Joe Biden has trotted out the “I asked President Obama not to endorse my campaign” sporadically throughout his campaign and this past Sunday he did it again in an interview on 60 Minutes with Norah O’Donnell.
After she asked him “Why Joe Biden?” after his two unsuccessful previous tries, he explained that America needs someone who is ready “on day one” and who knows what to do. O’Donnell then brought the discussion to President Obama and why he hasn’t endorsed Biden yet. Here’s how that part of the segment went:
Norah O’Donnell: Some have asked why hasn’t President Obama endorsed you? You guys served together for eight years.
Joe Biden: Because I have to own – I wanna earn this on my own.
O’Donnell: Did he offer to endorse you?
Biden: No, we didn’t even get there. I asked him not to. He said, ‘OK.’ I think it’s better … I think he thinks it’s better for me. I have no doubt when I’m the nominee he’ll be out on the campaign trail for me.
Watch Biden talk about Obama’s lack of endorsement below:
— 60 Minutes (@60Minutes) October 27, 2019
Here’s the thing: Biden is presenting a false narrative in a way that makes him sound humble about “wanting to do this” on his own, which is why he says he told Obama not to endorse him officially.
The problem with this narrative is two-fold: Recent past presidents typically do not endorse candidates in their party’s presidential primaries, especially if the candidate was their vice president. They wait until after the party has chosen the nominee. Then they endorse. They do this to give off the appearance of respecting the process.
Secondly, Biden already has Obama’s endorsement. He got it when he chose him to be his vice president in 2008. After all, if a nominee believes someone is good enough to be their second in command, they believe they’re good enough to be president in the event something happens to them (assuming they win the election, of course).
Obama also awarded Biden with the Presidential Medal Of Freedom the last month they were in office.
So while Biden doesn’t have Obama’s on the record endorsement in the 2020 presidential primary race, he’s got it off the record this election cycle – thanks to the 8 years he served with him as his vice president.
Obama’s trust of and fondness for Biden is one of the reasons he’s done so well with black voters in crucial primary states like South Carolina, which Democratic political insiders will tell you in a New York minute.
Biden knows this, which is why he frequently invokes Obama’s name on the campaign trail, which is a source of irritation for struggling candidates like Obama’s former HUD Secretary Julian Castro and Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ).
Obama’s former veep wants you to think Obama is chomping at the bit to endorse him, but that he’s holding him back to prove he can do this without his help. Biden should stop trying to fool everyone with this bogus argument.
He doesn’t need a formal endorsement from President Obama – because he’s already got it.
— Based in North Carolina, Sister Toldjah is a former liberal and a 16+ year veteran of blogging with an emphasis on media bias, social issues, and the culture wars. Read her Red State archives here. Connect with her on Twitter. –