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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

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Joe Biden was sworn in today as America's 46th president in an inauguration unlike any other in modern history.

Axios Re:Cap goes deeper into the speech, the atmosphere and what it all tells us about the incoming administration, with Axios political reporters Hans Nichols and Alexi McCammond.

Biden embarks on a consequential presidency

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Donald Trump tried everything to delegitimize the rival who vanquished him. In reality, he's set Joe Biden on course to be a far more consequential U.S. president than he might otherwise have become.

The big picture: President Biden now confronts not just a pandemic, but massive political divisions and an assault on truth — and the aftermath of the assault on the Capitol two weeks ago that threatened democracy itself.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

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U.S. Capitol and stage are lit at sunrise ahead of the inauguration of Joe Biden. Photo: Patrick Semansky - Pool/Getty Images

President Biden has delivered his inaugural address at the Capitol, calling for an end to the politics as total war but warning that "we have far to go" to heal the country.

What's next: Representatives from all branches of the military escort the 46th president to the White House.

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