Obama privately met with AOC and other Democrats during a series of reported intimate chats with House Democrats

Obama privately met with AOC and other Democrats during a series of reported intimate chats with House Democrats
By: Posted: June 23, 2023

Barack Obama
Former President Barack Obama

  • Obama is reportedly keeping tabs on the Democratic Party’s rising stars.
  • According to Politico, the former president held a series of group chats over the spring.
  • The former president is trying to balance his role without overshadowing Biden.

Former President Barack Obama privately met with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other House Democrats, a sign that while Obama stays largely quiet about day-to-day political matters he continues to closely follow what’s going on.

According to Politico’s Jonathan Martin, Obama has recently hosted a series of “informal, but lengthy private meetings with groups of next-generation House Democrats.” The private chats have featured lawmakers from across the political spectrum, ranging from Ocasio-Cortez to Reps. Mikie Sherrill of New Jersey and Haley Stevens of Michigan.

 One of the topics of dinner conversation, per Martin, was how Democrats can avoid coming off as elitist. In response, Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro’s push to remove college degree requirements “was discussed” along with freshman Rep. Marie Gluesenkamp Perez’s portrayal of her background as a millennial auto shop owner. 

Obama initiated the idea himself, according to Politico, as a way to continue to build ties with his party’s younger leaders. House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries also attended one of the larger gatherings.

Obama’s calendar hints at the difficulty that former presidents often face. Martin reports that Obama wants to be deferential to President Joe Biden, his former vice president, but one of the attendees of the private gatherings points out that Obama could help his party with a larger public presence. 

Before the 2022 midterms, Obama returned to the campaign trail where he tore into the Republican Party and Trump. It is likely that Obama will eventually take on a high-profile role as the 2024 campaign heats up. It remains to be seen if his presence will be comparable to former President Bill Clinton in 2012. As president, Obama dubbed Clinton “Secretary of Explaining Stuff” for his campaign trail appearances.

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