Reports say Obama, known for his ability to reach various segments of the Democratic Party, has talked about bridging the party’s current divide.
Various sources have reported Obama to be moving behind the scene for the DNC to rebuild the Democratic Party.
The Hill reported:
Since leaving office, he has held meetings—on a by-request basis— with a handful of House and Senate lawmakers in his office in Washington’s West End and over the phone.
In recent months, for example, he sat down one-on-one with freshman Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), according to a Democrat familiar with the meeting.
He has also met with and has had phone conversations with Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez throughout the spring, according to two sources.
Obama’s former political adviser David Simas, who is now the CEO of the Obama Foundation, has also been making a string of calls to DNC officials in recent months.
Sources familiar with Obama’s meetings with members of Congress declined to offer the names of all of the lawmakers he has met with, saying the sessions were meant to be private.
The DNC source described Obama’s chats with Perez as regular “check ins.”
Obama hasn’t had a major public presence on the political stage, since leaving the White House.
But the private activity suggests that the former president, who left the White House with a 60 percent approval rating, is quietly doing more to shape the party than is often visible.
The meetings and calls have come at a time when the Democratic Party, still reeling from the stunning 2016 presidential election loss, is searching for leadership.
As the party attempts to rebuild, Democrats find themselves in an identity crisis, still trying to figure out how they lost white working class voters and the states of Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin to President Trump.
A string of disappointing House special election losses has contributed to a sense of unease, and left Democrats questioning some of their leaders — particularly House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.).
One source close to the former president said that while Obama wants to provide space for new leadership in the party to step in, he also wants to be “an available resource” for those drafting the Democratic message.
The conversations between Obama and the lawmakers and party leaders are said to vary.
With Perez, the men discussed the outlines of the party’s future. With others, he has discussed policy.
Obama—known for his ability to reach various segments of the Democratic Party— has talked about bridging the party’s current divide by explaining policy nuance in story form.”
Do you think Obama has a personal agenda in staying politically active behind the scene?