Barack’s on board | Obama endorses Joe Biden for president

Joe Biden has discussed vice presidential pick with Barack Obama

Joe Biden finally received his long-coveted endorsement from the Democratic Party’s most popular figure.

Former President Barack Obama, under whom Biden served as vice president, endorsed Biden in a video released late Tuesday morning.

“Joe has the character and the experience to guide us through one of our darkest times, and heal us through a long recovery. And I know he’ll surround himself with good people,” Obama said in a 12-minute video, touting Biden as a “close friend” and lauding him for his perseverance and compassion.

Biden has often mentioned his close relationship to Obama, who nonetheless had refrained — until now — from making an endorsement so far. Biden is framing his campaign pitch as an extension of Obama’s presidency.

ExploreSign up for our Election 2020 newsletter

Obama stayed above the fray in the primary, rarely speaking out about the intraparty fight. The former president offered his private counsel to any Democratic presidential contender who asked for it, but made no efforts to bolster any one candidate’s campaign, including Biden’s, despite their long history.

Obama’s endorsement, however, comes considerably earlier than in 2016. He backed Hillary Clinton in June of that year as her contentious primary fight with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders dragged on.

Biden is the only candidate remaining from a once-historically crowded field of Democratic contenders, a field that also included a record number of women and minorities.

On Monday, Biden received the endorsement of Sanders, who ended his presidential bid last week. He now has the support of all of his former Democratic primary rivals except for Elizabeth Warren.

Bernie Sanders endorses Joe Biden for president

Biden, 77, has been on a roll since the South Carolina primary. A crucial endorsement from influential South Carolina Rep. Jim Clyburn and a subsequent, larger-than-expected victory in South Carolina propelled the former vice president into Super Tuesday, when he won 10 of 14 states.

»MORE: Biden accused of sexual assault by former Senate staffer

In a matter of days, his top former Democratic rivals lined up and announced their endorsement of Biden. The former vice president’s campaign had appeared on the brink of collapse after New Hampshire but found new life as the rest of the party’s more moderate establishment coalesced around him as an alternative to Sanders.

In Other News