Has Obama Been Meddling in the 2020 Democratic Primaries?

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Posted: Mar 06, 2020 12:45 AM
Has Obama Been Meddling in the 2020 Democratic Primaries?

Source: AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

Former President Barack Obama is keeping a low-profile. He’s not working to screw over Bernie Sanders. He’s not really following the race. He doesn’t talk about politics all that much—but now he’s closely keeping tabs. Whatever the case, Obama’s confidants have done well in muddying the waters as to what the popular Democrat in recent memory has been up to in his post-White House life. Sort of. Perhaps, we probably should have known that Obama was glued to this race. He is after all probably irritated like no other that Donald Trump is pretty much undoing all that he did in eight years in just three. He wants to beat Trump. He’s too smart, too engaged, and too in the thick of all of this to just not care. 

Reportedly, he recently told Sanders’ inner circle that he’s not out to derail his candidacy after stories of him possible intervening if it looked like the Vermont leftist was running away with the nomination. Sanders and Obama have had a rocky relationship, with the former mulling a primary challenge to Obama in 2012. It was a move that spurred then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) to intervene and put the kibosh on Bernie’s attempted plot to take out Obama.

Whatever the case, Sen. Amy Klobuchar is out. Former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg is out. And now, former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg is out. The establishment wing of the Democratic Party has their guy: Joe Biden. And on Super Tuesday, the bumbling, gaffe-prone former VP delivered punishment to his opponents, specifically Bernie Sanders. Biden, who was on life support, is now the frontrunner. He’s leading in the delegate count due to his domination in the South, where black Democrats flocked to his banner. In Texas and Virginia, two delegate heavy states, it was the same deal. Black voters broke heavily for him. In Virginia, Biden nabbed 52 percent of the late decider vote. Bernie has done well with Latinos, but in Texas, the black vote and the suburbs led to Biden clinching an upset win in the Lone Star state. Bernie clinched wins in the West, but as Nate Cohn of The New York Times noted, as this contest moves East—it’s Joe Biden territory. So, that slight delegate lead Joe enjoys could quickly increase, becoming another instance where the crusty lefty is faced with an opponent with an insurmountable lead. 

So, did Obama force his hand behind the scenes? Where’s “Obama’s hand”? He did call make calls to Pete Buttigieg and Biden. Do we have some meddling going on (via NBC News):

As Democrats begin to coalesce around Joe Biden as the moderate alternative to Bernie Sanders, there appears to be a quiet hand behind the rapid movement: former President Barack Obama.

Obama spoke with his former vice president after he handily won the South Carolina primary on Saturday, and with Pete Buttigieg on Sunday when he dropped out of the Democratic race, according to people familiar with the calls.

Buttigieg will travel from South Bend, Indiana to Dallas Monday and endorse Biden, multiple people familiar with the plan tell NBC News

People close to Obama said the former president has been keeping close tabs on the race. They said the signal has been sent in the past 36 hours that he sees Biden as the candidate to back, and they don’t need Obama to say it publicly or privately.

The timing is just too perfect to avoid the allegations of collusion. It may or may not be his intent, but the aim is the same: stop Bernie. It’s typical politicking, with the ‘I’m not going to screw you over,’ and then doing just that. And when Amy gets out there and says that’s not what’s happening…you know what’s really up. Also, you think the fanatical Bernie bros will think any differently about what has transpired before Super Tuesday? Of course, they see this as an establishment chess move to kill Sanders’ 2020 hopes. Even if that isn’t the case, which I doubt, perception is what wins out here. Hey, if this means a solid chunk of the Bernie vote either sit out or votes for Trump again—so be it. Thanks, Obama!