Democrats have recruited Barack Obama to help turn out the youth vote for next week’s midterm elections, which are expected to be a political bloodbath for the left.
The popular former president appeared on TikTok of all places, in a 38-second clip for a series called Under The Desk News hosted by influencer Vitus Spehar, encouraging viewers to go to the ballot box on or before November 8.
He’s just the latest high-profile Democrat attempting to use the trendy social media platform to connect with Gen Z voters. And like with most generational divides, the finished product was just a touch awkward.
The clip begins with Spehar, known as V, under a desk about to discuss the news, when Obama walks in and asks, ‘What are you doing under my desk?’
‘Here’s the thing,’ he begins, waving off V’s explanation in a somewhat forced comedic exchange before the tone shifted with Obama’s main message.
‘You can stay for now, but when it comes time for voting, you’re going to have to get up,’ the former president said.
‘Because you’ve got climate change legislation on the ballot, you’ve got gun safety, and if we can elect more pro-choice members of Congress, we can reinstitute Roe v. Wade as the law of the land.
‘So, you can’t stay here, you’re going to have to take a little bit of time to vote.’
In the short video, Barack Obama tells Gen Z voters to get to the ballot box, warning that climate change, abortion rights and gun safety are on the line
In 2008 I voted the way my Dad did, I’m grateful for the work President Obama did to secure marriage equality and will be voting this term to protect these hard earned rights. #creatorsforgood #vote #iwillvote
The host asks, ‘Is now a bad time to say that I voted for [late Senator John McCain] in 2008?’
‘Eh, as long as you voted, it’s okay,’ Obama replies.
Just days ago on October 28, the Democratic leader invoked TikTok when trying to appeal to young voters at a rally in Georgia.
Those comments, too, were filled with somewhat awkwardly placed references to language used by teens and young adults.
‘If you’re frustrated right now, don’t complain, don’t tune out. Don’t get bamboozled and fall for the okey-doke – that nothing you say matters,’ Obama said to the packed audience.
‘Put down your phone and give TikTok a rest, and vote!’
It’s all part of Democrats’ bid to use TikTok as a means to reach the next generation of voters.
Late last month, eight TikTok stars with a combined following of nearly 70 million users spent a day in Washington, DC where they met with President Joe Biden at the White House.
Their packed schedule, put together by the Democratic National Committee, also included a meeting with Obama, other liberal leaders as well as tours of the US Capitol and the Supreme Court.
They also met with House Democrats’ elections arm, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, according to the Washington Post.
Meanwhile, Republicans have raised alarm bells about the social media giant’s ties to China’s increasingly authoritarian and globally hostile government.
Donald Trump, while in office, unsuccessfully tried to get TikTok shut down.
GOP lawmakers and even some Democrats have accused China-based tech company ByteDance, TikTok’s owners, of using the app to track Americans and harvest their data.
A bombshell report by Buzzfeed in June suggested that US user data was accessed on multiple occasions in China between September 2021 and January of this year.
The company has publicly denied the claims, maintaining that it stores American users’ data in Virginia with a backup in Singapore.
Democrat Senator Mark Warner and Florida GOP Senator Marco Rubio called on the Federal Trade Commission to investigate TikTok earlier this year.
‘TikTok, their parent company ByteDance, and other China-based tech companies are required by Chinese law to share their information with the Communist party,’ Warner said at the time.
‘Allowing access to American data, down to biometrics such as face prints and voiceprints, poses a great risk to not only individual privacy but to national security.
Published by Associated Newspapers Ltd
Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday & Metro Media Group