The United States continues to suffer under the weight of the partial government shutdown over President Donald Trump’s refusal to approve any funding if he doesn’t get what he wants for a border wall — but 2020 isn’t getting any farther away as time goes on. Former President Barack Obama has some thoughts about what direction the U.S. should be taking in the meantime, asserting to attendees of an Obama Foundation event in Hawaii this weekend that the political scene needs some “new blood.”
As he put it, according to local media:
‘People cling to power instead of seeing the power in other people… We have a deficit of leadership, and we need new blood… We are once again going to change the world for the better.’
The concept could be taken as a bit of a rebuke to the speculation that his former second-in-command Joe Biden will be running for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020.
Biden is one of many who’ve been floated — and floated themselves — as possible candidates, including the recent first high profile figure to officially form an exploratory committee covering a presidential run, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).
Other possibilities include U.S. Sens. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), former Obama administration official Julian Castro, and even South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who leads a city of around 100,000 near Lake Michigan, which Chicago sits on.
Meanwhile, Warren is one of a number of possible contenders who have directly sparred with Trump in the past. The president has mocked her over claims of Native American ancestry based more on family lore than apparent documented fact, and he continued on with that in a response to her exploratory committee formation. He shared a mock-up of a Warren 2020 campaign flier reading that she’s “1/2020th.”
According to local media, Obama didn’t directly mention the current commander-in-chief or the ongoing government shutdown during his time in Hawaii this weekend, where he spoke at an event honoring 21 “emerging leaders” from the Asia-Pacific region, including two from Hawaii. Guests included well known local Democrats like U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz, and Hawaii Governor David Ige.
The former president has certainly gone after Trump in the past though. Speaking at the Chicago campus of the University of Illinois ahead of the recently concluded midterm elections, he insisted that the currently proceeding national political scene is not remotely “normal,” breaking with his own precedent and that of other former presidents.
He added at the time:
‘We don’t need a messiah. All we need is decent, honest, hard-working people who are accountable and have America’s best interest at heart.’
That speech kicked off a spate of Obama appearances at campaign rallies across the United States ahead of the midterms — and despite a few setbacks across the country, Democrats successfully picked up some 40 Congressional seats across the United States. In other words, there’s certainly an audience for Obama’s message that “new blood” is needed in Congress and government at large, and it could easily carry a Democrat to victory in 2020.
Featured Image via YouTube screenshot