Sanders Endorses Biden

A much-needed call for unity.

After waiting too long to quit a race he had no chance of winning, the Vermont Independent is quickly trying to heal the party he won’t join.

WaPo (“Bernie Sanders endorses Joe Biden, saying Democrats ‘have got to make Trump a one-term president’“):

Sen. Bernie Sanders, the independent senator from Vermont who ended his White House bid last week, said Monday that he is endorsing former vice president Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.

Sanders made the announcement on a live stream hosted by Biden examining the country’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Joe, I know that there is an enormous responsibility on your shoulders right now, and it is imperative that all of us work together,” Sanders said on the live stream.

Biden responded: “Your endorsement means a great deal. … I look forward to working with you. And I am going to need you badly.”

“You’ve refused to accept that we can’t change what’s wrong in our nation,” Biden told his former rival, adding that Sanders doesn’t “get enough credit” for being a voice that forces Americans to take a look in the mirror and examine whether they are living up to their ideals.

Despite a hard-fought primary battle, Sanders’s endorsement of Biden was not a surprise: Both candidates’ teams had been in touch in recent days to work on “how we can best go forward together,” Sanders said last week.

POLITICO (“Sanders Endorses Biden“) adds:

Bernie Sanders endorsed Joe Biden on Monday during a surprise appearance on the former vice president’s livecast.

Sanders, who formally suspended his campaign last week, said he needed everyone in the United States – not just his supporters – to back Biden and make sure that Donald Trump becomes a one-term president.

[…]

Sanders said “it’s no great secret” that they’ve differed on policy and they’re not going to ignore it. Instead, he said, the two campaigns have been talking for weeks and are setting up task forces to examine policy areas where the two sides of the Democratic Party can come together.

While some of Sanders’ more hard-left supporters may be slow to come around, most observers fully expected this from Sanders. By most accounts, he and Biden had a warm relationship going back to their days in the Senate together.

Some interesting observations from Twitter along those lines:

And an interesting twist:

Which, incidentally, would seem to indicate that, while Biden is going to pick a woman as his running mate, it’s not going to be her.

FILED UNDER: Bernie Sanders, Campaign 2020, Joe Biden, US Politics
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Teve says:

    Team Warren guy here. We need Biden to pick a woman who can win the Presidency in 8.5 years. Sadly that’s not Liz.

    15
  2. Jay L Gischer says:

    I am a Warren supporter. I personally think that the Senate is a fantastic place for Elizabeth Warren, and I’m happy for her to stay here. She can be much more effective as a senator than as VP.

    17
  3. James Joyner says:

    @Teve: Honestly, it’s likely more like 4.5. I’m Team Biden but has going to turn 78 shortly after the election. He’d be 82 at a second inaugural and 86 at the end of a second term. That’s just unfathomable.

    15
  4. mattbernius says:

    @James Joyner:
    Jeebus that. I don’t think it works out politically, but I kinda wish Biden would say he was only running for one term.

    2
  5. EddieInCA says:

    @mattbernius:

    No. No. No. He can say that on inauguration day if the Dems have the Senate. Even if he is thinking it, he cannot ever say it. If he did say it he would become a lame duck on Day One.

    21
  6. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    Now we will see if the BernieBros are going to get in line.

    3
  7. senyordave says:

    @EddieInCA: If he did say it he would become a lame duck on Day One.

    I don’t think he would be a lame duck because I think that if he said it he could lose the election just on that alone.

    7
  8. Teve says:

    Political capital is spent quickly. The time to announce you aren’t running for reelection would be like December 2023

    4
  9. JDM says:

    I’m thinking of an alternative scenario.

    Biden gets elected with Warren as his VP. Then, after only 3 years in office, Biden resigns for “health” reasons. That makes Warren the new President. She appoints Klobuchar as her new VP. I’m assuming a Democratic Senate who will approve her with a simple majority, per the 25th Amendment. Then Warren can run in 2024 as the incumbent, but without any of the baggage that incumbents seem to collect.

    Another thought, If the GOP Senate were to remain in power and not approve a new VP, ok fine, that makes Pelosi next in line for the Presidency. That would really scare the sht out of the GOP.

    4
  10. mattbernius says:

    @EddieInCA:
    Great point and another structural weakness of our system.

    1
  11. Kathy says:

    IMO, there are two BIG differences between 2016 and 2020:

    1) No one expected Trump would win.

    2) No one expected Trump to be so f***g bad if he did improbably win.

    Those twin measures of complacency are gone. Bernie, to give him full credit, is acting accordingly

    9
  12. EddieInCA says:

    @JDM:

    Warren and Klobuchar? Really? So you want to African-Americans to stay home In 2020 and 2024?

    6
  13. JDM says:

    @EddieInCA:
    Do you really believe that African-Americans will turnout to vote to re-elect Trump?

    1
  14. Tim says:

    Count me as one of those who believes Biden will decide to only serve one term. There was some buzz months back about discussions within the campaign about just that but the decision was (rightly) made to not say such a thing for many of the good reasons cited by others here.

    This makes his choice of a running mate one of the most momentous in history. He is not just choosing a VP, he’s choosing the most likely Democratic nominee in 2024. Barack Obama broke the mold on VP duties by giving Biden so much access throughout the eight years of his presidency. It only makes sense that Biden take things a step further, offering his VP the same and more.

    If done correctly, Biden would be seen not as just a one-term President, but as a true statesman who guided the nation through a gut wrenching transition following the disastrous administration of Trump.

    4
  15. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    Now we will see if the BernieBros are going to get in line.

    How many Bernie Bros are actually Democrats? It’s not any more reasonable to expect to violate deeply held principles than it is to expect others to.

    Of course, how many voters total vote on the basis of deeply held principles in the first place may be another question altogether, too.

    2
  16. An Interested Party says:

    @Kathy: Sadly, there is a third BIG difference that will have a definite impact on the election: a man, not a woman, will be running as the Democratic nominee…

    Do you really believe that African-Americans will turnout to vote to re-elect Trump?

    Of course not…but if enough of them stay home, as happened in 2016, Trump will win again…

    2
  17. mattbernius says:

    @JDM:

    Do you really believe that African-Americans will turnout to vote to re-elect Trump?

    The issue isn’t if they turn out to vote for Trump. Generally speaking that isn’t happening.

    The reality is Democrats need them to turn out to vote for Biden and they didn’t for Clinton. To be clear, this isn’t throwing shade on the AA/Black vote. The issue is that White folks across gender still reliably vote more for Republicans than Democrats. So Democrats need minority turn out to win. And that, post 2008, means representation on the ticket.

    Either that or White folks need to step up for once.

    3
  18. An Interested Party says:

    Either that or White folks need to step up for once.

    Perhaps they will, and it may come from a surprising group

    2
  19. EddieInCA says:

    @JDM:

    JDM says:
    Monday, April 13, 2020 at 18:54

    @EddieInCA:
    Do you really believe that African-Americans will turnout to vote to re-elect Trump?

    Thanks for the response. No. It’s not about them turning out for Trump. It’s about them turning out, period. In 2016, Clinton wins Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania (and the Presidency) if African Americans turned out in Milwaukee, Detroit, Philadelphia. That’s what cost her. She made a horrible mistake choosing Kaine.

    If Biden chooses a woman of color, it will energize alot of people Dems need to actually win.

    https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/332970-voter-turnout-dipped-in-2016-led-by-decline-among-blacks

    2
  20. Kathy says:

    @An Interested Party:

    Right on both counts.

  21. Lounsbury says:

    @mattbernius:
    Why you would want someone to politically self-cripple rather escapes.
    @EddieInCA:
    @senyordave:
    Yes, not running for 2nd term would be something to deploy say right after the mid-terms (presuming non catastrophic results) as a mode to set-up one’s replacement. If bad mid-terms then something to do quietly so as not to give excessive opposition lead time.
    @EddieInCA: It seems rather over-drawn to assert poor black American turn-out just on that, although yes, Warren Klobachar seems like White Lefties overdone. Your simplistic White Lefty colour calculation strikes me as completely off (rather similar to the projections having Biden buried and the black americans jumping on someone simplistically of their same skin colour). Addressing them is key, but Biden illustrates it is rather more complex than skin colour tokenism. (to avoid the knee jerking this in no way is to say that the candidate should not be a black american or black american woman nor that there are not good potentials – only that your simplistic framing is objectively massively too simplistic.)
    @EddieInCA:
    turnout dipped for a number of key categories for Mrs Clinton. not just black americans. Similar arguments can be made from the same data on white working class. The data take away is she was broadly a weak candidate for multiple reasons, and the multiple sources of weakness did her in (but only just barely).

    not that Warren seems to be a good Presidential campaigner fit.

    1
  22. mattbernius says:

    @Lounsbury:

    Why you would want someone to politically self-cripple rather escapes.

    I completely agree — it was a stupid idea that wasn’t thought through (as was pointed out a few times already).

    Your simplistic White Lefty colour calculation strikes me as completely off (rather similar to the projections having Biden buried and the black americans jumping on someone simplistically of their same skin colour). Addressing them is key, but Biden illustrates it is rather more complex than skin colour tokenism.

    Again, I’m having a real hard time seeing how your “Biden needs to pick a (white) mid-westerner” isn’t a form of tokenism as well. Further it seems utterly mired in an assumption that suddenly the white vote, en mass, is going to make a historic shift towards the democrats.

    Beyond that, I am pretty sure — as both Eddie and I have said directly to you in the past — we are not saying “choose a token candidate” but rather that the Democratic party has a significant number of highly qualified candidates of color. Given that the make up of the party is incredibly diverse and the party depends on minority turnout to win elections, why is that a mistake? Why is arguing that the ticket should look like the makeup of the party being tokenistic?

    1
  23. mattbernius says:

    @mattbernius:
    Also, to be clear, by minority candidate, I don’t necessarily mean it has to be African American. Tammy Duckworth would be an interesting and very qualified choice if your focus is also having someone from the Midwest. Though I look forward to hearing what she isn’t whit… er… I mean right enough.

  24. Blue Galangal says:

    @JDM: As others have said, it would be great if the white people would wake up and smell the g*ddamn coffee – AND if the AA/Black voters turn out for Biden. It’s not AA/Black voters’ job to rescue us white people from our cataclysmic racism, but it’s apparent they have Biden’s back.

    Much as I appreciate Warren, she’s not the best for a VP pick – despite her energy, she’s too old and too white. If Harris maintains presidential aspirations, she’d probably prefer VP to AG. At any rate, the VP calculus should include the fact that Biden is and should be the Elder Statesman in this scenario. The VP spot should not go to an old white woman.

    1
  25. EddieInCA says:

    I owe Senator Sanders an apology.

    Bernie Sanders said Tuesday that it would be “irresponsible” for his loyalists not to support Joe Biden, warning that progressives who “sit on their hands” in the months ahead would simply enable President Donald Trump’s reelection.

    Sanders said his supporters have a simple choice now that Biden has emerged as the presumptive nominee: “Do we be as active as we can in electing Joe Biden and doing everything we can to move Joe and his campaign in a more progressive direction? Or do we choose to sit it out and allow the most dangerous president in modern American history to get reelected?”

    He continued: “I believe that it’s irresponsible for anybody to say, ‘Well, I disagree with Joe Biden — I disagree with Joe Biden! — and therefore I’m not going to be involved.’”

    https://apnews.com/a1bfb62e37fe34e09ff123a58a1329fa