Now that Donald Trump has all but wrapped up the GOP nomination, President Obama is turning his attention to the Democrats in the primary, and the NY Times is reporting at least that the White House wants donor support united behind Hillary Clinton and soon.
In unusually candid remarks, President Obama privately told a group of Democratic donors last Friday that Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont was nearing the point at which his campaign against Hillary Clintonwould end, and that the party must soon come together to back her.
Mr. Obama acknowledged that Mrs. Clinton was perceived to have weaknesses as a candidate, and that some Democrats did not view her as authentic.
But he played down the importance of authenticity, noting that President George W. Bush — whose record he ran aggressively against in 2008 — was once praised for his authenticity.
Mr. Obama made the remarks after reporters had left a fund-raising event in Austin, Tex., for the Democratic National Committee. The comments were described by three people in the room for the event, all of whom were granted anonymity to describe a candid moment with the president. The comments were later confirmed by a White House official.
The White House has all but stayed completely out of the 2016 primary contest, with VP Joe Biden taking an early pass last year. It looks like that situation has now changed and that President Obama would like party unity behind Clinton, who has a significant delegate lead.
Needless to say, the section of Sanders supporters who were never President Obama's biggest fans aren't taking this news well at all. Meanwhile, President Obama is starting to swing into campaign mode to help Democrats this fall.
Who better to mobilize the winning Obama coalition for the Democrats than President Obama himself? And he's getting some help from the GOP's frontrunner, no doubt.
Obama and his top aides have been strategizing for weeks about how they can reprise his successful 2008 and 2012 approaches to help elect a Democrat to replace him. And out of concern that a Republican president in 2017 — either Trump or Sen. Ted Cruz (Tex.) — would weaken or reverse some of his landmark policies, Obama and his surrogates have started making the case that it is essential for the GOP to be defeated in November.
As a result, Obama is poised to be the most active sitting president on the campaign trail in decades.
“Do we continue to build on the policies that reward hard-working American families . . . and address challenges for future generations, or do we stop in our tracks, reverse our progress and move in the wrong direction?” Friedman wrote. “This is a choice that the president does not take lightly, and is something he will lay out for the American people with increased frequency in the weeks and months ahead.”
Central to the White House effort to stop Trump — or, under a less likely scenario, one of his rivals — is reassembling and energizing the coalition that propelled Obama into office; that means African Americans, Latinos, young voters and women.
Many Democrats think that if Trump is the GOP nominee, he will help the Democratic Party solve the mobilization problem. They think that Trump’s strident anti-immigrant positions and his controversial comments about women and minorities will help Democrats in the fall.
Latino voters, especially, are receiving the attention of advocacy groups, including super PACs friendly to the Clinton campaign and to Democrats in general.
We're rapidly approaching the time where the Democrats go on the offensive against Trump and the GOP Senate. With the announcement of Merrick Garland for SCOTUS and Hillary Clinton now with a commanding lead, the pieces are in place.
You wanted more of the bully pulpit? You're about to get it. Big time.