Although a stage when articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump will be presented is seemingly fast approaching, the 2020 presidential election is still just around the corner too. Speaking at the annual meeting this past Friday of the liberal donor group known as the Democracy Alliance, former President Barack Obama delivered a two-pronged warning. On the one hand, he insisted that the at times breakneck pace of this cycle’s Democratic presidential primary is nothing to be concerned about while voters prepare to take on Trump. Separately, he did also suggest that many possible Democratic voters aren’t intrigued by “structural change” propositions — although that’s more of a topic for down the road. Trump himself did rise on chaotic “structural change” promises to “drain the swamp.”
Obama noted that he himself faced a tough primary cycle in 2008 when he faced Hillary Clinton, but that — obviously — didn’t detract from his ability to win not just one but two presidential elections and thereby lead eight years of relative stability for the United States. At least he wasn’t threatening war on Twitter over and over again!
‘For those who get stressed about robust primaries, I just have to remind you I had a very robust primary. I’m confident that at the end of the process we will have a candidate that has been tested.’
Currently, leading candidates include former Vice President Joe Biden — who served alongside Obama for eight years — and Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of Masschusetts, who together present at times more ambitious plans than Biden. For example, the former vice president wants to work within the system developed by the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), while Sanders has pushed proposals like Medicare-for-all, and Warren insists on getting to that widely publicly available health care point as well.
On Friday, Obama added:
‘Even as we push the envelope and we are bold in our vision we also have to be rooted in reality. The average American doesn’t think we have to completely tear down the system and remake it… I don’t think we should be deluded into thinking that the resistance to certain approaches to things is simply because voters haven’t heard a bold enough proposal and if they hear something as bold as possible then immediately that’s going to activate them.’
Obama, for his part, has offered no formal endorsement of any particular Democratic primary candidate, although he seems likely to help boost the profile of whoever the party eventually settles on for a nominee, considering the precedent of him doing just that in 2016.
Trump has repeatedly weighed in on the Democratic primary race, although the best he’s got is a series of nicknames. In other words, as 2020 approaches, he’s sticking to the 2016 approach of getting as many of his supporters as virulently angry as possible and hoping that propels him to the same kind of fluke victory that he managed last time. Polls pitting him against each one of the leading Democratic presidential primary candidates currently have him losing by significant margins.