President Barack Obama is portraying the Democratic presidential primary as a race between Hillary Clinton’s pragmatism and experience versus Bernie Sanders’ idealism and liberalism.

Obama is offering his most extensive assessment of the 2016 Democratic race to date in an interview with Politico. He says Clinton is "wicked smart," but that her strengths are also her weaknesses. He says Clinton’s experience has taught her to be cautious, so that she campaigns more in prose than in poetry.

Obama is carefully avoiding showing explicit favoritism in the Democratic race to replace him. He says Sanders campaigns with the attitude of having nothing to lose. Obama says Sanders taps into a thread of Democratic politics yearning for leaders to "be full-throated" in their progressive politics.

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