Obama weighs in on the 2016 Bernie vs. Hillary race and for the first time it’s clear that he has a favorite.
In a new interview with Politico President Obama weighed in on the Democratic primary race between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Until now Obama has tried to remain neutral, supporting both candidates equally. But this new interview shows a definite shift toward Clinton.
Glenn Thrush of Politico said of Obama,
“…he couldn’t hide his obvious affection for Clinton or his implicit feeling that she, not Sanders, best understands the unpalatably pragmatic demands of a presidency he likens to the world’s most challenging walk-and-chew-gum exercise.”
At the same time, President Obama has been very clear that he will support the Democratic nominee no matter who it is (as every good Dem will). Because keeping a Democrat in the White House is not only important for Obama’s legacy, but it is also extremely important for the country as a whole. Especially in a year like this one where the GOP alternatives are nut-job extremists like Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, or Marco Rubio.
According to Obama,
“Bernie came in with the luxury of being a complete long shot and just letting loose. I think Hillary came in with the both privilege — and burden — of being perceived as the front-runner. … You’re always looking at the bright, shiny object that people haven’t seen before — that’s a disadvantage to her.”
Throughout her 2016 campaign Hillary has been praising Obama’s accomplishments and saying that he does not get the credit he deserves. And she has made it a point to tell voters that putting her in office will basically mean a third term for Obama because she intends to build upon his successes and continue where he left off.
Based on what Obama is now saying, along with what his aides and inner circle have been saying, he also believes that Clinton will be the best choice to continue moving the country in the direction he has aimed.
Obama certainly did not have an unkind word to speak of Bernie Sanders but when the Politico reporter asked if Sanders was too much of a one-issue candidate…implying he was basically only focused on income inequality…. Obama didn’t dispute the assertion and then added that Hillary was a much more well-rounded candidate who would be job-ready on day one.
“Her strengths, which are the fact that she’s extraordinarily experienced, and, you know, wicked smart and knows every policy inside and out, sometimes could make her more cautious and her campaign more prose than poetry.”
He then explained that effective Presidents govern in prose and said that dreams are great but “delivering the goods is ultimately the job of politics.”
The President also talked about Bernie Sanders and the vetting process. Obama felt that the more Sanders continues to rise in the polls, the more he will start to face the sort of intense media scrutiny that Hillary has been subjected to over the years. Obama felt that up to this point, Bernie’s plans have not really been studied in any detail to see if they are feasible. He questioned the costs of Sanders’ proposals and said we needed to know how things like his tax policy worked, for example.
Obama stopped short of any kind of endorsement, but as one of his top aides put it,
“He’s not panicked by Sanders, but he’s clearly thumbing the scale for Hillary.”