House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California endorsed former vice president Joe Biden’s White House bid on Monday, citing the Democrat’s experience helping to pass the Affordable Care Act and implementing the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to argue that he is well positioned to lead the country amid a global pandemic.
“As we face coronavirus, Joe has been a voice of reason and resilience, with a clear path to lead us out of this crisis,” Pelosi said.
With a prerecorded video, Pelosi gave the latest in a well-planned string of endorsements that Biden’s advisers have scheduled to drive attention to Biden’s campaign, which has a far more limited reach than President Trump’s operation.
Pelosi follows former president Barack Obama, former vice president Al Gore, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., among others, in recording testimonials for Biden.
“When our nation faced the Great Recession, it was Joe Biden who led the implementation – and the accountability – of the Recovery Act, helping create and save millions of jobs,” Pelosi said in the video. “When the Democratic Congress was passing the Affordable Care Act, Joe Biden was a partner for progress in the White House and also championed the Cancer Moonshot.”
Although Biden remains about 600 pledged delegates short of the 1,991 needed to win the Democratic nomination, all of his rivals in the party have suspended their campaigns or endorsed him, making his coronation this summer a near certainty.
As a result, Biden has been moving to take control of the Democratic Party. Jen O’Malley Dillon, his campaign manager, announced Friday that she had installed a new chief executive at the Democratic National Committee and the two organizations signed a joint fundraising agreement.
Pelosi stayed neutral during the Democratic primary, repeatedly cautioning the party to keep its eye on the ultimate prize of defeating Trump, despite several House members running for president and former New York mayor Mike Bloomberg, one of the major financial backers of the 2018 Democratic House takeover, running as well.
The last time Pelosi endorsed a presidential nominee before the outcome of the primaries was clear came in during the 2004 cycle, when she backed the campaign of Rep. Dick Gephardt, D-Mo.
Earlier this year, when many moderate Democrats in the House feared Sanders would win the nomination and jeopardize their seats, Pelosi asked for party unity, even as she made clear that the House would not necessarily run on Sanders’s policy platform.
“We have to win in certain particular areas,” she said at the time. “It is not unusual for a party platform or the candidates for president to have their own agenda that they would put forth, and it’s not unusual for the House of Representatives to have its agenda as well.”
Such concerns have faded with Biden’s apparent assurance of the nomination.
“I am proud to endorse Joe Biden for president: a leader who is the personification of hope and courage, values, authenticity and integrity,” Pelosi said in the video Monday. “With so much at stake, we need the enthusiasm, invigoration and participation of all Americans – up and down the ballot, and across the country.”
(c) 2020, The Washington Post · Michael Scherer