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Obama: No endorsement in 2020 Democratic presidential primary,



Neither former President Barack Obama nor former First Lady Michelle Obama are expected to endorse a candidate during the 2020 Democratic primary, The New York Times reported.

Privately, however, Obama is meeting with declared or potential candidates, and according to a Politico report he has been since 2018.

The Times reported that “more than a dozen” hopefuls — including Sens. Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren, along with the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Pete Buttigieg, and the former mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg — have met with Obama.

Potential candidate Beto O’Rourke, former congressman representing El Paso and former Senate candidate, gave a window into his meeting with Obama in a recent interview with Oprah.

“You asked if he encouraged me to — he did not,” Mr. O’Rourke said in response to Oprah’s question if Obama had encourage him to run. “But he was very generous in sharing what his thought process was, leading up to that decision.”

Those close to Obama who spoke to The Times, and his former chief strategist David Axelrod, who was not speaking on behalf of the former president, have said that he won’t make an endorsement. Even former Vice President Joe Biden, who may make a 2020 run, doesn’t expect to get the Obama nod.

He’s not short on advice, though.

“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,” senior advisor Eric Schultz told The Times.

Since leaving office, Obama has been calculated in his public remarks (wary of becoming a foil for President Donald Trump). His forays into Washington politics have been few. They include campaigning for Democrats during the 2018 primary, and responding to a December ruling on his signature healthcare bill.

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