President Barack Obama will meet with surging Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders on Wednesday, just days before the Iowa caucuses.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest announced Tuesday that the meeting will take place in the Oval Office and was first discussed when the Vermont senator attended the Congressional Holiday Ball last month.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has had a number of private meetings with Obama, including one in December that Earnest described as “mostly a social occasion.”
The Obama-Sanders sit down comes after the president made comments that seemed to suggest support for his former Cabinet member.
The above information leaves a lot open to interpretation.
One simple assessment is that President Obama is trying to deflect criticisms that the DNC is playing favorites and at least wants to create an appearance of fairness, even if one meeting isn’t quite the same as Hillary’s “number of private meetings.”
The takeaway that most people will probably have, however, is that the president is acknowledging that Her Grannyship’s path to the nomination may not be a done deal after all and he should get to know the even more geriatric alternative better. Hillary’s camp will probably dismiss that idea.
It’s not outlandish to think that this meeting probably wouldn’t be taking place if Bernie hadn’t all but vaporized Hillary’s once solid lead in the polling for Iowa though.