Nov 7, 2018

Obama praises Democrats for taking back the House: "It is a start"

Photo: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

Former President Barack Obama released a statement Wednesday congratulating Americans who participated in yesterday's midterm elections, adding that Democrats' success in taking the House could signal "a return to the values we expect in our public life."

The backdrop: Obama engaged in a sort of proxy war against President Trump in the midterms' final sprint, holding multiple rallies across multiple states in the campaign's final days. His closing message often focused on the foundation that his administration laid for Trump's: "Right now, Republicans are all: 'Look, the economy is so good.' Where do you think that started? When did that start?"

Read Obama's full statement:

"I congratulate everybody who showed up and participated in our democracy yesterday. Obviously, the Democrats’ success in flipping the House of Representatives, several governorships, and state legislatures will get the most attention. But even more important than what we won is how we won: by competing in places we haven’t been competitive in a long time, and by electing record numbers of women and young veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, a surge of minority candidates, and a host of outstanding young leaders. The more Americans who vote, the more our elected leaders look like America.

On a personal note, Michelle and I couldn’t be prouder of the alumni of my administration who took the baton and won their races last night. Even the young candidates across the country who fell short have infused new energy and new blood into our democratic process, and America will be better off for it for a long time to come.

I also want to congratulate voters across the country for turning out in record numbers, and for voting for several ballot initiatives that will improve the lives of the American people – like raising the minimum wage, expanding Medicaid, and strengthening voting rights.

Our work goes on. The change we need won’t come from one election alone – but it is a start. Last night, voters across the country started it. And I’m hopeful that going forward, we’ll begin a return to the values we expect in our public life – honesty, decency, compromise, and standing up for one another as Americans, not separated by our differences, but bound together by one common creed."

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