Calls are being made for former President Barack Obama to become more active again in the Democratic Party.
A panel discussion on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" debated the issue Aug. 25.
"He has a reputation to rehabilitate," Noah Rothman, the editor of Commentary magazine, said of Obama, The Daily Caller reported. "He left the Democratic Party in tatters and he has to help reestablish that."
Rothman also dismissed any objections to Obama becoming directly involved in politics.
"The notion that the will of the voter would be disrespected in this sense is frankly something that Democrats would reject when Republicans felt the precise same way in 2009 and 2010," he added. "They felt like things were going off the rails, and somebody had to speak up about it."
Obama is reportedly reluctant to play a leading role in the 2018 mid-term election campaign, fearing that his presence could prevent the emergence of new leaders in the party.
But others disagree. The discussion gathered steam after Obama posted a tweet about the violence between white nationalists and counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, in mid-August. Featuring a quote from Nelson Mandela, it quickly became the most popular tweet in Twitter's history.
"Democrats badly need Barack Obama," Brad Bannon, a Democratic strategist, told The Hill. "He offers such a vivid contrast to Trump in behavior and temperament."
Former Democratic aide Brent Budowsky urged Obama to "play a far more aggressive role, starting today, to win back the House and Senate in 2018."
Obama's aides say he will campaign for Democrats in the fall, but added that a lot of his work will be done away from the public eye.
"Under Obama's eight years, Democrats lost power at every level of national and state government, and Obama should feel an urgent sense of duty, especially on fundraising, and act with the fierce urgency of now and not generic promises about the future," said Budowsky. "Obama should spend less time giving paid speeches and more time raising real money for Democrats."
Democratic strategist Christy Setzer pointed out there are good reasons for not having Obama become central to the party's campaign. She said that 2020 presidential hopefuls, Sens. Kamala Harris of California and Cory Booker of New Jersey, had to build up their profiles, meaning that "Obama has to remain in the shadows."
Setzer went on to note that "right now, we're still trying to figure out who the next leaders of the party are. Until that's more clear, Obama can't be as prominent."