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7 Jan, 2024 01:49

Obama sends election warning to Biden – WaPo

The former president is worried that the Democrat’s campaign is not flexible enough for the increasingly heated race
Obama sends election warning to Biden – WaPo

Former US President Barack Obama has urged current leader Joe Biden’s advisers to bolster his 2024 reelection efforts amid failing ratings for the sitting president. Obama reportedly believes Biden's chances will be improved by empowering people in the campaign to act without the need to seek approval from the White House, according to the Washington Post.

Obama and Biden discussed the campaign during a private lunch at the White House in recent months, the Washington Post reported on Saturday, citing sources familiar with the matter. The former president reportedly became “animated” while talking about the 2024 election and the prospect of a Trump victory.

Obama recalled the success of his 2012 campaign, when top aides took charge of reelection operations on the ground across the country, and criticized Biden’s approach of leaving his advisers in the White House.

According to sources who spoke to the outlet on condition of anonymity, Obama did not refer to anything specific in the campaign structure, but suggested that it needs to “move aggressively” as Trump has built a solid lead among candidates in his party ahead of the Republican primaries, polls indicate.

He did not recommend any specific individuals to be recruited by the campaign, but reportedly mentioned his senior strategist, David Plouffe, who led Obama’s 2008 race, as an example of someone who could help.

The Biden campaign and Obama’s spokespersons did not respond to a request for comment from the Washington Post.

Obama warned earlier this year that Donald Trump could be a more formidable challenger than many Democrats realize. He is reportedly not only concerned about Biden’s weak polling numbers, but also the effectiveness of his unorthodox campaign structure.

Biden’s campaign manager, Julie Chavez Rodrigues, is based in the campaign’s headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware, while his top aides – Anita Dunn, Jen O’Malley Dillon, Mike Donilon, and Steve Ricchetti – work from the White House. Some Democrats have raised concerns that the campaign may not be able to immediately respond to fast-moving developments.

David Axelrod, a former senior presidential adviser, suggested that Biden should consider dropping out of the 2024 race.

Biden’s ratings hit a record low at the end of 2023, with just 38% of voters approving of his performance, according to a recent Washington Post poll. Voters, including a majority of Democrats, are particularly concerned about Biden’s age, as well as his handling of the Israel-Hamas war.