Obama has advised those running that effort would be much harder then they could imagine….
He also knocks himself for being like the rest of us in underestimating Donald Trump’s actually winning the presidency…
Obama has indicated that he will NOT come out for anyone candidate FOR the nomination and will be expected to do his best to help that person win the office he had for eight years…..
Obama HAS spoken positively about several candidates as being the type that the country needs to succeed the Trump presidency….
The NY Times piece makes no mention of two of the 3 people in the top tier right now….
Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden…..
Sanders has met with Obama almost a year ago…..
Joe Biden of course was Obama’s Vice President for eight years….
While there have been media reports that the former President might endorse Biden?
That is highly unlikely…..
David Axelrod, Mr. Obama’s former chief strategist, told the group they should expect no such directive. Mr. Axelrod confirmed in an interview that he briefed the gathering, recalling: “They asked me about Obama endorsing. I said, ‘I don’t imagine he will.’”
Mr. Axelrod said he had been sharing his own perspective, not speaking as an official Obama emissary. But his forecast matches what Mr. Obama has told friends and likely presidential candidates in private: that he does not see it as his role to settle the 2020 nomination, and prefers to let the primary unfold as a contest of ideas. Michelle Obama, the former first lady, also has no plans to endorse a candidate, a person familiar with her thinking said.
Even former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. does not expect to secure Mr. Obama’s backing if he runs, according to allies of Mr. Biden’s.
Yet if Mr. Obama has all but officially taken a vow of neutrality, he remains the party’s most convincing model for success at the national level, and continues to shape the mind-set and strategy of Democratic presidential candidates.
He has counseled more than a dozen declared or likely candidates on what he believes it will take to beat President Trump, holding private talks with leading contenders like Ms. Harris, Mr. Booker and Senator Elizabeth Warren; underdogs like Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Ind.; and prominent figures who remain undecided on the race, like Eric H. Holder, his former attorney general, and Michael R. Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York.
During these informal conversations, usually at his office in Washington, Mr. Obama has offered a combination of supportive advice and sober warnings, cautioning candidates that running for president is a more punishing process than they could ever imagine, according to seven people who have spoken with him directly or were briefed in detail on the meetings…..