by Stacey Lennox, PJ Media:
Many commentators have referred to the next four years with Joe Biden as president as Barack Obama’s third term. Given the fact that Obama did not endorse Biden until five days after Bernie Sanders suspended his presidential campaign, it always seemed as if the former president was trading his endorsement for influence. Now we can all be assured that Obama weighs in pretty regularly.
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During Monday’s press conference, a reporter noted the former president is involved with Protect Our Care. This group describes itself as “the communications, organizing, rapid response, research and messaging center” in the fight for affordable healthcare. Apparently, Obama has joined the group to celebrate the 11th anniversary of Obamacare by making videos and promoting his signature legislation’s successes. The same reporter then asked if the former president had visited the White House yet and how often President Biden has spoken with him. Press Secretary Jen Psaki responded:
“Well, I will say having a unique view of this question, they were not just president and vice president. They are friends. They consult and talk about a range of issues and I would expect that continues through the course of President Biden’s presidency. That can be done over the phone it turns out, and I think if President Obama had been here, you would all know. He’s a recognizable figure.”
” But I expect given former President Obama’s work on the Affordable Care Act, President Biden’s commitment to expanding access to healthcare throughout his presidency that it’s an issue they’ll talk about. But in terms of what he’ll be involved with I would point you to his team.”
She did not offer a specific number of calls but said the two are in touch regularly, and their teams are also on a range of issues. This news should not come as a big surprise. Obama administration veterans fill the Biden White House. Of Biden’s 16 original Cabinet appointees, 12 are veterans of Team Obama. With Neera Tanden out as Director of OMB, that calculus could change slightly, but the lower-level appointees also have quite a few Obama White house veterans.