Obama Secretly Coaching 2020 Democrats on How to ‘Beat Trump’
Former president is advising Democratic presidential election hopefuls
Former President Barack Obama is secretly coaching Democratic presidential election candidates on how to "beat Trump" in 2020, according to reports.
Although Obama has not commented publicly on the Democrats vying for the 2020 nomination, a new report from The New York Times suggests the former POTUS has privately been coaching some of the leading Dems on how to take on President Donald Trump.
According to the Times, key Obama-era officials held a sort-of "audition" in Washington, D.C., where they spoke to 2020 hopefuls like "Senators Kamala Harris (D-CA), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH)."
The potential candidates were quizzed on how they plan to run their races, and what message their individual candidacies send to the American people.
Obama, the Times reports, was careful to avoid the event, preferring to allow some of his former top aides to assess the field of candidates and report back, and he won't be offering an endorsement, preferring instead "to let the primary unfold as a contest of ideas."
According to the Daily Wire, that doesn't mean the former president is steering clear of the primaries altogether.
Like failed 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, Obama has been taking audiences with prospective nominees and giving them advice on how to handle a national campaign.
So far, he's believed to have spoken to Harris, Booker, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and some more unfamiliar potential candidates, like his former Attorney General, Eric Holder, who says he's waiting until later in the process to decide whether to toss his hat into the ring.
Former Texas Senate candidate Beto O'Rourke admitted to Oprah, in his landmark interview with the daytime talk queen, that he'd pursued Obama's advice in a sit down last year.
"During these informal conversations, usually at his office in Washington, Mr. Obama has offered a combination of supportive advice and sober warnings, cautioning candidates that running for president is a more punishing process than they could ever imagine, according to seven people who have spoken with him directly or were briefed in detail on the meetings," the Times reports.
He's mostly concerned, some sources told the Times, that candidates be ready and willing to "push back" on Donald Trump's economic rhetoric, which Obama's friends refer to as "bleak."
He's still surprised, they say, that Trump won with a message of turning back the clock on Obama's agenda, and doesn't really understand how such an anti-Obama message resonated with Americans.
Obama's current close aides weren't enthusiastic about confirming the Times' report but did admit that Obama will speak to any 2020 Democratic contender who comes seeking his advice.
“President Obama counsels candidates to always show up and make their case even in areas or in front of audiences they may not necessarily win; express views and positions that reflect their genuine beliefs, and share a positive vision for the country true to their own personal story,” said one "senior advisor."
Those same Democrats shouldn't expect Obama to hit the campaign trail for them, though.
The former president has been very stingy with his personal appearances, as has his wife, Michelle, even though both of them have the power to be kingmakers in the upcoming election.
Perhaps that's because a number of candidates Obama supported in 2018, including Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, suffered bitter defeats.