Barack Obama endorses Joe Biden for president

Former President Barack Obama has endorsed Joe Biden, as the Democratic Party unites around the presumptive nominee and looks toward the general election.

Obama’s endorsement, via video, comes a day after Biden’s last remaining rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders, gave his endorsement in a live stream chat.

“Choosing Joe to be my Vice President was one of the best decisions I ever made, and he became a close friend,” Obama said in the video. “And I believe Joe has all the qualities we need in a President right now.”

The former president had been publicly neutral in the primary campaign, as he was in 2016. Biden — his vice president of eight years — emphasized his friendship and close working relationship with Obama throughout the primary.

In his remarks, Obama went out of his way to acknowledge the energy of Sanders’ supporters, as he urged them to rally around Biden. He said that Biden has “the most progressive platform of any major-party nominee in history.”

“Because even before the pandemic turned the world upside down, it was already clear that we needed real structural change,” Obama said, borrowing a line often used by the other progressive also-ran, Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

Obama also sought to steel Democrats for the general election contest with President Trump, warning that “it won’t be easy.”

“Right now, we need Americans of goodwill to unite in a great awakening against a politics that too often has been characterized by corruption, carelessness, self-dealing, disinformation, ignorance, and just plain meanness,” Obama said. “And to change that, we need Americans of all political stripes to get involved in our politics and our public life like never before.”