In late November, news broke that former President Barack Obama is telling those close to him that he would be willing to intervene in the Democratic primary in order to stop Vermont Independent Bernie Sanders from winning the nomination. Opposed to the senator and his agenda, Obama reportedly told advisers that he would “speak up” if Sanders were “running away with the nomination.”
While it may be too early to tell which of the White House hopefuls is “running away with the nomination,” Sanders seems to be among the best-positioned candidates to do so, having surged in the polls in key early states and raised more money than anyone else in the race. According to a new report from The Daily Beast, Obama’s allies have taken note of the senator’s rise.
According to the report, those in the Obama-sphere “hate” Sanders, but have “no idea” how to stop him from winning the nomination. Multiple allies of the former president spoke with the publication, airing their grievances and discussing Sanders’ chances of becoming the Democratic nominee.
Statements from a former senior Obama campaign staffer indicate that the former president’s people hold a grudge against Sanders and members of his campaign.
“If you read between the lines of what the Sanders folks are saying about the rationale of his candidacy, it is based on their belief that Barack Obama was not progressive,” the staffer said, accusing the Vermont senator’s campaign of undermining Obama.
Another person close to Obama dismissed Sanders, saying that he would not stand a chance against President Donald Trump.
“The strongest argument against Bernie will be showing that you can defeat Donald Trump. And he cannot,” they said.
Polls suggest otherwise. In fact, almost every single head-to-head matchup poll listed on RealClearPolitics suggests that Sanders would beat Trump.
Today, I am very proud to share with you some extraordinary news: our campaign has received more than 5 million individual contributions — that is more contributions than any campaign has received at this point in a presidential election in the history of our country. pic.twitter.com/XsRHaVEEpT
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) January 1, 2020
Neera Tanden, who served as the policy director for the Obama-Biden presidential campaign, dismissed Sanders’ fundraising prowess.
“Money is important but doesn’t always translate to votes,” Tanden said.
Sanders has shunned donations from super PACs and billionaires, remaining the only candidate in the race to rely exclusively on grassroots support. In the fourth quarter, the senator raised $34.5 million, far surpassing the rest of the field. Furthermore, 300.000 new donors contributed during this timeframe, indicating that his base is continuing to expand.
A former top Obama adviser acknowledged that Sanders is “never going to run out of money,” but dismissed his chances of winning the nomination.
Although Obama’s allies are “eager to poke every conceivable hole” in Sanders’ campaign, one would get “crickets” once they “ask about a coordinated effort to stop his ascending campaign,” according to The Daily Beast.