Commentary By Malachi Bailey | Published April 26, 2019 at 8:56am | Modified April 26, 2019 at 8:57am
Former Vice President Joe Biden finally announced his decision to run for president, and he threw former President Barack Obama under the bus on the first day.
Biden joined the crowded field of 2020 Democrats on Thursday and immediately received praise from Obama, but he stopped short of endorsing his former running mate, according to CNBC.
“President Obama has long said that selecting Joe Biden as his running mate in 2008 was one of the best decisions he ever made,”Obama spokesperson Katie Hill said in a statement.
“He relied on the Vice President’s knowledge, insight, and judgment throughout both campaigns and the entire presidency. The two forged a special bond over the last 10 years and remain close today.”
But Obama didn’t explicitly endorse Biden, and that’s because Biden doesn’t want Obama’s endorsement.
“I asked President Obama not to endorse,” Biden said Thursday. “Whoever wins this nomination should win it on their own merits.”
Obviously, Biden’s claim that he wants to win the race on his own merits is questionable. Any candidate who wants to become the next president would accept an endorsement if it would help his or her cause. Obama is extremely popular among the far left, so it’s confusing why Biden would tell him not to endorse.
However, Obama is not particularly liked outside of far-left circles, which could be the key to understanding why Biden denied a potential endorsement. It seems as if Biden is trying to distance himself from the former president in order to make a broader appeal to the American people.
The options right now for moderate Democrats are pretty slim. Other than Biden, the front-runners are far left, including Sens. Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, and Elizabeth Warren. Biden will definitely need a way to differentiate himself from his progressive competition, and distancing himself from Obama is a good start to wooing more moderate Democrats. Besides, radical Democrats don’t like Biden anyway. He’s too white, too old and doesn’t have the right gender.
Regardless of Biden’s strategy, it was probably deeply insulting for Obama to have Biden ask him not to endorse his candidacy. Obama’s legacy is stained to the point where his endorsement isn’t even wanted.
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