Former President Barack Obama endorsed Joe Biden, his former vice president. The news was first reported by NBC.
Why it matters: Obama, following in the footsteps of other recent former presidents, chose to let the crowded Democratic primary process play out and not offer an endorsement until voters chose their presumptive nominee.
- Biden leaned heavily on his strong relationship with Obama and his record as vice president throughout the primary race while still acknowledging that he needed to “earn” Obama’s endorsement.
- Obama’s endorsement comes one day after Biden’s final rival in the race, Bernie Sanders, offered his own endorsement.
The big picture: Former top Obama adviser David Axelrod told Politico last year that a lengthy endorsement process shouldn’t be taken as a dig towards Biden, who he said remains “genuinely friends” with the former president.
- “The custom for former presidents is not to endorse presidents. The expectation that he would, I find kind of baffling.”
The backdrop: The pair were initially competitors in the 2008 presidential race.
- Obama said he picked Biden to be his running mate because he wanted someone “with a little gray in their hair,” according to the New York Times.