There are two old white men in running for the nomination: Sanders and his good ole pal best bud forever, Joe Biden. The billionaires Michael Bloomberg and Tom Steyer don’t count here because I’m not convinced they’re not both Spider-Man villains. And while Obama’s withholding of an official endorsement for his former vice-president does seem pointed, the more likely target of his continued frustration is Sanders.
Just last month, it was reported by Politico that Obama had privately spoken about the Vermont senator seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, saying that while he is mostly taking a hands off approach to the primary, if Sanders started to win he would “speak up to stop him”.
It’s not clear what Obama’s interference could do that the media’s strange silence about Sanders’s campaign hasn’t already done. The mass media has been avoiding using Sanders’s name like they’re trying to avoid summoning Beetlejuice. But Obama’s hostility is understandable, given that Sanders is the candidate most outspoken about putting a stop to the great neoliberal experiment that privatized all services, hollowed out the middle class and removed most social welfare safety nets, an experiment Obama was an enthusiastic facilitator of. This isn’t the first verbal subtweet the former president has made, insisting earlier this year that the electorate didn’t want revolution – which is I guess how someone like him sees a project like nationalized health insurance – only “improvement”.