That Biden would utilize the list is hardly a surprise. It is one of the largest in politics and had reportedly helped raise more than $500 million for the Obama-Biden campaign in 2012. As part of that ticket, the former VP has a claim to it, giving him access to a base of potential grassroots supporters at a time when other Democrats in the race—including Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX)—were building large networks of their own.
This would be a particular help to Biden, who has never been a prodigious money-raiser and recently said that he “will not be part of a Super PAC.”
It also fit into a tactic he has deployed in the lead-up to his formal campaign announcement. More than any other Democrat in the race or thinking of entering it, Biden has aligned himself with the Obama years. He has referred to himself as an “Obama-Biden Democrat,” leaned on his two-terms as the top sidekick for the nation’s first African-American president, and used that record to gloss over prior decades of legislative history that are not quite as palatable in the modern Democratic party.