Barack Obama privately warned Pres. Biden to take Trump’s 2024 candidacy seriously

While I’ve grown to love President Biden, there is part of me which still yearns for a third term for Barack Obama. It felt like Obama was really getting the hang of it in his final White House years. Of course, for all of the complaining about Beltway Biden’s fifty years in public office, Biden has turned out to be one of the most shrewdest operators to ever hold the office of the presidency. What I love is that the two men still get along really well, and there’s just so much genuine affection between the current and former presidents. So much so that Obama is a regular in the Biden White House, and he often has a monthly visit to talk to President Biden and his staff. In late June, Obama was in the White House for his monthly meeting when he apparently had some straight talk for the current president:

Former president Barack Obama, at a private lunch with President Biden earlier this summer, voiced concern about Donald Trump’s political strengths — including an intensely loyal following, a Trump-friendly conservative media ecosystem and a polarized country — underlining his worry that Trump could be a more formidable candidate than many Democrats realize.

At the lunch, held in late June at the White House residence, Obama promised to do all he could to help the president get reelected, according to two people familiar with the meeting, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private conversation.

That commitment was a welcome gesture for the White House at a time when Biden is eager to lock down promises of help from top Democrats, among whom Obama is easily the biggest star, for what is likely to be a hard-fought reelection race. The contents of the private conversation have not been previously reported.

Obama was visiting the White House for what Biden aides described as a regular catch-up between the two men who served in the White House together for eight years. During their lunch, Obama made it clear his concerns were not about Biden’s political abilities, but rather a recognition of Trump’s iron grip on the Republican Party, according to the people.

The White House said there was no specific agenda for the June 27 meeting, and people briefed on the conversation said the two presidents discussed a range of political, policy and personal matters, including updates about their families. Obama, who remains highly popular among Democrats, is his party’s most sought-after surrogate, although his exact role in the 2024 cycle has not yet been determined. Obama aides say the former president is likely to reprise his playbook from recent elections.

[From WaPo]

There are two big “what ifs” which haunt me from the 2016 election – what if Biden had been the Democratic candidate and what if Obama had been the candidate, as opposed to Hillary Clinton. I love Hillary, I voted for Hillary, I think Hillary would have been a great president. But I do think Biden or Obama would have had different results against Trump in that election. It’s one of the great unknowns, except we did get to find out what would happen when Biden ran against Trump: Democrats reclaiming the Rust Belt, Democrats winning Georgia and Democrats performing really well in the Southwest. Anyway, we’re fifteen f–king months away from the next presidential election – I appreciate that Obama is concerned and I appreciate the fact that he’s already making plans to barnstorm around the country for Biden. I think Obama is like most Democrats: still traumatized by what happened in 2016 and hellbent on making sure it never happens again.

For no reason at all, here’s the video of Obama surprising Biden with the Medal of Freedom in January 2017.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid.

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47 Responses to “Barack Obama privately warned Pres. Biden to take Trump’s 2024 candidacy seriously”

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  1. ThatsNotOkay says:

    He’s right. Trump is either blackmailing the Republicans with kompromat or he’s delivering on evil promises, such as installing three unqualified numbskulls to the Supreme Court to fill unearned seats, so the other Republicans tolerate him. Also because he’s pro-deregulation, pro-Putin, and pro-racism to the nth degree. So why would the base or party discard him? Because he can’t win? He couldn’t win without cheating before, has never won a popular vote, and yet he occupied the Oval Office for four too many years and is looking to take it up for life next time. He is a threat to the country’s whole existence, and yet…his evil supporters grow more steadfast.

    The answer is not to follow the same playbook against him, but to reach the unreachable and get half the country who never votes off their duffs and to the polls before the Republicans make any voting illegal too.

    • BothSidesNow says:

      @ ThatsNotOkay, THIS!!! We should all be volunteering to get the D leaning voters to the polls!!! Create a strong system of driving people to the polling stations, encourage people to register and take NO an excuse for people NOT actively voting!!!

      IF we had a greater percentage of left leaning voters submitting their vote for EVERY election, we wouldn’t have so many Repugnant’s in office right now!! Every election matters but the presidential election is critical!!! We must push for everyone to understand that their ONE vote counts!!! Our Democracy depends on it now more than EVER!!!

  2. JackieJacks says:

    Democrats need to get dirty with their fight against the Republicans. The Republicans have no qualms about being underhanded and fighting dirty to get what they want. Obama was correct to plainly state this to Biden so he can get on board too.
    I love Michelle Obama but ‘when they go low we go high’ isn’t going to win this game. We need to fight fire with fire.
    No Dark Brandon, we need some Nuclear Event Horizon Brandon do some scorched earth on these assholes. Start prepping Biden for debates right now, start putting out all sorts of promotional and propaganda about how he’s the best one to lead us forward.
    And for the love of all that is good let’s get some candidates in the mix for 2028 that are younger fresher and can stand up those shitty people on the right who are in Washington DC.

    • Miranda says:

      I agree, playing nice and trying to reason with completely irrational and fanatical right wingers, which has been going on for too long, has proved futile.

      • BothSidesNow says:

        Absolutely!! As much as I adore, admire and hold such a deep respect for Obama, he is a megastar in politics. I do love their bromance too!! It’s such a beautiful relationship to watch!!

        Obama is right!!! The unhinged Drumpf supporters will follow him into the pits of hell in their support!! All of these charges against him and they STILL blindly support this criminal!!

        And I agree that it’s time to stop going low. The Repugnant’s are willing to slop around in the mud as the pigs that they are and we should certainly fight fire with fire!!! It’s about time that they face the same vitriol that they sling around.

  3. Chaine says:

    Hillary didn’t do what it took to win those keys states. She assumed for too long that she could waltz into office and didn’t take Trump seriously. I mean, didn’t all Democrats just laugh at Trump and think there’s no way this clown will win? And the polling didn’t reflect his actual popularity, either. By the time her team and she realized the threat, it was too late. Obama doesn’t want Biden to make the same mistake.

    • Tessa says:

      Hillary was considered a shoo in. Because of that some democrat voters did not bother to go vote for her. That also was said to be a factor in her.loss of the election

      • JackieJacks says:

        I feel like the tide changed against Hilary when the FBI reported right before the election that more emails were found. I remember it seemed and felt like she would take it all and get into the White House right before that. I still recall on Election Day going in to vote for her and how proud I felt walking out like – shit we are really gonna do it a woman will be President.
        I agree that Hilary didn’t get out to some swing states or problem areas where it could have made a difference.
        I also remember people being really petulant about the two candidates and not voting at all which is the biggest injustice of it all.
        I have to keep fingers crossed that enough people have had enough of Trump and we can get Biden in for another cycle. 4 more years and who knows if who will be alive to make trouble for the next election.
        Let natural causes take their course for whomever.

      • BothSidesNow says:

        @ JackieJacks, I agree that her email issue right as we were weeks away from voting hurt Hilary. It was poor timing at such a critical stage. I too was proud that I was able to vote for a woman president but Hillary was incompetent with many of her campaign choices.

        We cannot allow that to happen again!! The damage that Drumpf caused will reverberate for decades!!! Drumpf passed bills not based on what was right for the American people but for his cronies!!

      • Becks1 says:

        Let’s remember too that Hillary DID win the popular vote. And in a lot of the states that she lost, she was really really close – I cant remember 7 years later, but the margin of victory for Trump in WI, MI and PA was really slim. She didn’t run a horrible campaign and get trounced. She made mistakes, yes, but it wasn’t this awful campaign that people make it out to be.

        The DNC that summer was such a thing of joy and hope and optimism. but it wasn’t enough.

        And yes, effin’ Comey.

    • Renae says:

      In my opinion, Hillary ran one of the worst campaigns ever! Lots of meet/greets with high $$ donors… not much else. When her husband ran his campaign he was EVERYWHERE, Hill? Not so much. To my mind, its like she (or her people) thought she was so smart and brilliant she could win on that.
      Ill be the first to admit I thought Mango-man was a joke.

      • Flowerlake says:

        She was actually out and about a lot more than what you seem to suggest.

        Thing is, media worked with Trump by screaming: “Emails, emails emails,” and quite a lot of people clearly thought they were too woke to vote (or vote for her since she was not Bernie). This despite the many warnings.

      • ML says:

        To support Renae, one of the states she lost was PA; she absolutely did not spend much time there and took it for granted. Family and friends of mine live/d there.
        To support Flowerlake, the email debacle cemented her doom.
        I went to bed on election night thinking we had our first female president and the next day I was shocked, crying and felt sick to my stomach.
        After the fact: The real estate bubble burst in 2008 which led to massive job losses when Obama came in. Lots of people who were affected got to see women and POC getting hired for jobs down the line and blamed them. Hillary Clinton is one of those people who is totally loved or totally hated: people have strong feelings about her and due to both Bill and her own work in government, she was very well known. That hurt her with some people against Trump. And beyond the stupid emails (which given what Trump has done is really infuriating), she had this whole skilled Russian bot network spreading disinformation about her on social media.

    • SarahLee says:

      I agree completely, and it is good to see Obama learning from his mistakes because he also didn’t take Trump seriously in 2016. If you recall, it was Biden pushing Hillary to go to Michigan, go to Wisconsin, etc. In 2016 it was Biden sounding the alarm. Interesting that Obama is now sounding the alarm to Biden.

    • Sass says:

      Hillary won the popular vote by nearly 3 million more votes. Trump won due to the electoral college. Hillary chose to concede rather than fight back and contest. That’s why Trump won.

      I actually had the privilege to see her when she campaigned and she signed a children’s book for my daughter. (I am in Colorado and did not attend a fancy event, we were thousands packed into an auditorium out in the industrial part of Denver. She was also at an event at a local Latinx night club – she did the work.) I disagree that she didn’t campaign hard enough. She was out there. She was all over. The media loves a bombastic divisive personality more than reason and sense, however. That’s why it seemed like Trump was more “out there.”

      I’ll admit I was not a Hillary supporter…until I heard her speak. I voted for her in 2016. We missed an incredible opportunity with her. She will likely never run again.

      • @poppedbubble says:

        Hillary absolutely did not campaign enough in key states regardless of the electoral college. I remember young staffers imploring her to visit this place and that place (PA, OH), and she was reportedly dismissive believing those states were a given. Also, (not all) white women did not vote and then went crying and apologizing to her because they never believed 45 would win. I will never forget Comey announcing bs immediately before the election. At that moment I knew she would lose. I’ve been aggravated ever since by people buying into his hero schtick, calling him a tall drink of water and the like. No stone unturned this time. No lesson unlearned. Youth vote was the highest it has been in 2022. Get them out and all of the others turning 18 before Nov. 2024.

      • SarahLee says:

        I feel like I constantly scream this at people, but the popular vote does not matter. That is not how we elect a President and the candidates – including Hillary – know that. You have to play the game by the rules established and she did not visit two swing states – EVER – during the general election. That is why she lost.

  4. Flowerlake says:

    You’re already doing great things by mentioning the good things Biden has done.

    A lot of Democrats think it’s not fashionable to be enthusiastic about anyone.
    With some that seems to be a manner of vanity: “Look at me, I am too cool to get enthusiastic about anyone. I see through everything.”
    Actually no, those people are just dumb and always surprised when Republicans get elected.

    Beware also of people using fake pfps (particularly of people of color) acting as if they hate the Democrats. I remember there was a post on Tumblr criticizing the Democrats heavily with a pfp of a black woman and some ‘woke’ people just mindlessly reblogged it. Only after the 2016 election, people pointed out that this was someone doing digital blackface and that person was not who they said they were at all.
    Wouldn’t have surprised me if there had been way more than that (Tumblr is famous for being left wing, so they were trying to discourage people to vote).

  5. Laalaa says:

    I am not American, so please explain to me: how can Trump even be a candidate if he’s being indicted?!

    • Chaine says:

      Because there is no rule that someone who is indicted or even convicted of crimes cannot run for public office. The only eligibility requirements to be president are: Be a natural-born citizen of the United States. Be at least 35 years old. Have been a resident of the United States for 14 years. I mean, technically you could be a serial killer on death row and still run for president.

      at the state level, to actually get voters for your presidential campaign, you have to follow each state’s procedures for getting your name on the ballot. Usually that entails getting a certain number of signatures from voters to show that you are a legitimate candidate, but some states have write-in ballots where if the voter doesn’t like any of the choices, they can put whoseever name in they want.

      • Laalaa says:

        Firstly, thank you so much for the explanation.
        Secondly, my mind is completely blown. I am sorry, USA is always advertised like the greatest country in the world. But guns, terrible healthcare, women rights and now this info? HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE?
        In my country, considered small and useless, regular goverment people lose their terms because of trying to cheat on business expenses. USA being able to elect a serial murderer affects the whole world.

      • Chaine says:

        I know, it’s awful because of who it is, but it’s our constitution and it’s extremely difficult to change the constitution, probably in my opinion at this point in our country’s history, impossible. Plus, if you look at it objectively, there are good reasons not to bar people with charges or convictions from running for public office, otherwise, a government in power could simply frame its opponents and successfully keep opposition parties from succeeding despite voter wishes.

        This article is from a few months ago, but it explains more about what could happen with someone running for president while indicted and looks at past examples of people in prison running presidential campaigns from behind bars:

      • Roan Inish says:

        @ Chaine The fact that a person who’s convicted of a felony can be President is crazy. I’ve heard a citizen convicted of a felony cannot vote. Not sure if that varies from state to state. Maybe our US legislature can get a law passed quickly to eliminate a presidential candidacy if they are a convicted felon or become while in office. (Odds are that won’t happen but a girl can hope!)

    • Jaded says:

      I did a little digging about the 14th amendment and this is a pretty murky area according to legal scholars:

      “The 14th amendment prohibits anyone who has previously taken an oath of office (Senators, Representatives, and other public officials) from holding public office if they have “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” against the United States.” So treason or inciting insurrection and rebellion could prevent him from running for office again.

      Also…”Someone who is impeached could be disqualified from holding public office in the future if they are convicted, and Congress applies such a punishment. But this is separate from disqualification under the 14th Amendment. Under Sections 3 and 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment, Congress could bar someone from holding office. But unlike an impeachment conviction, that decision could be overturned by the courts. Most importantly, under the 14th Amendment, disqualification requires only a simple majority vote, not the two-thirds vote needed to convict during an impeachment trial.”

      “But since this mechanism has never been used against a president, there are still questions to resolve. The disqualification clause applies to current and former federal officials, state officials, and military officials. However, legal scholars are split on whether the disqualification clause applies to the presidency. It’s likely the 14th Amendment will continue to come up in conversations approaching the 2024 presidential election.”

  6. Miranda says:

    What complicates things is that we have to worry not only about Trump’s inexplicable sway over much of the country, but what many of those people are liable to do if Dear Leader finally faces justice for all his hard work to destroy our democracy.

    • North of Boston says:

      My fear of what his cult members will do when he finally faces justice is COMPLETELY OBLITERATED by my fear of what they will do if he doesn’t.

      He and his minions already eroded so many norms and aspired values – respect for the Constitution, value of human rights for all, upholding the Rule of Law and preserving democracy – and almost managed to steamroll over many institutions. What do you think will happen if he doesn’t face consequences for his crimes against the nation? They already don’t care and think they have the right to kidnap and torture governors, threaten the lives of public officials and journalists just doing their jobs, actually kill people who knock on their doors or dance or simply breathe, storm the halls of Congress, shout down proceedings in local government meetings and arm themselves to the teeth.

      Trump running free, a mean-spirited vindictive chaotic dictator wanna-be with the Sumpreme Court on his side and no need for reelection? No, just no.

      I’ll take all the ridiculous snowflake tantrums they want to dish out now, to hold him accountable for his crimes. And if they want to break the law, try for Insurrection-Part II, the Justice Department will be ready and waiting.

      • BothSidesNow says:

        @ North of Boston, what we witnessed playing out in the capital of Michigan was a mere insight as to how unhinged these gun toting, right wing nut jobs are willing to carry out for the sake of their own unhinged political stance. Drumpf is in feeding these homegrown terrorists still today so when pass laws to STOP and prohibit their actions??

        And what do we see for our future of democracy when some other criminal presidential candidate wields the same power?? What then?? They have become emboldened enough to do it again and again! It’s too frightening to think of.

        Though there will be protests within the left leaning community, it will be peaceful UNTIL the Drumpf cult become involved!!

      • SIde Eye says:

        ITA. Excellent post North of Boston!

    • Fifty-50 says:

      The DOJ hasn’t been sitting pretty being idle. They’s arrested over 1,000 people at January 6. Close to 600 people pled guilty outright, over 120 people have been tried, and of these 720 found guilty, over 560 have been sentenced. On federal charges. If you look at the US Attorney General’s Office for the District of Columbia, every single day there are announcements of arrests, indictments, guilty pleas, sentencing.

      Here’s a link to their 30 month update:

      So there’s always reason to be cautious, but the DOJ has been working their asses off to hold these people accountable. At this point, I doubt there isn’t some diehard Trumper who doesn’t know someone incarcerated for their actions on January 6. If there’s anything I’ve discovered, it’s that the average white person is afraid of going to jail, even for a few months. They like having a pristine record free of federal crimes.

  7. Becks1 says:

    I’m glad Obama is being so upfront with Biden about this but I also think Biden is aware of Trump’s popularity. It’s scary and unnerving, but its there and the Democrats need to push back, hard.

    We’re not going to get the Trumpers to vote for Biden. But we don’t need the Trumpers to vote for Biden. We just need enough of the people who vote R for “fiscal reasons” or whatever BS they tell themselves to justify their vote to decide they’d rather vote D again.

    I also think Biden’s social media team is really good and I think that’s important here.

    And I love that video of Biden and Obama.

    • SussexWatcher says:

      But in addition to people voting, we need fair elections, an end to gerrymandering, and laws to ensure the votes are awarded in the way the people determine, not the republican state certifiers who are already vowing to do what they want. Let alone unqualified and crooked SC justices who will vote for the republican candidate if it got all the way to the SC. The whole system is screwed from top to bottom.

      Also, can we get some laws on the books that say if you’ve been indicted for trying to overthrow the government…ummm you lose your f-ing right to run for any office?!

      • Becks1 says:

        Well, obviously……..

        but we need people to vote. Hillary lost because not enough people voted for her in key states. Not because of unfair elections, not because the votes weren’t awarded the in the way people determined, not because of how the votes were certified. Those things need to happen legally and fairly and not in a corrupt way, but that goes along with the whole idea of a free election.

      • Jaded says:

        @SussexWatcher — The Dems did try to introduce legislation to do that very thing but it didn’t pass in time.

  8. ML says:

    Trump IS still a huge threat at this point. The Electoral College is set up so that a Democratic candidate needs to beat a Republican candidate by like 7 or 8 points to win the vote (hence why the popular vote doesn’t guarantee a win), and most of the gerrymandering on top of that helps the Rs. Trump successfully brainwashed a large chunk of the R base, and most of them are still brainwashed. Plus the Rs are still actively passing laws that make it difficult for certain segments of the population that mostly skew D to vote.
    It’s good that Obama is taking this seriously. I am worried about what happens if TFG doesn’t win the R primary, too. I have some relatives who would never vote for Trump, but a better looking guy in a suit with the same policies doesn’t turn them off.

    • Jaded says:

      @ML — You are so right regarding TFG being a huge threat. Not to sound ominous, but we have a close friend whose son is a very senior judge in New York. His words of caution were simply “Things are going to get pretty serious in September” referring to the next Trump indictment, but couldn’t say more.

  9. MsIam says:

    There are lot of bitter angry people out there who are upset about the economy and their financial situation, even though the aggregate numbers are good and inflation is dropping. Trump taps into that bitterness and the media amplifies it. Dems better take him seriously or else.

    • Chaine says:

      ITA, look at the collapse of the trucking company Yellow this week. That is 30,000 plus blue collar workers out of jobs all at once, there was viral video of someone losing his shit understandably about whether or not he will get his pension that he’s been working for for decades, not good. Citizens are looking for leadership on the economy that will make them feel seen and secure and aided, and in a vacuum on that trump will take over.

  10. k.tate says:

    Jim Comey’s October letter was the nail in Hillary’s presidential run coffin. I get so heated when I think about it and it is NOT talked about enough. He absolutely did it on purpose.

  11. Diamond Rottweiler says:

    This country’s internalized misogyny and the white supremacist tentacles that run throughout our culture—what shapes the mindset of many, MANY white male and female voters’— are how we got Trump. The U.S. collectively hates women. That seems pretty clear at this point, don’t you think?

    • SIde Eye says:

      Everything you just said. Trump is the reaction to 8 years of a Black President who was excellent and did his job without embarrassing us. It’s White Supremacy saying we are losing all of our power here. That’s why Trump said to his lunatic, racist following on January 6th: “you won’t have a country anymore” if you don’t storm the Capitol.

    • Becks1 says:

      I read a book a few years ago (that I highly recommend) called Dog Whistle Politics. You can guess what it was about. At the end, there’s a paragraph about (poor to middle class) white people voting against their own interests when they vote Republican. the common thought is that those people vote republican bc they have hope that one day they’ll benefit from these policies. But the takeaway in the book was that they ARE voting for their own interests – they’re just placing their racial interests above their financial interests. Trump promised white people (especially men) that they would maintain their position in the hierarchy of society, so they voted for him.

  12. Amy Bee says:

    In my opinion, Biden has been a much better president than Obama. Obama should have done more but he was more concerned in getting about the second term.

    • CrazyHeCallsMe says:

      I agree that Biden has been a much more productive President in getting things done than Obama. However, Biden has not faced the unprecedented racism and hostility that Obama faced. Obama being elected literally broke white folks brains and they’ve been on the warpath ever since. The GOP did everything they could to stymy Obama’s agenda and it was pulling teeth to get anything done.

  13. TNDemocrat says:

    Please, please, please believe that huge swathes of the country are deeply devoted to the orange conman. We must remain politically active and continue to support democratic candidates on all levels of government. Obama is not wrong. It is horrifying how many people in this country are under the spell of tRump and will never be swayed.

  14. jferber says:

    President Obama is absolutely right. We must fight like hell AGAIN to keep this m-therf-cker out of office. Every 4 years until he’s dead, probably. I’m up for it because, honestly, our country is too important to let sink into the swamp of a trump Amerikkka.

  15. AC says:

    Yes F-N Comey. Didn’t he get his karma though! We need the young people to show up again in droves this coming election for a Blue Wave. Trump CANNOT be elected again. Just like the BTS army, we need the young generation in droves to beat the MAGAs.