Well, discretion is the better part of valor. We’ll have lots and lots and lots of dunking on Barack Obama for his very belated endorsement of the man who served him for eight years, but much of it will miss the point. His lack of public support may have contributed to Joe Biden’s swoon last fall, but Biden more or less recovered after Democrats realized that the only other candidate with enough ground organization to win the nomination was the socialist crank who endangered their entire down-ballot election.
Now that Bernie Sanders left on his own and endorsed Biden, Obama has finally condescended to give Uncle Joe his official blessing. One reason he can now endorse Biden is that Obama helped push Sanders into withdrawing, reports the New York Times:
For months, he had kept in close contact with senior party officials, in hopes of preventing a repeat of the protracted and nasty 2016 primary race.
Then, in the weeks after it became clear that Mr. Biden was the party’s near-certain nominee, Mr. Obama — telling a friend he needed to “accelerate the endgame” — had at least four long conversations with his former vice president’s remaining rival, Senator Bernie Sanders. Mr. Obama’s efforts to ease the senator out of the race played a significant role in his decision to end his bid and, on Monday, endorse Mr. Biden, according to people close to the Vermont independent.
By that time, Mr. Biden and Mr. Obama had already begun hashing out the thorny questions of how, when and where to deploy a former president thrust into an unfamiliar role as his sidekick’s sidekick.
Mr. Obama will endorse Mr. Biden in an online video on Tuesday, according to two people with direct knowledge of the plans — including one who said the goal was to make it “not look like a hostage video.”