With former Vice President Joe Biden as the presumptive Democratic nominee for president in the 2020 election, Democratic observers expect that former President Barack Obama will begin reappearing on the campaign trail in support of his former second-in-command, as The Hill reports.
Following the withdrawal from the race of Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Biden has all but secured the nomination and will face off against President Donald Trump in November. Sources say that Obama and Biden have spoken on the phone in recent days, increasing Democratic anticipation for Obama’s return to the spotlight.
Obama had infamously refused to endorse his former vice president in the beginning, staying suspiciously quiet and not speaking out in support of any candidate in particular. Upon entering the race, Biden claimed, to skeptical reactions, that he didn’t want Obama’s endorsement anyway. It had been reported that Obama, in a private conversation with another candidate, had even said that he believed Biden didn’t have the enthusiastic support that is necessary to win the election.
With the ongoing coronavirus pandemic in the country, however, any public appearances by the former president will likely be limited to virtual appearances, including TV and internet advertisements.
Despite some excitement from Democratic pundits that Obama’s endorsement and campaigning may boost Biden’s chances in the general election, one anonymous source, cited by the Hill only as an “Obama ally,” noted that Obama’s endorsement was not enough to carry former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) over the finish line in the 2016 election. The source said “Obama alone won’t do much. We saw what happened in 2016.”