Former President Barack H. Obama has made it clear: He will keep his hands off the 2020 Democratic presidential primary contest; there will be no endorsement coming from President No. 44.
Is that a slap in former VP Joe Biden’s face? Does that mean Obama secretly — or openly — wishes Biden wouldn’t run? No. Not in the least.
What it tells me is that the former president is keeping his options open while his fellow Democrats battle it out for the nomination and for the right to face off against Republican incumbent Donald J. Trump.
Obama is following a time-honored script. Don’t endorse in primaries; keep your cool; wait it out … and then offer your support to the nominee!
That isn’t how Donald Trump has handled a lot of down-ballot races, most notably starting with the 2018 Alabama U.S. Senate race. At first he endorsed incumbent senator, who then lost the GOP primary to that wacked-out judge, Roy Moore. Trump then endorsed Moore for election over the Democratic nominee, Doug Jones, who then defeated Moore in the 2018 general election.
Trump has gotten his finger nails dirty in other intraparty races, too.
It just isn’t customary.
Barack Obama must have a favorite or two among the Democrats seeking to run against Trump. He’s going to keep it to himself.
Can anyone blame him for wanting to keep his proverbial political powder dry? I cannot.