With the race for the Democratic presidential nomination now over, former President Barack Obama was free to release a 12-minute video this morning, formally endorsing Joe Biden, his former vice president. Not surprisingly, Obama seemed eager to sing the Delaware Democrat's praises, touting Biden as a leader who "has the character and the experience to guide us through one of our darkest times and heal us through a long recovery."
The former president also spoke at some length about Bernie Sanders, celebrating the Vermont senator as "an American original -- a man who has devoted his life to giving voice to working people's hopes, dreams, and frustrations."
But if you watch the whole video, which is worth your time, also note the degree to which Obama seemed eager to get a few things about Republicans off his chest. Though the former president didn't reference any GOP officials by name, Obama explicitly made the case that the Republicans "occupying the White House and running the U.S. Senate are not interested in progress."
"They are interested in power. They have shown themselves willing to kick millions off their health insurance and eliminate pre-existing condition protections for millions more even in the middle of this public health crisis, even as they are willing to spend $1 trillion on tax cuts for the wealthy. They have given polluters unlimited power to poison our air and their water and deny the science of climate change just as they denied the science of pandemics. Repeatedly they have disregarded American principles of rule of law and voting rights and transparency, basic norms that previous administrations observed regardless of party, principles that are the bedrock of our democracy."
Obama added how difficult the 2020 election cycle will be, especially in light of the GOP's "massive war chest" and the "propaganda network with little regard for the truth" that benefits Republican candidates.
The former president added, however, that the pandemic crisis should also bring some clarity to the political landscape: "This crisis has reminded us that government matters. It has reminded us that good government matters, that facts and science matter, that the rule of law matters, that having leaders who are informed and honest and seek to bring people together rather than drive them apart those kind of leaders matter. In other words, elections matter."
Obama added that he intends to see Americans on the campaign trial "as soon as I can." We apparently now have a sense of what he intends to say once he gets there.