Campaign

Hundreds of former Obama aides backing Warren's 2020 bid

Hundreds of former officials from the Obama campaign and administration are endorsing Sen. Elizabeth Warren's (D-Mass.) White House bid.

The endorsements came after a campaign by Sara El-Amine and Jon Carson, who respectively served as national director of former President Obama's 2012 reelection campaign and national field director for his 2008 campaign prior to joining the administration.

Both later worked on Organizing for America, the Obama grassroots organizing network.

The endorsements of more than 200 Obama alumni, which was first reported by CNN and confirmed to The Hill, could serve as a boon to Warren less than two months before the first primaries and caucuses take place in February.

"We are a group that really uniquely knows that electability is self-determining and that oftentimes it's the people with the boldest vision and the most unlikely candidacies early on who can really shift the field," El-Amine told CNN. "Sen. Warren really has the zest and the grit and the gumption and the audacity that we loved that President Obama really embodied." 

Among Warren's newest endorsers are Robert Ford, ex-US ambassador to Syria, and Sean Carroll, a former senior official at USAID, as well as Obama alumni who are working for Warren full time, including chief strategist Joe Rospars, senior adviser Emily Parcell, national political director Rebecca Pearcey and national director of public engagement Alencia Johnson. 

The slate of endorsements could be viewed as a slight against former Vice President Joe Biden, who served alongside Obama for all eight years of his presidency.

"We all got to know each other working on a campaign, but we're doing different things now and I think we all really believe in the need for big structural change that she is promising," Carson told CNN, noting that Warren is also an Obama alumna from her work creating the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. "I think that's why we're with Sen. Warren."

Warren has slid in the polls in recent weeks as she's faced scrutiny for her position on "Medicare for All" and how she would pay for it. Warren tweaked her proposal, and now says she would not seek to enact Medicare for All until the third year of her first term.

Several of the top 2020 candidates have sought to tie themselves to Obama, who remains enormously popular with the Democratic base.

Biden frequently touts accomplishments made during the "Obama-Biden administration," while South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg recently announced endorsements from three former Obama administration officials: Austan Goolsbee, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under Obama, Linda Douglass, the former director of communications for the White House Office of Health Reform, and Reggie Love, Obama's special assistant and personal aide. 

Warren lauded the Obama administration and campaign alumni as having "changed what we know is possible in American politics."

"I am honored to stand beside them, and with their support, we will win in 2020 and make government work for all people, not just those at the top," Warren said in a statement.

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