(CBrief) – A report on Wednesday suggested that former President Barack Obama may be working to stab his vice president and current Oval Office occupant in the back, politically speaking.
Earlier this month, revelations surfaced that Obama was holding private meetings in Washington, D.C., to secretly rally Democratic congressional support to replace Joe Biden atop the party’s 2024 ticket, though he has publicly backed Biden for reelection.
Politico’s Jonathan Martin reported that Obama recently hosted a number of meetings with younger House Democrats, which were described as “informal, but lengthy” and which “took place over cheese and crackers in Obama’s Washington office.”
It’s not clear what was discussed, but it did appear to be low-profile, raising questions about why such a high-profile figure such as Obama would be getting involved. Also, according to RadarOnline.com, the meeting featured younger Democratic congressional leaders and former administration staffers at Obama’s DC office.
“Obama recognizes the gravity of the situation with Joe’s disappointing poll numbers,” said a Beltway insider. “He had hoped that the president would have rallied and come into his own at this point, but that clearly hasn’t happened.
“With 2024 growing closer and closer, he had to act since he apparently fears Joe is getting too old and frail to win,” the insider noted further.
Officially, the stated purpose of the closed-door meetings was for Obama to give advice, get to know the younger Democratic lawmakers, and reacquaint himself with what they were hearing in their home districts, a source snitched to GLOBE, which first reported details of the meeting.
All three members of the Democratic House leadership — Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, Whip Katherine Clark and Caucus Chairman Pete Aguilar — as well as rising party stars like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Haley Stevens were reportedly at the get-togethers.
Sources said the meets were unprecedented for Obama — who has mostly kept a low profile since leaving the White House.
“Obama has been a reliable stump supporter for Democrats, but he’s been wary about stepping on Joe’s toes because of all the bad blood between them,” the Beltway insider noted further. “The fact that he held these meetings suggests a definite change for him.”
Sources added that Obama had betrayed Biden once before, backing his former secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, in 2016 over his vice president though Biden expressed an interest in running himself.
According to insiders, the relationship between the two individuals has deteriorated over time. Reports suggest that Obama has consistently overshadowed the president during their joint appearances, exacerbating the tensions.
Additionally, Biden declined to attend Obama’s extravagant 60th birthday celebration in Martha’s Vineyard, citing concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic at its peak.
“Obama’s scaled-down birthday bash was a black eye for the administration at a time when Joe was urging the public to take precautions,” said a source. “It made Democrats look hypocritical and elitist.”
In a Monday op-ed, the New York Post reminded readers that Obama, when speaking to another Democrat about Biden becoming the party’s 2020 nominee, remarked, “Don’t underestimate Joe’s ability to f–k things up.”
As for the meetings Obama held, Politico’s Martin noted, “The gatherings were Obama’s idea, I’m told, and were designed for the now-61-year-old former president to keep current with his party’s rising stars, more than six years after he left office. The sessions…are striking for a number of reasons.”
The former president was careful to avoid criticizing Biden with the lawmakers, only encouraging Democrats to be aggressive marketing their accomplishments. They should establish their own identity, he said, while allowing that the party’s fate in 2024 would be largely tied to Biden’s success.
Multiple attendees of the conversations told me it was never fully clear to them why Obama wanted to gather. The meetings were described to me as a mix of get-to-know-you chatter mixed with long-winded advice, talk of best practices, and curiosity about what the lawmakers were hearing at home.