WASHINGTON — Former President Barack Obama plans to endorse Joe Biden in a video on Tuesday, giving the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee a boost from the party’s biggest fundraiser and one of its most popular figures.
The move was confirmed by two sources familiar with the situation who requested anonymity to discuss the plans.
Obama and Biden are close friends from their two terms in the White House, when Biden served as vice president. Biden leaned heavily on his affiliation with the former president throughout the Democratic primary, touting their relationship and framing his pitch as an extension of Obama’s presidency.
On the trail, Biden often referred to himself as an “Obama-Biden Democrat,” and Biden has said in recent weeks that he’s spoken with Obama about his vice presidential pick.
Obama’s Endorsement, However, Comes Considerably Earlier Than in 2016
But Obama stayed above the fray in the primary, rarely speaking out about the intraparty fight. The former president offered his private counsel to any Democratic presidential contender who asked for it, but made no efforts to bolster any one candidate’s campaign — including Biden’s, despite their long history.
Obama’s endorsement, however, comes considerably earlier than in 2016. He backed Hillary Clinton in June of that year as her contentious primary fight with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders dragged on.
This cycle, the primary came to a much cleaner and quicker end, with Sanders endorsing Biden on Monday.
The former vice president now has the support of all of his former Democratic primary rivals except for Elizabeth Warren. The Massachusetts senator is expected to formally throw her support behind Biden soon, according to a person familiar with her plans.
Two other prominent Democrats who have yet to formally endorse Biden are former President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton, the party’s 2016 nominee. Hillary Clinton has been in regular touch with Biden, including several times since Sanders dropped out of the race, according to an aide.