Politico took a deep dive into the mind of Barack Obama vis a vis the Democratic candidates and the election.
Many Democratic have made the trek to visit with Obama, doubtless hoping to get some of his supporters or learn something re: getting elected. But it’s also allowed Obama to get a sense of the candidates and decide who he thinks can beat President Donald Trump, Obama’s main goal.
Among the interesting tidbits Politico dropped was what Barack Obama thought of his former Vice President Joe Biden and whether he was supportive of his run for president.
Many have naturally wondered why Obama hasn’t come out and endorsed Biden, obviously thinking he must have concerns.
This story will likely stoke that thought even more.
Sometimes he offers candid advice about his visitors’ strengths and weaknesses. With several lesser-known candidates, according to people who have talked to him or been briefed on his meetings, he was blunt about the challenges of breaking out of a large field. His advice is not always heeded. He told Patrick earlier this year that it was likely “too late” for him to secure “money and talent” if he jumped in the race. Occasionally, he can be cutting. With one candidate, he pointed out that during his own 2008 campaign, he had an intimate bond with the electorate, especially in Iowa, that he no longer has. Then he added, “And you know who really doesn’t have it? Joe Biden.”
Oof. Pretty sad since Joe Biden’s whole run is pretty much based on “I was Barack Obama’s VP.”
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) June 9, 2019
According to the Daily Wire, Obama even urged Biden not to run.
The New York Times also reported that Obama quietly urged Biden not to run. “The two men spoke at least a half dozen times before Mr. Biden decided to run, and Mr. Obama took pains to cast his doubts about the campaign in personal terms,” The Times wrote in a piece headlined “Obama’s and Biden’s Relationship Looks Rosy. It Wasn’t Always That Simple.”
“‘You don’t have to do this, Joe, you really don’t,’ Mr. Obama told Mr. Biden earlier this year, according to a person familiar with the exchange.”
Remember, too, that Obama supported Hillary Clinton in 2016, which basically blocked out Biden.
Which of course begs all kinds of questions about Biden.
According to Politico, Biden’s run has now also effectively blocked out Obama’s “wingman” former Attorney General Eric Holder, who had wanted to run, but knows he and Biden are pulling from the same block of support.
Another Politico tidbit suggested that Obama would step in to speak out if it looked like Sen. Bernie Sanders were to emerge as the possible nominee in the race. Not clear what that would mean or how he could stop it if that were true. But it plays again into the continuing division in the Democratic Party. Obama’s people are saying that he has previously said he will support whoever the eventual nominee is.
But he’s looking for the person he thinks can beat Trump and that’s his focus.
Politico noted how Obama was peeved that Trump was critical of him. According to Kevin Lewis, Obama’s first post-presidential press secretary, “He wanted to be a resource.” “What we didn’t expect at the level that it was done were the attacks,” Lewis said.
That takes some gall. Democrats have done everything they can do destroy Trump, from the funding and the spread of the Russian disinformation dossier to media and the FBI, to the constant attack and effort to impeach. Obama’s disturbed he’s not treated as a resource? Perhaps had Democrats not thrown out all norms, he might have been. At least as an example of what not to do on virtually any policy position.