Barack Obama’s uneasy role in the 2020 primaries
Last week, at a meeting of Democratic donors, Obama offered what sounded like a criticism of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. “This is still a country that is less revolutionary than it is interested in improvement,” he said. “They like seeing things improved. But the average American doesn’t think that we have to completely tear down the system and remake it.”
“Everybody needs to chill out about the candidates but gin up about the prospect of rallying behind whoever emerges from this process,” Obama said in response to a question about the primary, according to CNN. “The field will narrow, and there’s going to be one person, and if that is not your perfect candidate and there are certain aspects of what they say that you don’t agree with and you don’t find them completely inspiring the way you’d like, I don’t care,” Obama said Thursday. “Because the choice is so stark and the stakes are so high that you cannot afford to be ambivalent in this race.”
Obama has refused to endorse a candidate in the primaries, no doubt to the consternation of Joe Biden, who would love nothing more than to have his former boss’ imprimatur. But this seems like the appropriate role at this stage of the process for the party’s most beloved figure: to encourage unity without weighing in to the conflicts gripping the party as the primaries proceed.
Although every candidate is unique and they all will express their admiration for Obama, it ...
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