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Photo: The Washington Post via Getty Images

Former President Barack Obama has held private meetings with at least nine Democratic contenders for the 2020 presidential nomination, Politico's Edward-Isaac Dovere reports, citing sources familiar with the conversations.

Why it matters: A meeting with Obama is an easy way for 2020 contenders to gain legitimacy and presidential wisdom — and, most importantly, a foothold with the man still largely considered to be the Democratic Party's figurehead.

The big picture:

  • "Obama tends to give advice, guidance, talk about the future of the party, and everyone’s places in it."
  • "He’ll give his thoughts on campaigns. He’ll offer to help make sure donors and party bigwigs are returning calls."
  • "The people in them walk out appreciative but tight-lipped. They worry that if word gets out, Obama might renege on his offers to help and not invite them again if they do."

The juice:

  • Bernie Sanders: "They talked about the future of the party and their different roles in it. They talked about what the party should be focused on, and what would be distractions."
  • Elizabeth Warren: "The first [meeting] was in the spring of 2017 after Warren said she was 'troubled' by the $400,000 Obama was getting to speak at a Wall Street investment firm ... She did not apologize, but she acknowledged what she’d kicked up with the comment, and they talked about keeping that conversation in mind for the future."
  • Joe Biden: "He’s waiting until after the midterms to make a decision on 2020, though many people see him as leaning toward it."
  • Deval Patrick: "Obama and many in his inner circle are eager to see [him] get into the 2020 race."
  • Who hasn't stopped by: Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris and Terry McAuliffe — and Cory Booker hasn't been to Obama's office since last year.

What's next:

  • "Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has urged Obama over the phone to see massive fundraising as the best way he can help Senate Democrats in 2018. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has also been on the phone with Obama, urging him toward fundraising..."

Go deeper

10 hours ago - World

Over 170 Palestinians injured in clashes with Israeli police in Jerusalem

An injured man is carried away as Israeli security forces clash with Palestinian protesters at the al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem. Photo: Ahmad Gharabli/AFP via Getty Images

At least 178 Palestinians have been injured in clashes with Israeli police in Jerusalem, Reuters reported late Friday.

The big picture: The clashes come amid growing anger over the threatened eviction of Palestinians from their homes on land claimed by Jewish settlers in East Jerusalem. Tensions have also escalated in the occupied West Bank in recent weeks.

Updated 12 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus cases hit a seven-month low — Majority back vaccine proof requirements for travel, schools and work — The race to avoid a possible "monster" COVID variant.
  2. Politics: Oklahoma secures $2.6 million refund for hydroxychloroquine purchase — Why Biden's latest vaccine goal is his hardest yet.
  3. Vaccines: Pfizer begins application for full FDA approval of COVID-19 vaccine — Moderna says its COVID booster shot shows promise against variants.
  4. Economy: U.S. adds just 266,000 jobs in April, far below expectations — Americans' return to the skies could benefit smaller airlines.
  5. World: WHO authorizes China's Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use — Mixed response in Europe to Biden's vaccine patents bombshell.
  6. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.

Ohio GOP censures Rep. Anthony Gonzalez over Trump impeachment vote

Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

The Ohio Republican Party on Friday censured Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R-Ohio) and called for him to resign for voting to impeach former President Trump in January, Reuters reports.

The big picture: Gonzalez is the latest Republican lawmaker to be punished for voting to impeach the former president on a charge of inciting the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection.

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