Former President Obama announced Thursday that his political operation, Organizing for America, would be joining forces with the group run by his former attorney general, Eric H. Holder Jr., in a striking pre-2020 partnership.
The two men announced the decision in emails to their respective supporters, saying it means Mr. Holder’s National Democratic Redistricting Committee will now have access to Mr. Obama’s powerful grassroots network.
The pair didn’t say anything about the 2020 presidential race, which Mr. Holder has suggested he’s eyeing, but the new closer ties to Mr. Obama’s operation is bound to be viewed through the lens of the Democratic primary.
Mr. Obama had already been a major booster of Mr. Holder’s group, which works to roll back Republican-drawn state congressional maps. Democrats believe much of the GOP’s success in House races earlier this decade was due to controlling the redistricting process in big states such as Pennsylvania, Florida and Michigan.
“I couldn’t be prouder to have the OFA grassroots family join ours and welcome even more dedicated, idealistic Americans to our mission and to the belief that our country works best when everyone’s vote counts and our elections are a battle of ideas — not who draws the lines,” Mr. Holder said.
In addition to Mr. Holder, a number of other members of the old Obama team are looking at a 2020 run.
Vice President Joseph R. Biden tops the list, but former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro has announced an exploratory committee, and his two former Secretaries of State Hillary Clinton and John Kerry haven’t firmly ruled out return bids.