Obama could endorse Clinton this week

June 6, 2016  

President Barack Obama could officially endorse Hillary Clinton as early as this week after she secures enough delegates to clinch the Democratic presidential nomination, The Hill reported on Monday.

The exact timing of an endorsement remains unclear, according to administration officials.

The president reportedly spoke with the other Democratic presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders, over the weekend, NBC News reported Monday.

The White House declined to comment on the contents of the conversation, but the report said the president is expected to help broker a truce between Sanders and Clinton.

According to The Hill, Obama is expected to travel to New York on Wednesday to speak at two Democratic fundraisers, which will take place after California and five other states hold primaries on Tuesday.

The only primary contest remaining after Tuesday is next week in the District of Columbia. It’s likely that Clinton will attract enough support in those contests to claim the nomination.

Clinton won the Puerto Rico Democratic primaries on Sunday, after a blowout victory Saturday in the Virgin Islands, though she was still short of the number of delegates needed to clinch the nomination.

Counting pledged delegates and superdelegates who have committed to supporting her, Clinton is now 23 delegates short of the number needed to clinch, The Associated Press reported.

Obama has been sidelined for much of the presidential race because of the presidential primary contest between Clinton and Sanders, noted The Hill, but if Clinton reaches the 2,383 delegates needed to clinch the nomination, Obama may end his neutrality.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest said the president’s decision on when to endorse would be “rooted largely in his own judgment” but acknowledged that “we may have a better sense of where the race is headed” after voters cast ballots in New Jersey, California and other states.

Earnest, repeatedly badgered by reporters about the timing of an endorsement, opened the door to the possibility that one could come Wednesday.

Asked why the president would not endorse the day after the primary, Earnest said with a smile, “I don’t know, maybe he would.”

Clinton, meanwhile, is comfortably ahead of Sanders in the delegate count, and has shifted the focus of her campaign from Sanders to presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump.

Last Thursday, Clinton gave a speech in San Diego in which she blasted Trump’s  foreign policy platform, which she described as “dangerously incoherent”.

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