Former President Barack Obama has not made any public statements yet about his choice for the 2020 Democratic presidential nominee, but a new report says that in private, Obama is opening doors for Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.
A report in The Hill indicates Obama is helping Warren connect with donors and urging those who may have mixed feelings to fully support her if she is the party’s nominee. The report relies upon sources who are not named.
“He’s asked all of the candidates who have sought his advice three questions: Is your family behind you? Why you? And why now? She checked the box for all,” said a source The Hill called “one longtime Obama ally.”
“I think he feels licensed to give an opinion on her because he’s ‘hired’ her,” The Hill quoted that source as saying.
In 2010, Obama selected Warren as an assistant to the president and special adviser to the secretary of the Treasury, where she helped set up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Another source The Hill did not name said Obama considers Warren “very smart.”
“He thinks her policy ideas matter. And I think he sees her running the campaign with the most depth,” a source labeled “one Democratic donor” said.
Obama, the source said, “appreciates her intellect and is impressed by the campaign she’s run.”
“If anything, she has the most substantive achievements from his time in the White House,” another source called “one former Obama aide” said. “And he’s someone who can talk at length about her accolades.”
The Hill report said Obama “has stopped short of an endorsement of Warren in these conversations and has emphasized that he is not endorsing in the Democratic primary race.”
Obama has connections to several other candidates, most notably his former vice president, Joe Biden. Julián Castro was the secretary of housing and urban development in the Obama administration. Longshot candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick is a longtime Obama confidante.
Recently, about 200 former Obama aides indicated their support for Warren.
The former president made remarks last week in Singapore about male politicians that caught the attention of those reading political tea leaves.
“Now women, I just want you to know — you are not perfect, but what I can say pretty indisputably is that you’re better than us,” he said, according to the BBC.
“I’m absolutely confident that for two years if every nation on earth was run by women, you would see a significant improvement across the board on just about everything … living standards and outcomes,” he said.
Obama, when asked about a return to politics, disparaged political leaders who stay too long.
“If you look at the world and look at the problems, it’s usually old people, usually old men, not getting out of the way,” he said.
“It is important for political leaders to try and remind themselves that you are there to do a job, but you are not there for life, you are not there in order to prop up your own sense of self-importance or your own power,” Obama said.
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