President Obama and Sen. Bernie Sanders will meet privately in the Oval Office today, just two days after Obama effectively declared Sanders' opponent, Hillary Clinton, the winner of the Democratic primary. Hardly two hours after the president released his Tuesday evening statement, Sanders took to a podium in California to inform supporters of his plans to stay in the race until the summer convention in Philadelphia. In perhaps an early preview of their meeting today at the White House,
Obama told fundraiser attendees in New York Wednesday night that “we just ended or sort of ended our primary season,” which begs the question over whether he will be able to convince Sanders of the same.
Other top Democratic supporters of Sanders have similarly told ABC News of their readiness to rally behind Clinton.
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Obama to Push for Democratic Unity in Meeting With Bernie Sanders (ABC News)
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But the White House maintains Obama will not call on Sanders to drop out of the race, and still has not made his official endorsement of Clinton, which White House officials say is imminent.
"At this point, the president believes that Senator Sanders has more than earned the right to make his own decision about the course of his campaign," White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters Wednesday.
Regardless, the conversation is expected to center around shaping a new role for Sanders and his policy proposals in a party establishment roiled by the self-proclaimed Democratic socialist’s calls for a political revolution.
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Sanders has been outspoken on his issues of disagreement with Clinton, saying he will stand firm on his push for the party to adopt a $15 minimum wage and paid family and medical leave as concrete platform positions.
After his meeting with Obama, Sanders will take a short trip to Capitol Hill to meet with top Democrats, including Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid.