Sep 7, 2018

Obama says "democracy depends" on voting in 2018 midterms

Photo: Aurelien Morissard/IP3 via Getty Images

Former President Barack Obama made his official pitch to voters today ahead of the 2018 midterm elections: "You need to vote because our democracy depends on it," he said at a speech at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Why it matters: Democrats hope Obama is their secret weapon to really push Americans to turn out in November. And it could work — his post-presidential approval rating is 63%, per Gallup.

One big thing: Obama mentioned President Trump. "It did not start with Donald Trump," he said. "He is a symptom, not the cause" for what's going on in American politics.

  • Obama will be in California on Saturday and Ohio next Thursday as he hits the campaign trail.

Be smart: Obama's message could be most successful for Democratic voters looking to embrace activism in the final two months of the election, but it could also remind those Obama-Trump voters what they liked about politics before President Trump ran for office.

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Fed temporarily lifts Wells Fargo's growth restrictions

Photo: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The Federal Reserve said Wednesday it will temporarily lift Wells Fargo’s growth restrictions, which were put in place following the bank’s customer abuse scandals.

Why it matters: The Fed’s only reason for lifting the cap is so Wells Fargo can dole out more loans to struggling small businesses as part of the government’s coronavirus aid package. Earlier this week, the bank said it could only lend a total of $10 billion, thanks to Fed restrictions that it can’t grow its assets beyond $1.95 trillion.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12 p.m. ET: 1,450,343 — Total deaths: 83,568 — Total recoveries: 308,617Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12 p.m. ET: 399,979 — Total deaths: 12,912 — Total recoveries: 22,539Map.
  3. Business updates: Roughly one-third of U.S. apartment renters didn't make April payments.
  4. Federal government latest: The U.S. has begun to see "glimmers of hope" despite its highest recorded number of deaths in 24 hours, Anthony Fauci said.
  5. Public health latest: Surgeon General Jerome Adams highlighted the disproportionate impact the illness is having on African-American communities.
  6. World latest: Indians look to Taiwan amid China's coronavirus missteps
  7. 🚌 Public transit: Systems across the country are experiencing ridership collapse, squeezed funding streams and slow recovery from the pandemic.
  8. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Bernie Sanders suspends presidential campaign

Photo: ANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Bernie Sanders announced Wednesday that he is suspending his presidential campaign.

The big picture: It's an end to the campaign of the leading progressive in the race — and the candidate who seemed to be the clear front-runner for the Democratic nomination just a few months ago. It also makes Biden the presumptive Democratic nominee four months before the party's convention in Milwaukee.