Obama: 'Stakes really are higher' in next election

  • In Business/Economy
  • 2018-09-07 16:40:28Z
  • By Juana Summers and Sara Burnett, Associated Press
The Latest: Obama to students: You cannot wait for a savior
The Latest: Obama to students: You cannot wait for a savior  

URBANA, Ill. (AP) -- Former President Barack Obama on Friday implored Americans to vote in the November midterm elections, saying the future of democracy in the U.S. is in the balance.

"Just a glance at recent headlines should tell you this moment really is different," Obama said as he accepted an ethics in government award at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. "The stakes really are higher. The consequences of any of us sitting on the sidelines are more dire."

The speech marked Obama's first steps into the political fray ahead of the fall campaign. While he has endorsed candidates and appeared at fundraising events, he has spent much of his post-presidency on the political sidelines. The speech was a preview of the argument that the former president is likely to make throughout the fall.

On Saturday, the former president will stump for House Democratic candidates from California at an event in Orange County, a conservative-leaning part of California where Republicans are at risk of losing several congressional seats.

Next week, Obama plans to campaign in Ohio for Richard Cordray, the Democratic nominee for governor, and Ohio Democrats.

Obama's campaign activity will continue through October and will include fundraising appearances, according to an Obama adviser. The adviser was not authorized to discuss Obama's thinking publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity. While the former president will be visible throughout the general election, the adviser said that Obama will not be a daily presence on the campaign trail.


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Keystone XL pipeline route would not harm environment: State Department
Keystone XL pipeline route would not harm environment: State Department
  • US
  • 2018-09-21 21:46:15Z

The U.S. State Department on Friday issued an environmental assessment of a revised route for the Keystone XL crude pipeline that concluded it would not harm water or wildlife, clearing a hurdle for the project that has been pending for a decade. "Prompt cleanup response would likely be capable of remediating the contaminated soils before the hazardous release reaches groundwater depth," the review said. Last month a federal judge in Montana had ordered the State Department to conduct the review of a revised route of the project to take into account new information relevant to a permit it issued for the pipeline last year.

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