- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 14, 2020

The Obama-Biden tag team is back.

Former President Barack Obama returned to the political ring Tuesday to endorse Joseph R. Biden’s 2020 White House bid, praising his former right-hand man and calling for a “great awakening” against President Trump.

Mr. Obama described Mr. Biden as an “incredible partner” armed with the leadership qualities and belief in “good governance” that has been missing in the White House during the coronavirus pandemic.

“If there is one thing we have learned as a country from moments of great crisis is that the spirit of looking out for one another can’t be restricted to our homes or our workplaces or our neighborhoods or our houses of worship,” Mr. Obama said in a 12-minute video message. “It also has to be reflected in our national government. The kind of leadership that is guided by knowledge and experience, honesty and humility, empathy and grace, that kind of leadership doesn’t just belong in our state capitals and mayor’s offices, it belongs in the White House, and that is why I am so proud to endorse Joe Biden for president of the United States.

“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,” he said.

The announcement came a day after Sen. Bernard Sanders, the granddaddy of far-left liberalism, tossed his public support behind Mr. Biden. Mr. Sanders had been given a heads up that Mr. Obama would endorse Mr. Biden.

The back-to-back endorsements underscored Democrats’ determination to project a united front against Mr. Trump and avoid the nasty infighting that plagued the 2016 contest.

“History will record Barack Obama’s years in office as one of the great American presidencies; there is no better partner in the battle for the soul of this nation, and no one I’d rather have standing by my side,” Mr. Biden said in a statement released later in the day.

Mr. Obama, who served four years as a senator from Illinois before becoming the first black president in 2008, had maintained neutrality throughout the earlier stages of the race.

Mr. Obama returns to the fray looking to energize voters who have been ho-hum about Mr. Biden and boost the former vice president’s chances of rebuilding the Obama coalition of young and minority voters as well as college-educated white voters that helped power them to two terms.

The former president remains immensely popular with Democrats and nostalgia for his administration helped fuel Mr. Biden’s rise.

But his signature achievement, the Affordable Care Act, his deportation amnesty for “Dreamers” and push to curb greenhouse gases have lost some of their luster in the party where activists are clamoring for Medicare for All, abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement and demanding tuition-free public college.

Other parts of Mr. Obama’s record have faced sharp scrutiny, including immigration policies that led to the deportation of hundreds of thousands. Exit polls showed Democratic voters in many states want the next president’s policies to “be more liberal than Obama‘s.”

Perhaps seeking to mollify those concerns, Mr. Obama praised Mr. Sanders, calling him an “American original” and crediting him with devoting his “life to giving voice to working people’s hopes, dreams, and frustrations.

“To meet the moment the Democratic Party will have to be bold,” he said. “I could not be prouder of the incredible progress that we made together during my presidency, but if I were running today I wouldn’t run the same race or have the same platform that I did in 2008.”

Mr. Obama said Mr. Biden has the “most progressive platform of any major-party nominee in history” and said that the nation must do more than “tinker around the edges.”

He also took aim at Mr. Trump and his GOP allies on Capitol Hill, saying they have shown they are more interested in accumulating and keeping power than good governance.

“Right now we need Americans of goodwill to unite in a great awakening against a politics that has too often been characterized by corruption, carelessness, self-dealing, disinformation, ignorance and just plain meanness,” he said.

Mr. Trump sought to sow discord among Democrats, accusing party leaders of undermining Mr. Sanders and suggesting Mr. Obama’s neutrality was because he wasn’t wild about Mr. Biden’s bid.

Brad Parscale, Trump’s 2020 campaign manager, said Mr. Obama urged Mr. Biden not to run for the White House because he was afraid that he would embarrass himself.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2020 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide