US President Barack Obama is not ready to formally endorse his ex-secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, in her bid for the presidency because it is possible that other hopefuls for the post will appear, including other “friends” of the chief executive, the White House.
A day after Clinton, who was defeated by Obama in the Democratic primaries of 2008, announced her intention to seek the party’s presidential nomination in 2016, White House spokesperson Josh Earnest on Monday scuttled rumors about any immediate support she might get from the president, Efe news service reported.
“The two of them Obama and Clinton have become friends, but there are other people who are friends of the president who may decide to enter the race. So the president has not offered up any sort of endorsement at this point,” Earnest told his daily press conference.
Though the spokesperson did not identify exactly who those “friends” might be, predictably among them will be Vice President Joe Biden if he finally decides to compete for the Democratic nomination.
Earnest emphasised that it will be “the responsibility of Democratic voters to decide who should be the Democratic nominee for president” in 2016, and once the process is concluded, whoever receives the party’s nomination “can be confident that they’ll enjoy the support of President Obama in their campaign.”
Last Saturday, Obama called Hillary Clinton a “friend” who would be “an excellent president,” a statement interpreted by some pundits as an implicit endorsement for his former secretary of state (2009-2013), considered the frontrunner by a wide margin for the Democratic presidential nomination.