I must say: I’m surprised.
Not that Hillary was going to be the nominee. Not that Obama was in her camp. But by the gratuitously insulting and imperious way in which Obama, on behalf of Hillary, shut Bernie down.
Bernie was not going to win the superdelegates. Obama could have worked with Hillary quietly, behind the scenes, to ensure that, and to make sure the convention went smoothly enough, while maintaining his public neutrality.
By endorsing Hillary at this time, in this way—within minutes of his meeting with Sanders where Bernie had praised Obama for not “putting his thumb on the scale,” before Bernie had even started his next meeting of the day, before the final primary, before the vote at the convention that formally decides the nominee, and with an ad that Obama had filmed for Hillary in advance, posted on Facebook by the Clinton campaign—Obama was making a deliberately excessive gesture.
He was effectively telling Bernie, in a publicly brutal way, who’s the boss: “You’ve had your fun. Now get with the program. Oh, and, by the way, as you leave, make sure that those little ‘uns you got all riled up vote for Hillary.”
Forget thumb, Obama put his fist on the scale, effectively telling the superdelegates how he wants them to vote. Obama is now campaigning for Hillary while Bernie is still officially in the race, and daring Bernie or anybody to complain about it. “Hey Bernie: Not the superdelegates, not anybody in this party, is going to defy me. Are you?”