Typically, sitting presidents do not make endorsements of presidential candidates until their party's primaries have been completed. Still, there has been some speculation that President Obama would break with that tradition in the upcoming election. Back in August, when Vice President Joe Biden was still considering a run, Politico reported that White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters, "I wouldn't rule out the possibility of an endorsement in the Democratic primary." That didn't come to pass. This week, the president wrote an op-ed in the New York Times about gun control. "I will not campaign for, vote for or support any candidate, even in my own party, who does not support common-sense gun reform," he wrote. The implication is that gun-friendly candidate Bernie Sanders might not earn Obama's endorsement.
On NBC's Meet the Press, Chuck Todd asked White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough if that could possibly mean Obama would endorse Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders. The Vermont senator voted for a 2005 bill that protects gun manufacturers and dealers from liability lawsuits and against the Brady Bill, mandating background checks for gun purchasers. McDonough denied this interpretation of Obama's words. "We'll do exactly what has been done in the past, which is when the nominee is set, then the president will be out there," McDonough said. "This isn't only about the [presidential] primary. We've got a third of the Senate that's running, we've got all the House that's running, we've got state houses and governorships across the country where this is going to be an issue on the ballot." Clinton has, however, received a couple of notable endorsements over the weekend. Former Representative Gabby Giffords, a gun control activist since the mass shooting that nearly took her life in 2011, is reportedly set to announce her support of Clinton this week. Meanwhile, Lena Dunham has been in Iowa campaigning with fashion as well as words: