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.
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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.