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Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts has gained an edge over her rivals in seeking to present herself as the rightful heir of the Obama administration.
More than 200 members of former President Barack Obama’s past campaigns and his administration have signed on to Warren’s campaign, according to CNN.
Former Vice President Joe Biden, who served under Obama, often touts his connection to Obama and Obama’s policies in his campaign. Biden is currently leading the race, with 27.8 percent support according to the RealClearPolitics average of polls.
Warren is in third, behind Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont. Warren is at 15.2 percent support while Sanders is at 19.3 percent.
The effort to put Obama loyalists behind Warren is led by former Obama aides Sara El-Amine and Jon Carson. Both filled key roles in Obama’s campaigns and as past executive directors of Organizing for America, an Obama network of organizers.
“We are a group that really uniquely knows that electability is self-determining and that oftentimes it’s the people with the boldest vision and the most unlikely candidacies early on who can really shift the field,” El-Amine said. “Sen. Warren really has the zest and the grit and the gumption and the audacity that we loved that President Obama really embodied.”
Carson shunned talking about Biden, preferring instead to focus on Warren.
“We all got to know each other working on a campaign, but we’re doing different things now and I think we all really believe in the need for big structural change that she is promising,” Carson said. “I think that’s why we’re with Sen. Warren.”
I’m grateful to have the support of these Obama campaign alumni and my fellow Obama administration alumni. Their work changed what we know is possible in our politics. Together, we can win in 2020 and build a government that works for everyone. https://t.co/BPlavS9uSz
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) December 18, 2019
The list of Obama-ites supporting Warren includes Robert Ford, former ambassador to Syria, and Sean Carroll, a former top official at USAID.
The name of Edward Buck was on the list of endorsers until Warren’s staff realized that Buck, a former Democratic donor, had been indicted in relation to the deaths of men who overdosed at his home.
“This was a mistake considering Ed Buck was not staff or an alum. This was put together via Google doc by some Obama alums and they caught some non-staff that populated the list but obviously they missed one. They are removing it,” Warren campaign spokesman Chris Hayden told Fox News.
Max Berger, another Warren aide, tweeted that someone had also tried to add fake names to the list.
1. This was compiled by volunteers from the Obama network.
2. Someone added fake names to the list. The volunteers caught most of them. They obviously missed one.
3. Ed Buck is in prison. He has no access to email. He couldn’t have signed this letter.
— Max Berger (@maxberger) December 19, 2019
Obama has publicly avoided any comment supporting one candidate over the other, though comments he made last month were interpreted as aimed at Warren and Sanders, according to Fox News. Obama said at the time that some Democrats were not in tune with voters on issues such as immigration and health care.
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“The average American doesn’t think we have to completely tear down the system and remake it. And I think it’s important for us not to lose sight of that,” Obama said.
“There are a lot of persuadable voters and there are a lot of Democrats out there who just want to see things make sense. They just don’t want to see crazy stuff,” he said. “They want to see things a little more fair, they want to see things a little more just. And how we approach that I think will be important.”
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