President Obama has yet to publicly throw his support behind a candidate vying for his spot in the White House, and for good reason. Even though we're fast approaching the halfway mark in the primaries, it's still too early. But let's rewind about a decade: It was 2006. Obama was a senator from Illinois. His hair was darker. He needed a megaphone to be heard. He also wasn't afraid to say who he thought deserved to be come out on top. In a major throwback, there's video of Obama campaigning for Bernie Sanders, the dark horse Independent from Vermont whose recent heyday with voters has finally made the Democratic primary a race to watch.
The video was shot by a potato cam, sure, but Obama and Sanders, with his now heavily meme'd signature coif, are unmistakable. Sanders first introduces Obama as "one of the great leaders of the United States Senate" before the young Illinois senator steps up to invigorate Vermont voters. Obama's goal? To get them to the polls and put a then-Rep. Sanders in the Senate and have Democrat Pete Welch take his place in the House.
I want to make sure that everybody is as enthusiastic as I am about making sure that these guys end up in Washington where they can keep stirring up some trouble.
Ten years later, and that love has spread nationwide as tens of thousands swarm to Sanders' rallies while he campaigns for the White House. The strong showing has come as such a surprise that even the team for front-runner Hillary Clinton is worried — and publicly saying it.
As the outgoing president with nothing to lose and no favors to curry, Obama will be the Democratic Party's biggest advocate in 2016, particularly with black voters who were the key demo that boosted him in both his runs. Seeing POTUS support Sanders even before Clinton served four years as his secretary of state is a fun twist to the whole "who does Obama want" game, especially since Bern has helped liven up the Democratic primary, which (to be honest) wasn't shaping up to be much of a fight given the lackluster field. I mean, seriously. Lincoln Chafee? Come on... At least the GOP, with its house of misfit politicos, was offering a must-watch brawl.
Obama will likely plead the fifth for some time when it comes to officially endorsing his potential successor, but have no doubt that once the primaries are over, he'll campaign hard for whoever is the Democratic champion. And this time around, he won't be using just a megaphone.
Image: QuienEs Obama/YouTube