At today’s White House press briefing, Josh Earnest seemingly put a final marker down for when they will start considering Hillary the nominee. It’s something Obama has been dying to do so he can wade in to this election all the way.
MARK KNOLLER: On the issue of fairness to Senator Sanders, would President Obama be inclined to endorse Hillary Clinton if Bernie Sanders did not drop out between tomorrow’s primaries and the convention?
JOSH EARNEST: Well look, at this point we’ll hold on the hypotheticals, and, you know, the President was clear, again, in answering this question to a voter in Oakland, or a citizen in Oakland I don’t know if that person was voting or not, but, uh, the President was pretty clear that once the voters in New Jersey and California have an opportunity to express their preference about who should represent the Democratic Party in a general election, then we may be in a position where we … have a much greater sense of what the outcome is likely to be. But you know, until then, we’ll wait another 48 hours to see how this plays out until we get too deep into the hypotheticals.
That’s not very ambiguous. They’re waiting for tomorrow, but that’s about it. After that, she’s the presumptive nominee (barring some kind of celestial event) and they can say so.
Mediaite puts it this way:
President Obama doesn’t have to come out and endorse Hillary Clinton in order to effectively end Bernie Sanders, he just has to acknowledge Hillary Clinton as the presumptive nominee. The White House may take a little time to ease Sanders into the bathwater, but it is a political impossibility that if Hillary Clinton clinches the number of delegates needed to secure the nomination, the White House would not strongly acknowledge that event. Failure to do so would badly undermine Hillary.
Add that to the fact that, as was only reported in the last hour, the President had a heart-to-heart call with Bernie on Sunday and it’s not hard to read the writing on the wall. Once President Obama and the White House begin to acknowledge Hillary as the nominee, it’s all over for Bernie.
You’ve got 48 hours, Bern. Give her hell until then. Because that would be hilarious.