Former President Barack Obama plans to stay out of the Democratic primary, but he will be working at the convention to unite the party.
The truth of Obama’s silence on the 2020 primary is that it’s not just about his obvious wish to stay out of the spotlight, but it also reflects a choreographed strategy. With the race looking more and more likely to grow bitter and messy, and maybe even wind up in a contested convention, the former president and those around him are increasingly sure he will need to play a prominent role in bringing the party back together and calming its tensions later this summer, including perhaps in Milwaukee, where the party’s meeting is scheduled to be held in July.
Anyway, Obama’s team has made clear to Sanders’ inner circle that the former president has no intention of getting involved in the primary. And people from both camps who are familiar with the discussions say the pair has also spoken directly during this election cycle.
Anybody who claims that Obama will intervene to stop Bernie Sanders from being the nominee is lying.
While the candidates themselves have taken steps to make sure that 2020 isn’t as divisive as 2016, there are certain to be hurt feelings and splits, especially since it looks more and more likely that no candidate is going to clinch the nomination before the convention.
Moderates are under increasing pressure to consolidate and pick their candidate, just as the Biden campaign is showing real signs of an upswing in Nevada. A Biden revival could scramble the process even more.
Obama isn’t going to split the Democratic Party, and give Trump an opponent, by wading into the middle of the primary. Democratic voters will have to sort this out for themselves, but Barack Obama will be there to make sure that everyone is one the same page and ready for Trump in November.
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Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association