Is Obama endorsing Biden behind the scenes so he can play uniter on the surface?
President Barack Obama has said over and over that he will not endorse a candidate in the 2020 Democratic primary.
But is he supporting his Vice President Joe Biden behind the scenes? Former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg is supposedly mulling an endorsement of Biden after he spoke to both men after he dropped out of the race on Sunday.
Now reports say Buttigieg, along with Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), will endorse Biden Monday night at a rally in Dallas.
Buttigieg dropped out on Sunday, a day after the South Carolina primary. He won Iowa but did not gain more ground in the following states.
Buttigieg spoke on the phone with Biden and Obama, but not at the same time.
The New York Times reported the phone calls, but buried it within the article (emphasis mine):
Mr. Buttigieg talked with Mr. Biden and former President Barack Obama on Sunday night, according to a Democratic official familiar with the conversations. Mr. Biden asked for Mr. Buttigieg’s support and the former mayor indicated he would consider the request. Mr. Buttigieg wants to sleep on the decision, he told aides, some of whom believe he should move quickly to endorse Mr. Biden.
Mr. Obama did not specifically encourage Mr. Buttigieg to endorse Mr. Biden, said the official, who insisted on anonymity to discuss private conversations. But Mr. Obama did note that Mr. Buttigieg has considerable leverage at the moment and should think about how best to use it. Should Mr. Buttigieg endorse Mr. Biden on Monday, it could reshape the Democratic primary if many of his supporters shift to Mr. Biden, creating a more formidable centrist challenge to Mr. Sanders’s progressive movement.
It may have worked because Buttigieg centered his concession speech around Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) (emphasis mine):
In his remarks, Mr. Buttigieg directed criticism toward Mr. Sanders, without naming him, that he has previously made on the debate stage and on the campaign trail.
“We need leadership to heal a divided nation, not drive us further apart,” he said. “We need a broad based agenda to truly deliver for the American people, not one that gets lost in ideology. We need an approach strong enough not only to win the White House, but hold the House, win the Senate and send Mitch McConnell into retirement.”
CNN reported that Buttigieg will attend a rally in Dallas, TX, Monday night to endorse Biden.
The self-avowed socialist has taken the lead in delegates and polling over Biden, which has caused fear and panic within the Democratic Party.
The New York Times reported last Thursday that desperation has taken over Democratic Party officials, including 93 superdelegates, in order to stop Sanders:
“We’re way, way, way past the day where party leaders can determine an outcome here, but I think there’s a vibrant conversation about whether there is anything that can be done,” said Jim Himes, a Connecticut congressman and superdelegate, who believe the nominee should have a majority of delegates.
Jay Jacobs, the New York State Democratic Party chairman and a superdelegate, echoing many others interviewed, said that superdelegates should choose a nominee they believed had the best chance of defeating Mr. Trump if no candidate wins a majority of delegates during the primaries. Mr. Sanders argued that he should become the nominee at the convention with a plurality of delegates, to reflect the will of voters, and that denying him the nomination would enrage his supporters and split the party for years to come.
“Bernie wants to redefine the rules and just say he just needs a plurality,” Mr. Jacobs said. “I don’t think we buy that. I don’t think the mainstream of the Democratic Party buys that. If he doesn’t have a majority, it stands to reason that he may not become the nominee.”
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