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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

Updated 1 hour ago - World

Australia joins U.S. in diplomatic boycott of Beijing Winter Olympics

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Photo: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

Australia is joining the U.S. in a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games in protest of human rights abuses committed by China's government, Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed Wednesday.

Driving the news: After the Biden administration's announcement that U.S. officials won't attend the Games due to the ongoing genocide of Uighurs and other Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region of China, Morrison said at a Sydney briefing that Australia would follow suit as "it's the right thing to do."

Progressives to file resolution to strip Boebert's committee seats

Rep. Lauren Boebert walking through the Senate side of the U.S. Capitol earlier this month. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

House progressives are planning to introduce a resolution on Wednesday to strip Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) of her committee assignments, according to a Democratic aide familiar with the matter.

Why it matters: The move, which was first reported by the Washington Post, comes as progressives — anxious to see the right-wing firebrand face retribution for her recent comments — have grown frustrated by Democratic leadership's inaction on the issue.

Roger Stone won't cooperate with Jan. 6 panel

Longtime Trump confidante Roger Stone speaking in front of the Supreme Court on Jan. 5 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Longtime Trump confidante Roger Stone won't cooperate with the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot and will invoke the Fifth Amendment right not to testify, his attorney said Tuesday evening.

Why it matters: The announcement, first reported by ABC News, came hours after former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said he wouldn't cooperate with the probe.

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