In a Time of Universal Deceit, Telling the Truth is Revolutionary.
Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Obama calls Clinton pragmatic, Sanders idealistic

FILE - In this Feb. 25, 2015, file photo, President Barack Obama speaks during a town hall meeting on immigration hosted by Telemundo and MSNBC, at Florida International University in Miami. New government figures show deportations of immigrants in the United States illegally have declined for the third consecutive year. The figures obtained by The Associated Press show that the Obama administration deported just over 231,000 people during the past 12 months ending September 28.  (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
President Barack Obama. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Barack Obama is casting the Democratic primary to replace him as a contest between Hillary Clinton’s pragmatism and experience versus Bernie Sanders’ idealism and liberalism.

Obama, in his most extensive assessment to date of the 2016 Democratic primary, said Clinton is “wicked smart,” but that her strengths are also her weaknesses. Praising her extensive preparation for the Oval Office, Obama said Clinton’s experience had taught her to “campaign more in prose than poetry.”

“I think Hillary came in with both privilege and burden of being perceived as the front-runner,” Obama said in an interview with Politico. “And as a consequence, you know, where they stood at the beginning probably helps to explain why the language sometimes is different.”

Asked repeatedly about the 2016 race, the president was extremely cautious to avoid showing explicit favor in the Democratic race. White House officials have said Obama will not endorse in the primary, which pits his 2008 primary opponent and former secretary of state against a liberal independent senator from Vermont who many Democrats feel embodies the upstart, idealistic nature of Obama’s own campaign.

Obama said there was no doubt Sanders had tapped into a “running thread” in Democratic politics that questions why people should be scared to talk bluntly about inequality and “be full-throated in our progressivism.”

“You know, that has an appeal,” Obama said. “And I understand that.”

Turning to the Republican primary, Obama said Donald Trump and Ted Cruz exploit an anger and frustration that is real within the Republican Party. But he said his hope was that when voting began, Republicans “will settle down and say, ‘Who do we want actually sitting behind the desk, making decisions that are critical to our future?'”

One week from now, Iowa voters will kick off the 2016 presidential contest with its caucuses. In the interview, Obama reflected on his own victory in Iowa eight years ago as the most satisfying of his political career, praising the process as a true expression of the way American democracy is supposed to work.

And he acknowledged his own weaknesses as an untested national candidate in 2008 in the high-stakes campaign in Iowa.

“I was too wonkish. I wasn’t crisp in my presentation, and that was true for a while,” Obama said. He said in his own primary campaign against Clinton, his supporters and staff “got too huffy” about legitimate questions that Clinton and her campaign had raised.

“There were times where I think the media probably was a little unfair to her and tilted a little my way in calling her out when she was tough, and not calling some of our folks out as much when we were tough in ads,” Obama said.


Reach Josh Lederman on Twitter at


Copyright © 2016 Capitol Hill Blue

Copyright  © 2016 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved

1 thought on “Obama calls Clinton pragmatic, Sanders idealistic”

  1. Poor friggin Hillary should I cry crocodile tears for her? Here is a women along with her husband that have taken over 300 mil. in fees, lectures etc. from Wall st , banks , Int’l Corps. and Gov’ts and now has to ask Pres. Obama to hand her a victim card? WTF? She’s in real trouble if they needed to reach for the Obama card even before this starts. This is what it is an attempt a politically kneecapping Bernie before the start gun is even fired. Shame on Obama and shame on the Dems.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: