Politico reported the former president consulted with at least nine possible candidates in Washington, D.C. over the past few months. Former Vice President Joe Biden, Senators Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) and former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick (D) were among the reported hopefuls.
“The president was generous with his time and advice, and he was excited to talk about the future,” said one person who had insider knowledge regarding the meetings.
In March, Sanders requested a meeting with Obama to discuss the future of the Democratic party, but there weren't any specific discussions regarding a potential 2020 run.
Obama met with Biden in January, who is expected to announce a presidential bid after November's midterm elections.
The former president has met with Warren twice. The first meeting happened in spring 2017 after Warren said she was “troubled” by the $400,000 fee Obama received for a speech. The second occurred in April, and they reportedly discussed Trump and reminisced about their time in Washington.
Obama has also met with lesser-known candidates including former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu; South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Jason Kander, who unsuccessfully ran for Senate in 2016.
Sources say the meetings usually run for an hour or more. President Obama offers the prospective candidates advice, discusses the future of the party and their role in that future. He shares his opinions on campaigns and offers to help candidates reach out to donors and prominent party members.
According to The Hill, Obama will headline his first Democratic National Committee fundraiser later this month.