Ex-Obama, Hillary official calls Barack Obama 'one of the most popular figures in the country;' talks potential 2020 Dem endorsement

Former Obama White House communications director Jennifer Palmieri weighed in on the state of the 2020 presidential race Wednesday on "The Daily Briefing," and discussed the possibility of former President Barack Obama giving his endorsement to Joe Biden.

Palmieri said Biden's poll numbers are high because Democrats are still endeared to him from his service to the president for eight years, but didn't explain why he hasn't received an official endorsement in return.

"[Obama's] the most popular figure in the Democratic Party, by far. And one of the most popular figures in the country," she said."So I do think that people felt the need to make their own argument."


Palmieri said Biden's strategy of playing off the nostalgia from the Obama administration is a mixed bag, but claimed he's still viewed very positively by Democratic voters.

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"It's a mix, right? You don't get a lot of clean shots in politics where you might not get some kind of incoming. But I think that there's a great deal of affection for the president and there's a great deal of affection for Vice President Biden because people see him, a lot of African-American voters in particular, as somebody who is a stalwart defender of Obama for eight years," she said.

"[He was] always there for him and this is why you see Biden have the durable poll numbers that he does."

Palmieri also commented on Biden being caught off guard by Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., in the last debate and said she was the only candidate able to continually land body blows to the former vice president's campaign.


"The weird thing about last time is I don't think he was unprepared because he actually had an answer for [Harris'] question ... He understood what her situation was. He was even able to say, in your case, X, Y or Z. He just did not execute well at all. So he needs to execute a lot better," she said.

"This time you have Biden in the middle, Harris on one side and Cory Booker on the other. And whereas last time Harris was the only one getting some really tough shots in at Biden, Booker has already laid the groundwork. Interestingly, he laid it last week, he got into a tiff with Biden over the record on crime. But I think he intentionally did that last week so he doesn't have to come at Biden full frontal."