Global Citizen is a community of people like you

People who want to learn about and take action on the world’s biggest challenges. Extreme poverty ends with you.

Citizenship

President Barack Obama, Comedian-in-Chief, Wants You to Vote Early

As a public figure, President Barack Obama has been one-half social media star, one-half stand-up comedian. Over the course of his presidency, he’s appeared on real talk shows, fake talk shows, played basketball with CBS commentators, and literally dropped the mic on multiple occasions. 

Obama’s use of video and social media has fed into a fun-loving and approachable public image that he’s now using to encourage young people to vote.

Why Is Voting Important? Learn More With Global Citizen

Global Citizen Voting Hub

His most recent get out the vote video was produced by the Hillary Clinton campaign. A fun way to encourage voters to cast their ballots early, the video pokes fun at Obama’s notorious and perpetual lateness. 

“You know how you beat LeBron James in one-on-one?” Obama asks rhetorically. “Get there 45 minutes early. Then it’s one-on-none.”   

The video has hit a chord — it’s been viewed more than 8 million times on Facebook in under 24 hours.

The president also made a point to vote early in his home state of Illinois when he was in Chicago on Oct. 7.

Read more: Obama Casts an Early Vote — Here's How You Can, Too!

Obama has really stepped up efforts to promote voting. Last night, hours after the release of the video on Clinton’s site, he made a surprise appearance on Stephen Colbert’s Late Show.

In the video, which spoofs a job interview between a mustachioed Colbert and a confused Obama, the outgoing president reaches out to millennial voters.

“I tell them straight-up that this is the most important election of their lifetimes, that they have the opportunity to make history, and that the results in November could change their lives forever, so they have to get out there and vote,” Obama says, moments before donning a Snapchat-inspired flower crown.   

Obama’s get-out-the-vote campaign started as early as June, with a  Buzzfeed video, 5 Things That Are Harder Than Registering to Vote, in which he displays an almost encyclopedic knowledge of the popular TV series Game of Thrones and also weaves a friendship bracelet for Joe Biden. That video has now been viewed over 2 million times on Youtube.

In September, Obama addressed the Congressional Black Caucus, saying it would be a “personal insult” to him if black voters didn’t show up to the polls this year. 

Read more: Why National Voter Registration Day Is So Incredibly Important

A little more than a week ago, Obama himself cast an early vote. He is not alone, as experts predict that roughly one in three voters will cast their ballot before November 8, either in-person or absentee.

As Obama has demonstrated, getting out the vote is easy. Make sure you #ShowUp to vote!


Voting is a basic democratic right, and it’s important to make sure you’re ready to go to the polls when voting opens in your state. If you’re not registered, you can register here . And if you have friends who aren’t, share the word with them. Learn your state’s laws and get registered — every vote counts.