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On Tuesday, April 14, Barack Obama, the former president of the United States, officially endorsed his vice president and the presumptive Democratic nominee, Joe Biden.
The endorsement comes one day after Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who bowed out of the presidential race less than a week ago, threw his support behind Biden.
Massachusetts Senator and former Democratic presidential nominee Elizabeth Warren is expected to follow with an endorsement of her own in the coming days.
In his endorsement, Obama stated that “If there’s one thing we’ve learned as a country from moments of great crisis, it’s that the spirit of looking out for one another … has to be reflected in our national government.
“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 capitals 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.”
“I believe Joe has all the qualities we need in a president right now,” Obama said, adding that “Joe has the character and the experience to guide us through our darkest times and heal us through a long recovery.”
In the 12-minute endorsement video, the former president refrained from mentioning the name of the current US president, Donald Trump, but in a reference to the current administration, Obama stated his belief that Biden would surround himself with good people “who actually know how to run the government and care about doing a good job running a government.”
Obama never publicly weighed in on the side of any candidate during the Democratic primary, reportedly only offering his help to the Democratic nominees in private if they requested it.
The rapid consolidation of endorsements behind Biden’s presidential bid demonstrates the party’s intent to avoid the bitter intra-party divisions of 2016 that possibly contributed to Hillary Clinton’s defeat in the fall. The importance of unifying the party has been something Biden’s campaign has repeatedly emphasized.
It is reported that Obama’s endorsement video received over a million views in less than 40 minutes.