The 2020 Dem Primaries and the Obama Factor

The 2020 Dem primaries have fallen into a particular pattern with Biden in the lead, Warren and Sanders crowding behind him, but splitting the lefty vote, with Kamala Harris trying and failing to catch up.

The pattern doesn't look likely to shift, despite Biden's weakness, except for one major factor.

Barack Obama.

Despite most people's expectations, Obama's public presence has been rather limited. He's done the usual paid speeches and a certain amount of organizational community organizing, and his library slowly moves forward, but his attacks on Trump have been weak and fitful.

Instead, some 2020 Democrats have turned on Obama.

And yet Obama could shift the state of the Dem field.

Biden's lead depends on black voters. Their loyalty isn't so much to him as it is to the old establishment and to Obama. 

Obama could likely move either Warren or Harris (I don't see him opting for Sanders) into the lead while demolishing Biden's campaign.

Or he could try to take one of the aspiring wannabes further back, most likely Buttigieg, and move him up.

That's always been the X factor.

What Obama cares about is his politics and his legacy. And he has doubts to what extend Biden can carry it on or win a presidential election. Biden's performance is also for an audience of one that most people have forgotten about. And the latest noises suggest that Obama may not have that much confidence in Biden. Yet his question may be whether there is anyone who can beat or replace him.

Obama's people initially made noises about interviewing candidates. But then let events take their courses. 

Obama has a limited window in which to influence the primary election. That is the X factor.