Obama says he mostly watches sports in this 'cynical time'

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Former President Obama said Sunday that he tends to avoid consuming media about politics amidst the testy 2024 election, telling a group of social media influencers that we live in a “cynical time.”

Obama spoke at a Biden campaign fundraiser with the president on Saturday in Los Angeles, telling a select group of TikTok and Instagram creators that he understands the challenge they face avoiding politics in their work.

“We live in a cynical time,” Obama said. “Let’s face it: I think a lot of the people who watch you, listen to you, who are fans of you — a lot of times they feel turned off by the political discourse.”

“I get it,” he continued. “You know, I frankly watch sports, mostly. Because it feels like everything is slash and burn.”

Obama went on to pitch the mostly young, progressive content creators on the 81-year-old Biden.

Young people have generally been skeptical of Biden due to concerns over his age and disagreements on policy, chiefly his response to the Israel-Hamas war.

“Joe Biden, you may not agree with everything he does,” Obama said. “By the way, you didn’t agree with everything I did. And that’s OK. Because in a big, messy, complicated country like this, there are going to be disagreements.”

“But Joe Biden’s basic trajectory — what he believes in his core,” he continued. “Nine times out of 10, he’s going to make decisions that accord with your core beliefs.”

The Biden campaign has struggled to attract young people and court progressives, key demographics in swing states and the closest 2024 races. That includes young content creators, who can use their platform to drive voter turnout.

Obama encouraged the creators to look past their differences, however, and find common ground. He also urged them to use their platforms to boost the president.

“I need you guys to use your influence, and it doesn’t have to be boring. I don’t expect you to have a bunch of charts and graphs,” Obama said. “I understand folks are swiping or scrolling, and you’ve got to use humor and you’ve got to use other things that are engaging people.”

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