Joe Biden can comfortably prepare his campaign against Donald Trump and search for a vice presidential running mate. After Bernie Sanders officially announced his support for the winner of the Democratic primaries on Monday, Biden’s former boss, ex-President Barack Obama, did the same on Tuesday.
‘Trump Is the Most Dangerous President in Modern History’
Because of COVID-19, it had to be done on video. Obama recorded a message. Sanders and Biden spoke to each other live online on Monday.
Sanders told Biden that he supports him because “we [must] defeat somebody who I believe, and I’m speaking just for myself now, is the most dangerous president in the modern history of this country. A president … who downplayed the pandemic, who ignored the advice that some of his people were giving him and … who apparently has never read the Constitution of the United States.” In turn, Biden assured Sanders that he needs him: “ … not just to win the campaign but to govern.”
Sanders’ endorsement was one of the most important elements missing from the Democratic strategy. Sanders’ followers, including many young people, hoped that their candidate’s victory would enable a drastic change in the direction of social and economic policies in the U.S. That change would allow the country to look a lot more like the welfare states of Western Europe. They might not want to come to the ballot box for an old school Democrat like Biden.
Do Not Ignore the Left Wing
In the past few days, after Sanders had already conceded the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, Biden tried to make clear that he will not ignore the ideas of the party’s left wing. He announced that he wants to lower the age at which Americans are eligible for Medicare to 60. He wants to make relief from student debt, a heavy burden for many young Americans, possible in more cases.
Apparently, those concessions were enough for Sanders to call on his supporters to close ranks. Obama’s intervention, having spoken with Sanders several times in the past few weeks, probably played a role as well. The former president stayed neutral during the primary campaign but wanted to prevent a scenario like the Democratic defeat in the 2016 presidential election, when a directional battle was fought within the Democratic Party up until the national convention and allowed for only a few months to create unity.