Former President Barack Obama has been working behind the scenes and met with four top 2020 Democratic presidential candidates.
While he has not commented publicly on the field of candidates vying for the 2020 Democratic nomination, a new report from The New York Times states that Obama has been privately speaking with some of the leading contenders on how to defeat President Donald Trump.
The Times reports that Obama-era advisers have been holding “auditions” with presidential hopefuls like “Senators Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Amy Klobuchar, and Sherrod Brown” about how they are planning to run their 2020 campaigns.
The former president is apparently using his advisers to serve as third-party interviewers, meaning they meet with a candidate and then report back to Obama.
Obama reportedly plans to sit back and “let the primary unfold as a contest of ideas” before making any official endorsements.
As noted by The Daily Wire, that doesn’t mean Obama will stay on the sidelines during the Democratic primaries, which will kick off in a few months.
Like failed 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, Obama has been taking audiences with prospective nominees and giving them advice on how to handle a national campaign. So far, he’s believed to have spoken to Harris, Booker, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and some more unfamiliar potential candidates, like his former Attorney General, Eric Holder, who says he’s waiting until later in the process to decide whether to toss his hat into the ring.
Former Texas Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke admitted to Oprah, in his landmark interview with the daytime talk queen, that he’d pursued Obama’s advice in a sit down last year.
“During these informal conversations, usually at his office in Washington, Mr. Obama has offered a combination of supportive advice and sober warnings, cautioning candidates that running for president is a more punishing process than they could ever imagine, according to seven people who have spoken with him directly or were briefed in detail on the meetings,” the Times reports.
He’s mostly concerned, some sources told the Times, that candidates be ready and willing to “push back” on Donald Trump’s economic rhetoric, which Obama’s friends refer to as “bleak.” He’s still surprised, they say, that Trump won with a message of turning back the clock on Obama’s agenda, and doesn’t really understand how such an anti-Obama message resonated with Americans.
Obama’s current close aides admitted to the Times that the former president will speak to any 2020 Democratic contender who comes seeking his advice.
Wow, how arrogant!
While Obama certainly could help a candidate draw bigger crowds and get more attention on their campaigns, the former president is likely still reeling from his defeats in the 2019 midterm elections.
Obama campaigned with and fought hard for Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams and Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum — both of which suffered bitter defeats.