President Obama privately told Democratic donors last week that the time is fast approaching for the party to unite behind Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, marking the latest in a series of blows to Bernie Sanders’s underdog candidacy.
According to the New York Times, the president told attendees at a DNC fundraiser in Austin, Texas last Friday that Sanders’s path to the nomination was narrowing, and that it was important for the Democratic party to come together in time to stop the GOP nominee this fall.
Though he acknowledged many see Sanders as an authentic alternative to Clinton, President Obama noted that authenticity isn’t everything. He reminded donors that former president George W. Bush’s perceived authenticity was once praised as a strength, seeming to suggest that Sanders could prove a similarly poor president.
The timing of President Obama’s remarks is particularly noteworthy, coming just a few days after the Sanders campaign’s upset win in Michigan’s primary. That win rekindled the Vermont senator’s waning hope of erasing Clinton’s impressive delegate lead. But it proved to be an aberration just one week later, when Clinton swept five out of five primary contests and soundly beat the Vermont senator in the important swing states of Florida and Ohio.