What We Know: Probing Obama's thinking on his successor

AP News
Posted: Jan 25, 2016 5:44 PM

One week out from the leadoff Iowa caucuses, President Barack Obama is giving voters a peak into his thinking about the Democrats vying to succeed him.

Key takeaways from the president's recent comments about Clinton and rival Bernie Sanders.

—Obama hasn't endorsed anyone in the Democratic presidential race, but his latest comments have to have Hillary Clinton smiling.

—The president told Politico that Clinton is "wicked smart," ''extraordinarily experienced" and a progressive pragmatist.

—Obama said Clinton "can start here, day one, more experienced than any non-vice president has ever been who aspires to this office."

—He said Democrats who are frustrated with the status quo see Sanders as a "bright shiny object."

—Obama suggested Sanders is a one-issue candidate who needs to broaden his scope. Presidents "don't have the luxury of focusing on one thing," he said.

—The president rejected the idea that Sanders' campaign is comparable to his own 2008 battle against Clinton, saying, "No, I don't think that's true."

—Obama did praise Sanders' skills as a legislator and his blunt speaking style.