AGENCIES, Washington: Former US President Barack Obama joins the list of elite politicians in endorsingJoe Biden’s White House bid. On Tuesday, Obama said his longtime vice president can unify and “heal” a nation struggling through some of its darkest moments.
The backing by perhaps the most popular American President is the latest shot in the arm for Biden’s surging candidacy. Democratic leaders at all levels are beginning to rally around their party flagbearer ahead of November’s election.
“Joe has the character and the experience to guide us through one of our darkest times and heal us through a long recovery,” Obama said in a 12-minute video filmed at his home in Washington and released online.
“I believe Joe has all the qualities we need in a President right now,” Obama said, calling his choice of Biden as running mate in 2008 “one of the best decisions I ever made.”
The 77-year-old former vice president and Democratic stalwart is the party’s presumptive nominee to challenge Donald Trump, after his rival Bernie Sanders dropped out of the race last week.
Bernie Sanders, the leftist US senator from Vermont endorsed his former rival on Monday, saying it was time for Americans of all political stripes to “come together” in support of Biden.
Two-term president Obama also praised Sanders as a champion of progressive ideas, a passionate candidate whose energy and enthusiasm inspired young voters by the millions.
And he said it was time for those progressive supporters to help defeat the Republican incumbent.
“Right now, we need Americans of goodwill to unite in a great awakening against politics that too often has been characterised by corruption, carelessness, self-dealing, disinformation, ignorance, and just plain meanness,” Obama said.
“To change that, we need Americans of all political stripes to get involved in our politics and our public life like never before.”
Obama’s endorsement comes as Biden and Trump have been forced off the campaign trail by the deadly coronavirus pandemic.
Under typical campaign conditions, such high-profile support would be followed by Obama’s appearance at a major rally alongside Biden, generating major national buzz and prompting a deluge of campaign donations.