Former President of the United States Barack Obama has, over the last couple of months, met with Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Deval Patrick, Joe Biden, and at least five other potential Democratic presidential candidates, Politico reveals.
For a few months, rumors about the DNC already preparing for the 2020 presidential run have been circulating. As US News noted in February, at least three Democratic senators have started prepping and silently campaigning for the 2020 presidential race.
According to multiple Politico sources briefed on the secretive sit-downs, former president Barack Obama has re-entered the picture, or rather, has never left it. A stream of ambitious politicians has passed through Obama’s personal office on the third floor of the World Wildlife Fund building in D.C.’s West End neighborhood, seeking guidance from the man who has remained an influential shadow figure in the Democratic Party.
According to multiple individuals familiar with the matter, Obama is — although he has publicly criticized Donald Trump on a few occasions — more concerned about his own party than he is about the POTUS and the Republicans. Obama plans on playing a key role in the Democratic Party which, he reportedly thinks, needs to position itself ahead of 2018 midterms, short-term, and the 2020 presidential election, long-term.
In February this year, the Chicago Tribune wrote that Joe Biden had been “tiptoeing toward a potential run in 2020,” and Politico‘s sources have confirmed that the former vice president has been leaning toward a 2020 run, although he plans on waiting until midterms to decide whether he’ll run or not. Biden and Obama have reportedly met in Obama’s office in January, and remain personally close.
In March this year, Obama met with junior United States Senator from Vermont and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders to discuss the future of the Democratic Party, without getting into specifics regarding Sanders’ potential 2020 run. The two men, Politico‘s sources said, discussed the differences between idealism and practicality, in the context of the DNC’s future.
Obama’s meeting with senior United States Senator from Massachusetts Elizabeth Warren was reportedly one of former president’s first post-presidency meetings. Troubled about the money Obama was getting to speak at a Wall Street investment firm, Warren voiced her concerns to the former president, and the two met twice: in April this year and in spring 2017.
Deval Patrick, Barack Obama’s long-time personal friend and former Massachusetts governor, has also been eyeing the 2020 presidential race. Deval, too, has met with Obama according to individuals familiar with the matter, and “the president was generous with his time and advice, and he was excited to talk about the future,” one of Politico‘s sources said.
Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, Terry McAuliffe, and Cory Booker have all reportedly met with the former POTUS who has, Politico notes, continued subtly campaigning, seeking donations, working, and reshaping the Democratic Party from within, piecing together the 2020 election puzzle.