Sometimes in politics the least surprising development can be the most important.
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) April 14, 2020
Let’s start with the raw politics. Former President Obama’s nod reinforces Biden’s existing strengths among the Democratic constituencies he needs to win the election, particularly black Americans. More importantly, Obama’s help on the campaign trail will motivate young people, many of whom have only recent memories of two presidents in their lives.
The contrast between those two — Donald Trump and Barack Obama is stark, not just on policy but on larger themes like goodness, virtue and purpose. Restoring those things to the White House would banish what Obama called in his endorsement video the “corruption, carelessness, self-dealing, disinformation, ignorance and just plain meanness” of the Trump tenure.
The praise for Biden from Bernie Sanders a day earlier was an additional overt clarion call to America’s youth — that this is their time to have their young voices heard at the ballot box. It was also practical and real help to Biden — framing his message as something that is progressive, that is bold and does call for structural change where needed. That is a critical narrative for Sanders and Warren voters to accept if Democrats are to succeed in turning them out in the fall.
In fact, Sen. Elizabeth Warren endorsed Joe Biden for president on Wednesday morning.
In this moment of crisis, it’s more important than ever that the next president restores Americans’ faith in good, effective government—and I’ve seen Joe Biden help our nation rebuild. Today, I’m proud to endorse @JoeBiden as President of the United States. pic.twitter.com/VrfBtJvFee
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) April 15, 2020
It was more subtle perhaps, but the Obama endorsement also reminded Americans what it’s like to have an empathetic president who cares more about the American people than himself. His words of support for grieving and struggling families in this public health crisis were a salve for our many national wounds and stand in stark contrast to the selfish rants of the current President.