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Did Obama Encourage Buttigieg and Klobuchar to Endorse Biden?

The Blast logo The Blast 3/4/2020 Robin Zabiegalski
Barack Obama, Joe Biden are posing for a picture: Barack Obama and Joe Biden © Provided by The Blast Barack Obama and Joe Biden

Ahead of Super Tuesday, both Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar dropped out of the race for the Democratic nomination. Soon after dropping out, both candidates revealed that they were endorsing Biden for President. They flew to Texas to join Biden at a campaign event and officially announced their endorsements while onstage with him.

With mainstream Democratic support rallying behind Biden, it seems that the Democratic establishment is doing everything it can to prevent Bernie Sanders from winning the nomination. Reports are now circulating the former President Barack Obama had a hand in orchestrating the consolidation of support behind Biden.


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Obama and Buttigieg Spoke About Endorsements

Peter Buttigieg, Joe Biden are posing for a picture: Pete Buttigieg and Joe Biden © Gettyimages | Win McNamee Pete Buttigieg and Joe Biden

On Monday, the New York Times reported that former President Barack Obama spoke to Pete Buttigieg after he announced that he was dropping out of the race. Biden was on the call as well.

A source who the Times called a "Democratic official familiar with the conversations" said that Biden directly asked Buttigieg for his endorsement, and Buttigieg said he would consider it. The same source also said that Obama didn't ask Buttigieg to endorse Biden, but he did encourage Buttigieg to think about how important his influence would be on the outcome of the Democratic race.

Obama Working Behind the Scenes?

Barack Obama wearing a suit and tie © Gettyimages | Scott Olson Barack Obama

The same day, NBC News reported that sources close to Obama indicated he was helping to rally support behind Biden. Though the former President hasn't made any public statements about who he thinks should nab the nomination, sources say he's been sending signals that he thinks Biden is the candidate to support.

For example, Obama called Biden to congratulate him on his win in South Carolina. There haven't been any reports of him congratulating other candidates. Jumping on a call with Biden and Buttigieg is also a pretty clear signal of his support for Biden.

Why Won't Obama Just Endorse Biden?

Barack Obama standing in front of a crowd: Barack Obama and Joe Biden © Gettyimages | Patrick Smith Barack Obama and Joe Biden

Barack Obama and Joe Biden served together in the White House for eight years. During that time, their bromance became the thing of legends and memes. Their friendship outlasted their time in the White House.

Since they're such great friends, why won't Obama endorse Biden? Sources close to the former President say it's because Obama wants to be able to unify the Democratic party around the candidate that wins the Democratic nomination. If he endorses a candidate and they don't get the nomination, he'll have a hard time getting people to support the nominee in the general election.

Implicit Endorsement

Barack Obama wearing a suit and tie © Gettyimages | Bill Pugliano Barack Obama

So, as of right now, Obama has no plans to endorse a candidate in the primary election.

But does he have to explicitly endorse a candidate for his influence to be felt in the primaries? Many people think that Obama is making his preferences clear through his actions rather than his words. They argue that he doesn't have to explicitly endorse a candidate if he's implicitly endorsing a candidate by doing subtle things to signal his support for Biden to other influential Democrats.

Will Obama's efforts, explicit or implicit, make a difference on Super Tuesday? We'll find out soon.


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