MIAMI—The rally began with a rabbi, priest, and imam joining together to pray for the victims of last week’s shootings and for the targets of the mail bombs. Then each, in turn, ended their prayers with the words to bring it home.
Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez knew who was best suited for that: “Bring in the closer,” he said as the rally began.
After everyone looking for votes in a 50-mile radius had spoken here on Friday afternoon, Barack Obama walked out onstage, joked for a moment about good weather and Cuban sandwiches, and delivered a roaring final argument for Democrats heading into the weekend before the midterms: He spoke of “hope over hate,” and advised those in attendance to “cut through noise” and “block out the lies.”
When Republicans say they will protect preexisting conditions, a signature provision of the Affordable Care Act, Obama said they have “some kind of gall, some kind of chutzpah.”
“It’s a lie,” he said. “They’re lying to you.”
Democrats will have a dozen or more candidates running for president by the end of the year. But they still clearly want Obama to lead them. Enthusiasm for the 44th president hasn’t been this high since 2008, and his style is evident in the party’s breakout candidates of 2018: Andrew Gillum here in Florida, Beto O’Rourke in Texas, and Stacey Abrams in Georgia, all of whom are running optimistic campaigns rooted in broadening their electorate.