There was a lot of 2020 Democratic primary news last week and this week. So much news, in fact, that it would have generated front-page headlines and stories for days. President Obama finally made his coveted endorsement, giving his former vice president the nod of affirmation he’s been waiting for. The endorsement train then rolled on with Biden securing the approval of Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Kamala Harris, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, among others.
It could be said this was Biden’s best week in the campaign so far, having vanquished his remaining rival with Sanders dropping out last week, Biden could finally assume the mantle of “presumptive” Democratic nominee.
The move by President Obama to finally offer his backing means that Biden will now have the full power of the Obama campaign machinery at his disposal, and he’ll need it:
Former President Barack Obama, who remained neutral for the entirety of the 2020 Democratic primary, endorsed his former vice president, Joe Biden, on Tuesday.
“I’m so proud to endorse Joe Biden for president of the United States,” Obama said in a nearly 12-minute video statement. “Choosing Joe to be my vice president was one of the best decisions I ever made, and he became a close friend. And I believe Joe has all the qualities we need in a president right now.”
Obama said he is going to hit the campaign trail for Biden “as soon as I can.”
Biden tweeted shortly after Obama’s remarks became public, saying the endorsement “means the world to Jill and me.”
“We’re going to build on the progress we made together, and there’s no one I’d rather have standing by my side,” Biden said.
In 2016, Hillary Clinton used Obama sparingly, and not as often as some of his inner-circle would have liked. In 2020, the story could be very different compared to 2016 with Biden deploying Obama much more regularly around the country. The other area where President Obama will help Biden greatly is to lock-up support from African-American voters:
According to polling and election data, Biden has overwhelming support from black voters. Some black voters pointed to his history of support for their community and his relationship with Obama. Biden has received the endorsement of several black leaders, such as Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., and civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga.
Biden needs to lock down as many of these voters as he can since even a small percentage peeled away by President Trump in 2020 could be an electoral game-changer.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a soft Biden critic throughout the campaign, heaped praise on the former vice president in an obvious move to garner some vice presidential attention of her own:
In this moment of crisis, it’s more important than ever that the next president restores Americans’ faith in good, effective government—and I’ve seen Joe Biden help our nation rebuild. Today, I’m proud to endorse @JoeBiden as President of the United States. pic.twitter.com/VrfBtJvFee
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) April 15, 2020
Warren is conceivably on the shortlist for Biden’s VP slot since she’s, well, a “she,” and it seems to be a good bet that Biden will pick a woman.
CNN compiled together a “Top 10” list of females that Biden could pick for a VP slot:
- Kamala Harris, U.S. Senator from California
- Amy Klobuchar, U.S. Senator from Minnesota
- Catherine Cortez Masto, U.S. Senator from Nevada
- Gretchen Whitmer, Governor of Michigan
- Elizabeth Warren, U.S. Senator from Massachusetts
- Susan Rice, former UN Ambassador for President Obama
- Tammy Duckworth, U.S. Senator from Illinois
- Tammy Baldwin, Wisconsin State Supreme Court Justice
- Keisha Lance Bottoms, Mayor of Atlanta
- Stacey Abrams, former Georgia Gubernatorial candidate
Out of the list, it would seem that Harris, Klobuchar, or perhaps Warren would have the best chance right now.
The list is solid, however, and barring some unforeseen dark horse candidate, Biden’s choice, if he chooses a woman, will likely come from some name on that list. Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmore had been strongly in the running, but she’s currently facing a backlash in her state over accusations of heavy-handed shutdown measures due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The party is huddling around Biden and fully embracing him as the 2020 nominee. Whether all factions of the party will get there, such as backers of Bernie Sanders, remains to be seen. Aside from that, Biden has had his best week of the campaign season so far, though much of it passes by on the roadside of the Coronavirus train we’re all still riding.