Biden, 77, the presumptive Democratic nominee for president, emerged victorious when his last and most formidable party foe, Sen. Bernie Sanders, D-Vermont, dropped out of the race after the latest primaries on Tuesday, April 7, 2020.
Obama delivered his official endorsement during a nearly 12-minute videotaped message to the American voters instead of publicly as much of the country is adhering to calls for social distancing and self-quarantine to lessen the spread of COVID-19.
In his endorsement of Biden, Obama said his former VP exemplifies “the kind of leadership that’s guided by knowledge and experience, honesty and humility, empathy and grace — that kind of leadership doesn’t just belong in our state capitols and mayors offices. It belongs in the White House. And that’s why I’m so proud to endorse Joe Biden for President of the United States.”
Biden almost immediately thanked Obama for his endorsement.
“Barack, this endorsement means the world to Jill and me,” Biden wrote, according to CNN. “We’re going to build on the progress we made together, and there’s no one I’d rather have standing by my side.”
There previously had been rumblings among the Democratic and Independent electorate about Obama’s radio silence as Biden’s political career appeared to be in peril after losing to Sanders, 78, in the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary. There were still pockets of discontent among supporters even as Biden resuscitated his campaign in South Carolina and then forged to the front during the Super Tuesday primaries in March. Biden never looked back again.
Perhaps this speech in late 2019 at an exclusive fundraiser explains Obama’s mindset regarding his reluctance to endorse Biden early on despite his known affection for the former vice president.
“We have a field of very accomplished, very serious and passionate and smart people who have a history of public service,” Obama said according to CNN. “Whoever emerges from the primary process, I will work my tail off to make sure they are the next president.”
Obama, it turns out was not silent at all, reportedly offering nuggets of advice to all of the candidates behind the scenes until they dropped out the race.
Now, the 44th president can channel all of his energies and political acumen toward his former second in command.
Flip the page to view Obama’s official videotaped message endorsing Biden in its entirety.