Obama jumps in to help Biden defeat Trump again

 Barack Obama spent several hours last Friday in the White House Family Dining Room, visiting his former vice president, Joe Biden. The atmosphere was cheerful as the two men exchanged jokes, and the meeting was a mini-reunion of sorts for the two presidents' staffs, many of whom have known each other since their days in the Obama White House.

However, the occasion was just for two old friends to catch up.

Obama has made clear to colleagues in recent months that he believes the intense showdown between Biden and Donald Trump in November will be incredibly close, and that the 2024 election represents a moment of “full showdown,” people familiar with Obama's thinking said. he. He told CNN. To that end, his return to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue last week was largely a business visit.

Biden and Obama, along with former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, participated in an organizing call at the White House headquarters to commemorate the 14th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act. "We have the opportunity to do more, but it won't happen unless we send Joe and Kamala to the White House in November," Obama said in the video. “So we have to keep working.”

Off camera, Obama told Biden that he believed the president's State of the Union remarks earlier this month were effective and had an impact, according to people familiar with the conversation. Obama also stressed to Biden how much he believes health care will be a strong and politically important issue in the upcoming election.

The campaign also recorded other content starring the two presidents, which they plan to publish in the coming weeks, the sources said.

Sources said Obama and Biden speak regularly and that the former president remains in direct contact with some senior White House officials, including Biden's chief of staff, Jeff Zients, who worked in the Obama administration.

The former president has occasionally extended a helping hand to Biden since the incumbent's re-election was announced last year, particularly through public fundraising appeals and in quiet conversations in hopes of allaying concerns among some Democrats that he Biden seeks a second term. His involvement in Biden's campaign is expected to intensify as the general election progresses, and his advisers said he has already agreed to appear on several campaigns before November as he works to help rebuild Biden's winning coalition. starting in 2020.

Obama's biggest embrace of Biden's re-election effort comes Thursday at a star-studded Manhattan fundraising event featuring Biden, Obama and former President Bill Clinton. The three presidents will sit down for an unusual conversation, moderated by Stephen Colbert.

This will not be a routine Presidents Club meeting, and when Clinton and Obama take the stage at Radio City Music Hall, their appearance will highlight the extraordinary moment in American history when a sitting president engages in a bitter battle to keep his predecessor. To return to the White House.

“No one can talk to frustrated Democrats better than President Obama,” a senior strategist who worked closely with Obama and Biden told CNN, speaking on condition of anonymity to be candid about the campaign. But there are limits to what Obama can do. “The burden of winning this race still falls on President Biden.”

Thursday night's sold-out event will be attended by numerous celebrities and artists including Queen Latifah, Lizzo, Cynthia Erivo, Mindy Kaling, Ben Platt and Lea Michele, according to the campaign. The evening will be moderated by noted producers Jordan Roth and Alex Timbers, and ticket prices will range from $225 to $500,000.

Taking advantage of the rare joint appearances of Biden and two of his predecessors, the campaign offers some high-net-worth guests the opportunity to have renowned photographer Annie Leibovitz take photos with the three presidents.

Biden, as president, has also been in frequent contact with Clinton, sources familiar with the matter say. Steve Ricchetti, a senior Biden adviser who also worked in the Clinton White House, is also in regular contact with his former boss. Advice and suggestions related to the 2024 elections were part of all those conversations, these people said.

There was no denying Obama's appeal and popularity as one of the most famous national Democrats. The campaign's grassroots fundraising efforts, in which the former president participated, have raised more than $15 million in l