Barack Obama has bitten the bullet and endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden to be the next president of the United States. In almost gushing prose, he outlined Biden’s admirable qualities while taking the time to run down the current administration. But what is Obama really offering the voters and the party faithful? Judging from his endorsement, it appears that the last occupant of the White House is desperate to rebuild the legacy that President Donald Trump has torn asunder.
This was not so much praise of Biden as a timely reminder to the public of Obama’s track record. It seems that Uncle Joe may be little more than a tool for the former president to reignite interest in a raft of legacy policies that the voters rejected in 2016.
“We have to protect the gains we made with the Affordable Care Act, but it’s also time to go further. We should make plans affordable for everyone, provide everyone with a public option, expand Medicare, and finish the job so that health care isn’t just a right, but a reality for everybody.
“We have to return the U.S. to the Paris Agreement, and lead the world in reducing the pollution that causes climate change. But science tells us we have to go much further – that it’s time for us to accelerate progress on bold new green initiatives that make our economy a clean energy innovator, save us money, and secure our children’s future.”
Whose campaign is this, anyway? Are these the platforms that Biden has been panhandling across the country since last year? If they were, very few voters paid attention. This endorsement is Narcissus staring fondly at the water, reminiscing about the good old days when the Obamas held court and the media gazed upon their beauty with obedient eyes.
Whether the eventual nominee had been Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, anybody at all, the same endorsement would have been released (albeit with names changed to protect … you know the rest). Because this election is not about the candidate, it’s about the Democratic National Committee recovering from its crushing loss and regaining face in the political arena.
The speech given by Marc Antony in William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar springs to mind:
“Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;
“I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.
“The evil that men do lives after them … “
But in this case, Obama is not looking to bury Trump but rather to praise his own legacy as president. The evil that Obama sees is the tear-down of eight years of a presidency that he worked so hard to sell as a success. That hapless Biden just happens to be the tool with which he can do so is neither important nor relevant. And that is why this endorsement was so long in coming.
Read more from Mark Angelides.
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