- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 9, 2016

President Obama is meeting with Sen. Bernard Sanders Thursday morning in the Oval Office, hoping to give the populist presidential candidate a tactful push toward a clear surrender to Hillary Clinton in their hard-fought battle for the Democratic nomination.

With some Sanders’ supporters urging their candidate to keep pressing on toward the Democratic convention next month, Mr. Obama has the delicate job of trying to show a clear end to the primary season so he and Mrs. Clinton can focus on presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump.

But Mr. Obama also doesn’t want to appear to be applying too heavy a hand with Mr. Sanders, whose millions of liberal supporters will be needed by Mrs. Clinton in the general election.

“My hope is, is that over the next couple of weeks, we’re able to pull things together,” Mr. Obama told “TonightShow” host Jimmy Fallon in an interview airing Thursday. “And what happens during primaries, you get a little ‘ouchy.’ Everybody does.”

He said the contested primary has been “a healthy thing for the Democratic Party.”

“I thought that Bernie Sanders brought enormous energy and new ideas,” the president said. “And he pushed the party and challenged them. I thought it made Hillary a better candidate.”

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