29 Apr Leslie Marshall: Hillary Clinton endorsement of Biden is bad news for Trump – Democrats uniting to defeat him
Hillary Clinton’s endorsement Tuesday of former Vice President Joe Biden in the November presidential election is just the latest sign of Democratic unity that will be needed to send President Trump into political retirement.
Biden has also picked up the endorsements of many other prominent Democrats, including candidates who ran against him for the presidential nomination this year, former President Barack Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California, and even Rep Alexandria Ocasio- Cortez of New York – one of the most progressive members of Congress.
Democratic unity this year is quite a contrast with the disunity of 2016. Clinton struggled then to get endorsements, especially from Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont (who ran against her for the presidential nomination) and the more progressive wing of the party.
The endorsement of Biden by Clinton – a former first lady, senator and secretary of state – may not get Biden many additional votes, but it’s likely to help him raise the millions of dollars he needs to defeat Trump.
As a result, the Clinton endorsement gives Biden an important boost at a time he is finding it hard to get news coverage that is dominated by the coronavirus pandemic and by Trump’s lengthy coronavirus briefings that are televised almost every day.
Clinton’s endorsement of Biden to run against the man who defeated her presidential candidacy in 2016 was as predictable as the rising sun. She won 3 million more votes than Trump, but lost to him in the Electoral College – and there is clearly no love lost between the two.
Trump’s continuing insulting attacks against Clinton – including regularly referring to her as “Crooked Hillary” and falsely accusing her of wrongdoing – are strong motivators to her to work for the defeat of a president she clearly views as unfit for the nation’s highest office.
Additionally, Clinton and Biden worked well together in President Obama’s administration and hold similar policy positions that differ dramatically from Trump’s. The sober and fact-based leadership styles of the two Democrats are far more similar to each other than to the erratic and unpredictable shoot-from-the-hip style favored by Trump.
I’ve always said that endorsements aren’t a big deal. Sure, a candidate might see a slight bump in his or her poll numbers immediately following the announcement, but endorsements aren’t what get people out to vote.
Nearly all moderate Democrats want to make Trump a one-term president. While supporters of losing presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts favor more progressive policies than Biden has advocated, Biden’s positions are far closer to Sanders and Warren than to those supported by Trump.
So it’s a safe bet that with or without the Clinton endorsement, Biden could count on strong support from Democratic voters in November. In the same way, the predictable endorsement Biden received earlier from Obama likely won’t make a big difference in the number of votes Biden gets.
Many independents and even some Republicans want to see Trump defeated. For example, former Republican Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona told The Washington Post he will not be voting for Trump and hinted at supporting Biden.
While a lot of independents and Republicans are them are more conservative than Biden, many are turned off by the way Trump conducts himself in office.
The proven fundraising prowess that Clinton – as well as Obama – can bring to the Biden campaign could be a major factor in helping Biden become our next president.
Right now the Trump campaign has nearly $200 million more than the Biden campaign, as both campaigns work overtime to raise still more funds.
Biden probably can’t catch up to Trump in the race for dollars, but he can certainly narrow the fundraising gap with the president.
Biden needs money for ads on TV, the web, radio, print publications and direct mail. TV ads are expensive and particularly crucial now that many people are homebound and watching more TV than usual due to shelter-in-place orders imposed to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
Trump usually gets an hour or more of free daily TV exposure with his coronavirus briefings, although his poor performance in the briefings may be losing him more votes than he is gaining from the appearances.
A lot of surprises can happen between now and November. Few of us would have predicted at the beginning of the year than a global pandemic would confine millions of us to our homes, send unemployment soaring to levels last seen in the Great Depression, and make it impossible to wage a traditional presidential campaign filled with rallies and other events around the country.
But the bottom line is that the Democratic unity illustrated by the endorsements from Clinton and others that Biden has picked up is a positive sign for those of us who long for competent leadership in the White House. I don’t know if Joe Biden will be our next president, but if I were a Trump supporter I’d be very nervous about the prospect.
ALLLeslie Marshall joined Fox News Channel as a contributor in 2009; providing analysis on both political and social issues from a liberal point of view. A nationally syndicated talk host, whose program, “The Leslie Marshall Show” can be heard on radio, stream, “Tune In,” “The Progressive Voices Radio Network,” and “The Armed Forces Radio Network.”