Obama’s endorsement of Biden

Would that we had a President like this again! Here’s Obama’s endorsement of Joe Biden for President. The fact that Obama made a 12-minute video to do this shows how seriously he’s taking this election, and I can’t believe that Obama is making up all his plaudits for Biden just so a Democrat can regain the White House. It’s refreshing to see a President talk rationally and like a leader, not like a brat beating his chest or having a tantrum.

At 4:25, Obama gives a shout-out to the other Democratic candidates, including Bernie Sanders, whom he calls an “American original.” It’s important that he gave kudos to Bernie, as perhaps this will make it more likely that Bernie will campaign enthusiastically. We need Sanders’s supporters if the Democrats are to win. Obama also emphasizes the need for equity, expansion of Medicare, and giving everyone a public option for medical care.

Obama’s peroration begins at 9:30, excoriating the Republicans and saying that “pandemics have a way of cutting through a lot of noise and spin to remind us what is real, and what is important. This crisis has reminded us that government matters; that good government matters, that facts and science matter. . .” He calls the Democrats to unite, and indeed we must. For if we don’t hang together, we’ll surely hang separately.

The problem with watching this is you’ll get even angrier that we have such a moron for President.

And why is Elizabeth Warren the one major Democrat who hasn’t yet endorsed Biden? Is it petulance, or is she angling for some kind of position in a new Democratic administration?

64 Comments

  1. Posted April 14, 2020 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    It was a good speech. I was surprised at how much he said about Bernie Sanders but it’s a good thing to do. I totally agree with him that the pandemic has shown everyone why good government is important. Since it seems likely that the country opens back up in June or July, I hope voters don’t forget by November. I suspect that those that lost their jobs won’t forget any time soon.

  2. Vaal
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    Could there have been a more precipitous fall from dignity than the one from Obama to Trump?

    It was like a smack in the teeth from Fate: “Yeah? Think you’ve finally made gains in your society? Think again, suckers!”

    • Posted April 14, 2020 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

      “Yeah? Think you’ve finally made gains in your society? Think again, suckers!”

      I think that’s exactly what Trump voters were thinking and saying in November 2016.

      • Saul Sorrell-Till
        Posted April 14, 2020 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

        I was reluctant to say it at the time, because there was a lot of rationalisation about the motives of Trump supporters as ‘disenfranchised’, ‘left behind’, etc., and it was considered overly simplistic to suggest anything else.

        But as time has moved on it seems increasingly obvious that Trump was elected out of spite.

        A bit like Larry David setting up a ‘spite store’ in Curb Your Enthusiasm, Trumpites voted a lunatic into office because it would piss off their enemies.

        It’s still the main reason why his supporters stick with him too, imo, that and the sunk-cost fallacy.

        • Posted April 14, 2020 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

          It certainly looked like that to me (from a long way outside the US). I recall watching John Oliver just before the election in 2016 absolutely p*ssing his pants laughing at the hilarious smackdown he thought Trump was heading for. You can laugh at idiots like MAGA folk like that if they’re only about 15% of the population and it will just serve as evasion therapy for them, to shut them up, but you can’t do it if that faction is nearly half the population.

          They will go to their grave gloating about Trump’s victory, even if it’s a COVID 19-induced grave.

        • Posted April 14, 2020 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

          Yes, just like the spite store. I loved that Larry David thread. Agree on the rest, especially sunk cost.

        • Posted April 14, 2020 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

          “Trumpites voted a lunatic into office because it would piss off their enemies.

          It’s still the main reason why his supporters stick with him too, imo, that and the sunk-cost fallacy.”

          Spot-on Saul.

          The Trumpers like him because he puts his thumb in the eye of “elite libtards” and the “college boys” they’ve been reporting to their whole careers.

          They like that he’s a ignorant ruffian — just like them. Someone they’d like to “drink a beer with”.

          And he gives them cover for the retrograde attitudes on race, feminism, etc. “you also had people that were very fine people, on both sides …”

          Because he certainly hasn’t done anything else for them. And he’s fixing to reduce their Medicare and Social Security. He has certainly done nothing to move the economy.

          I hear Trumpers online saying he made the economy strong. I just show the graph and say, “I have one word for you: coattails.”

          And that usually shuts them up. Somewhat surprisingly, given that they aren’t really interested in data.

          • Posted April 14, 2020 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

            I will be updating this graph for them soon with the March and April data, with the tagline: NOW we finally have a Trump Effect on the economy!

          • darrelle
            Posted April 14, 2020 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

            Was looking for your graph just the other day. I’ll have to bookmark this.

            • Posted April 14, 2020 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

              I still need to fix the title! 😦

        • JP415
          Posted April 14, 2020 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

          Spite is definitely part of it—a bit of rebellion against PC culture. I also see a couple of other factors:

          1. Americans really admire millionaires. Some people see wealth as the ultimate test of success and assume that running a successful business is like running a country, even though different skills are involved. On some other political forum, a commenter seriously made the argument that Vince McMahon, the head of the World Wresting Federation, would make a great president because “he knows how to get things done.” Trump’s candidacy reminds me of the billionaire Ross Perot’s campaign back in the early nineties. At one point, Perot was ahead in the polls but eventually dropped out. If he had stayed in the race, he quite possibly would have won, even though he was a bit of a loon.

          2. Outsiders—non-politicians—also have an edge among voters disillusioned with the political class. Because a non-politician has no track record in politics, voters are free to project their hopes and wishes onto him. That explains the election of amateurs like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jesse Ventura. I fear that Trump’s victory will pave the way for a bunch of other political dilettantes without the knowledge or skills to govern effectively. For instance, both Kanye West and Kid Rock have threatened to run for office. I really hope that isn’t a trend, because current events are showing us that we need experienced, competent leaders in charge when a crisis hits.

          • Posted April 14, 2020 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

            Arnold was, I think, a decent governor of CA.

            Ventura (governor of my state) was very like Trump in nearly every way. In particular his thin skin and over-sized ego. And he could not “do” politics: It his way or he had a temper tantrum. Compromise — not a word he knew.

            • JP415
              Posted April 14, 2020 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

              I wasn’t thrilled with Arnold’s political career, but to be fair, he was light-years ahead of Trump and Ventura. He certainly wasn’t crazy by any means.

          • merilee
            Posted April 14, 2020 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

            Wresting??lol
            Trump is great at wresting $$ away from others.
            I know you meant Wrestling🤓

            • JP415
              Posted April 14, 2020 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

              A Freudian slip, I guess! 🙂

  3. BobTerrace
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    Excellent speech and all of it right on target.

  4. Jon Gallant
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    Many thanks to our host for posting President Obama’s short, eloquent speech. Yeah, the contrast with his successor is, and has been from the start, staggering. The Faraday Institute could take this contrast as proof that God, whatever else He may be, has a really wicked sense of humor.

  5. Keith
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    Great video endorsement from a great human being and dedicated public servant. I sure miss that guy.

  6. Historian
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    I am glad that Bernie has endorsed Biden. Perhaps he can persuade most of his supporters to support Biden. Although the far right is a many fold greater threat to democracy and a civil society than the far left, the latter is still doing its best to have Trump re-elected.

    There is a website called Counterpunch. On a daily basis it publishes a dozen or so essays from people on the real hard left. By the hard far left, I don’t mean college sophomores railing about cultural appropriation. No, these are people who seem to spend every waking minute thinking about the evils of capitalism and a corrupt political system where there is no politician worthy of their support except Bernie (barely). One such essay was written by David Swanson, entitled “Joe Biden Is Your Enemy.” The thrust of his essay is to refute those who think leftists should vote for Biden as the lesser of the two evils. He seems to actually believe there is no difference between Biden and Trump. He views Biden as a corporatist warmonger. He posts videos of Biden saying years ago that he would cut social safety net programs. He neglects to mention that Biden has now tacked left and what he said years ago is irrelevant to what he would do now as president. Swanson is not even happy with Bernie, whom he claims was his compromise candidate. Most importantly, Swanson neglects to mention that Trump is a threat to democracy while Biden is no such thing.

    So, Swanson is an ideological absolutist of the left, meaning he would be very dangerous to democracy if he or people like him ever gained political power. Fortunately, this will not happen any decade soon. As always, the threat comes from the right. Swanson will not vote for Biden. Maybe, his vote and those of his compadres won’t matter. But, it is possible they could matter and this is why I loathe him.

    https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/04/13/joe-biden-is-your-enemy/

    • revelator60
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

      Counterpunch is a reminder of why the hard far left has been out of power and ideas since the fall of Communism. It belongs in the dustbin of history.

      On the positive side, more pragmatic leftists recognize the importance of this election. Even Noam Chomsky is telling folks to vote for Biden.

      Biden is very far from a perfect candidate, but anyone who dreads the effects of capitalism gone mad should realize that Trump’s kleptocracy needs to be stopped.

    • Jon Gallant
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

      In 2016, Counterpunch made clear that it preferred candidate tRump to Hillary Clinton, because the latter was planning a world war against Russia. Similarly, it ran pieces in
      praise of Vladimir Putin, and even one piece of embarrassingly sentimental nostalgia for the good old USSR. My guess is that the magazine is staffed by a group of zombies who have been in suspended animation since
      1948, and have not yet grasped that the USSR is gone, and Vladimir Vladimirovich is not General Secretary of Party there, exactly.

    • Posted April 15, 2020 at 5:21 am | Permalink

      You can find all sorts of crap on the Internet. Just because somebody writes something doesn’t mean that everybody is going to do what it says.

      The progressive left shouts loudly, but what they have failed to grasp is that there really aren’t all that many of them. This is why Bernie has twice failed to win the Democratic nomination: the majority of Democrat voters (never mind the country as a whole) don’t want him. There’s no conspiracy: just not enough Bernie bros.

      • Posted April 15, 2020 at 10:40 am | Permalink

        There weren’t enough Bernie followers to elect Bernie but probably enough to get Trump reelected should they vote for him or even just fail to vote. Still, I have hope that the relative unanimity of Democrats behind Biden from now to November will bring them along. AOC, for one, will definitely give them a talking to. And Warren, to name another.

  7. Posted April 14, 2020 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    No, all you have to do is realize that Biden is infinitely better than the solipsistic moron who runs our country now. And that is all rational people, but apparently you’re not one of them.

  8. GBJames
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    sub

  9. Saul Sorrell-Till
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    The only people actually suffering from TDS are Trump supporters. Most of the American right has been deranged by him in a way I’ve never seen before. All principles gone, all political beliefs gone, all decency gone; everything gone. Nothing left but that feral, crazed, delicious anger.

    • GBJames
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

      And their guns. They’ve still got their guns.

    • darrelle
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

      Well put.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted April 15, 2020 at 2:13 am | Permalink

      +1

      Until recent years, I would not have believed that allegedly rational people could tolerate, let alone support such a patently irrational, comprehensively obnoxious fuckwit.**

      **That conclusion reached solely on the basis of reading tweets and watching statements by Trump himself. Nothing more is needed.

      cr

  10. Ken Kukec
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    Bernie likes and respects Biden. And Bernie very much likes and respects Obama. That much was plain during the long walk the two of them took together down the West Wing Colonnade in 2016 when Barack called him to the White House to convince him to end the summer of his discontent with Hillary:

  11. Posted April 14, 2020 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    Warren has already agreed to endorse Biden– they were waiting for the arrangements to be finalized. Obama helped broker Bernie’s earlier-than-last-time endorsement. (All the preceding in the NY Times.) When it came, Obama probably felt he needed to move quickly to unite the Bernie faction to Biden. I think it would have been better to have Warren go first, with Obama as the piece de la resistance, but Warren is on board.

    GCM

    (And I should add, in agreement with Jerry’s sentiments, when ever I get too depressed over the current state of our government, I rewatch Obama’s eulogies for Clementa Pinckney or John McCain.)

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted April 14, 2020 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

        That Elizabeth Warren will endorse Joe Biden against Donald Trump is a fait accompli.

        It’s possible (though I think unlikely) she might yet end up his running-mate.

        • merilee
          Posted April 14, 2020 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

          The NYT seems to think Stacy Abrahms, whom I really like, but fear she might not bring in as many Mid-Westerners as Amy K, or even that impressive female guv of Michigan (Whitmer?).

    • Posted April 14, 2020 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

      Greg: Well done Badgers on Tuesday!

      Y’all didn’t let the GOP voter suppression get to you.

      • GBJames
        Posted April 14, 2020 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

        Thanks. It has been a very long decade here in Wisconsin.

        • Posted April 14, 2020 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

          Yes. Rock on! Very impressed by the results Tuesday and in 2018.

          Walker was … ugh. And the Senate and Assembly are still …

          My relatives in NE WI are still True Believers in Trump. I shake my head in consternation.

          • GBJames
            Posted April 14, 2020 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

            I’m blessed, so to speak, with not having any tRumpian relatives. At least none close enough to interact with. There is this next door neighbor, however.

            • Posted April 14, 2020 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

              Plenty of people near me voted for tRump (including my Mom and I’m sure my older brother). My Mom votes republican, without thinking about it; because my Dad did.

              And I think my older brother does the same.

              We don’t discuss politics. Well, we do with my Mom sometimes; and if she will think and admit new data (she listens to Limbaugh and Faux News of course), she usually ends up agreeing with us. But then it’s back to: But I always vote GOP/conservative. Why? No effing reason. She just does.

            • Posted April 14, 2020 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

              What I started out to say is: Many voted for tRump in 2016 but no one had a sign up.

              There was only one tRump sign within a 5-mile radius of us.

              We’ll see this fall …

  12. darrelle
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    Watching that brought a tear to my eye, in remembrance of what was compared to what is.

  13. merilee
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    Sub

  14. merilee
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    Sub

  15. Posted April 14, 2020 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    Obama’s speech reminded me of a few things:

    1. The contrast between him and Prez. Coronavirus von Tinyhands.

    2. How much I would have liked a third Obama term.

    3. What an intelligent person sounded like as President. It’s getting somewhat hard to remember.

    He gave me goosebumps.

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

      “The contrast between him and Prez. Coronavirus von Tinyhands.”

      Ha, that made my tiny, withered heart swell with pride jbillie 😁

      • Posted April 14, 2020 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

        I’m going to spread that meme! Good one!

  16. Ken Kukec
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    Wow, the vox Cult-of-Personality has spoken.

  17. JP415
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    I don’t have any illusions that Biden is a great leader, but he at least has enough sense to listen to expert advice, and he’ll surround himself with competent staff and not a pack of raving ideologues like Steve Bannon et. al.

  18. Mark R.
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    Spot on President Obama. What a class act…no dramatic music or backdrop, clear, forceful arguments, no direct attacks of Trump, only inference. And I like the advice he gives to Democrats: be bold.

    • merilee
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

      Except for calling T a moron (which I do several times a day,usually with effing preceding it).

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted April 14, 2020 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

        Calling Trump “a fucking moron” (or somesuch) is what most of Trump’s original cabinet did.

        • merilee
          Posted April 14, 2020 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

          Yup, I should have given Tillerson credit for saying it first. Comey must be a dumbass to say that T has higher than average intelligence.

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted April 15, 2020 at 10:38 am | Permalink

            I think Comey was referring to Trump’s native keenness of mind for bending weaker men to his will (and, I would add, for separating marks from their money) rather than to a high g-factor when it comes to IQ.

            • merilee
              Posted April 15, 2020 at 10:56 am | Permalink

              😬

      • merilee
        Posted April 14, 2020 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

        Mea culpa. Obama did not in fact call Trump a moron when backing Biden (I misheard someone) (but I’ll bat he’s often said it in private.)

  19. EdwardM
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    A true statesman. The contrast couldn’t be more stark.

  20. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

    “For if we don’t hang together, we’ll surely hang separately.”

    Oh, _PCC(E)_ wrote that – excellent! Thought it was Obama til I watched it.

    … I haven’t heard such a speech for…. for… when was it now…. I must have been just a child…..

    [ wanders around lost ]
    [ looks at old objects ]

  21. Posted April 15, 2020 at 5:12 am | Permalink

    It doesn’t matter if Biden keels over the day after his inauguration. The president’s most important job (in normal times) is to appoint all the people who really run the country. This includes (and Jerry made this point in his previous article) the judiciary.

    Trump is packing the judiciary – even the Supreme Court – with unqualified stooges of the Republican Party. This is probably the most significant damage Trump is doing to the country because the courts can stop the legislature and the executive from undoing all the other damage Trump has inflicted.

  22. JP415
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    What’s the alternative?


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