Pennsylvania — meaning there'll be a frequent fall contrast between Presidents 44 and 45.

What to watch for: Look for other travel and more endorsements. During a speech in Illinois on Friday, Obama will preview top themes for the campaign trail. These include the importance of turning out to vote at this particular moment, especially given that Dems are notorious for sitting out during midterms or when Obama isn’t on the ballot.

On Friday at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Obama will receive the Paul H. Douglas Award for Ethics in Government and deliver remarks on the state of our democracy.

  • Obama communications director Katie Hill said: "President Obama will offer new thoughts on this moment and what it requires from the American people."
  • "He will echo his call to reject the rising strain of authoritarian politics and policies."
  • "His post-presidency is the next chapter in the cause of his life — bringing people together to change the world for the better."

Obama will also headline a fundraiser in New York City this month for the National Democratic Redistricting Committee (NDRC), which is chaired by Eric Holder, his former attorney general.

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Go deeper

5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Sources say Beto plans Texas comeback in governor’s race

Former U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke speaks during the Georgetown to Austin March for Democracy rally on July 31, 2021, in Austin, Texas. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke is preparing to run for governor of Texas in 2022, with an announcement expected later this year, Texas political operatives tell Axios.

Why it matters: O'Rourke's entry would give Democrats a high-profile candidate with a national fundraising network to challenge Republican Gov. Greg Abbott — and give O’Rourke, a former three-term congressman from El Paso and 2020 presidential candidate and voting rights activist, a path to a political comeback.

Texas doctor says he performed an abortion in violation of state law

Pro-choice protesters march down Congress Avenue and back to the Texas state capitol in Austin, Texas, in July 2021. Photo: Erich Schlegel/Getty Images

A Texas doctor disclosed in an op-ed in the Washington Post on Saturday that he has performed an abortion in violation of the state's restrictive new abortion law, which effectively bans the procedure after six weeks.

Why it matters: Alan Braid's op-ed is a direct disclosure that will very likely result in legal action, thereby setting it up as a potential test case for how the abortion ban will be litigated, notes the New York Times.

Mike Allen, author of AM
6 hours ago - Technology

Axios interview: Facebook to try for more transparency

Nick Clegg last year. Photo: Matthew Sobocinski/USA Today via Reuters

Nick Clegg, Facebook's vice president of global affairs, tells me the company will try to provide more data to outside researchers to scrutinize the health of activity on Facebook and Instagram, following The Wall Street Journal's brutal look at internal documents.

Driving the news: Clegg didn't say that in his public response to the series. So I called him to push for what Facebook will actually do differently given the new dangers raised by The Journal.

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