Obama Keeps His Hands in Party Politics

The Democratic Party currently has no leader. Hillary Clinton is a ghost, Sen. Bernie Sanders is shuttling between his three homes, Joe Biden is now a conductor on Amtrak, and while Sen. Elizabeth Warren is barking like an alpha dog, the chances the party will go for another white woman in 2020 (although she is 97 percent American Indian) are pretty slim.

That leaves Barack Obama -- new boss, same as the old boss. 

Obama’s former political director is now delivering advice to leaders at the Democratic National Committee, The Hill reports: 

David Simas, who is now CEO of the Obama Foundation, is close with DNC Chairman Tom Perez and has been in regular contact with Sam Cornale, a top adviser to Perez. A source who has been involved in the transition said Simas has provided strategic advice on hiring decisions.

The new chairman has asked for resignation letters from most DNC staff as he begins the process of building his own team, although so far the DNC has only unveiled its communications team.

The talks with one of Obama’s most prominent political aides underscore the delicate line walked by the DNC as it charts a way forward after a divisive presidential primary battle last year.

Any conversations between Perez and political figures who are viewed as being part of the establishment can be greeted with suspicion by liberal Democrats, who want to see the DNC stocked with progressives after the organization tilted the scales in favor of Hillary Clinton and against Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) last year during the presidential campaign.

Perez, Obama’s Labor secretary, was seen as the former president’s favored candidate in the race for the chairmanship earlier this year. Progressives were disappointed when he defeated Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), who ran with the support of Sanders.

A spokesperson for the DNC downplayed the conversations, saying Simas is not advising in any official capacity and that talks with Perez represent just a small part of the input the chairman is taking from Democrats across the country as he seeks a path forward for a party devastated by its loss of the White House in 2016. 

The Obamas decided to stay in Washington after the president's two terms in office (the first modern president to do so). In fact, they moved only blocks away from the White House, making due with an 8,200-square-foot cabin in the posh Kalorama neighborhood -- a steal at $5.3 million.

Obama turned his house - two miles from the White House - into the headquarters for Operation Oust Trump. "Obama's goal, according to a close family friend, is to oust Trump from the presidency either by forcing his resignation or through his impeachment," the Daily Mail reported.

"No longer the most powerful man in the world, he was just observing Trump and not liking what he saw," a source told Daily Mail. "He was weary and burned out after eight years in office. But Valerie [Jarrett] convinced him that he didn't have any choice if he wanted to save his legacy. And, as usual, he bowed to Valerie's political wisdom and advice."

"Obama is dismayed at the way Trump is tearing down his legacy—ObamaCare, the social safety net, and the welcome mat for refugees he put in place," the source continued. 

So, it looks like Obama will be living in Washington for a while - and it looks like he's the de facto head of the Democratic Party as well.

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