Many of the Democratic Party’s most powerful figures are scrambling to endorse Biden, culminating in a pair of major endorsements from two primary rivals who just exited the race, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D).
They join a who’s who of Democratic Party leaders as the remnants of the Democratic establishment circle the wagons around Biden, the one actual Democrat left in the race that they see with a chance of winning the nomination — and the one who appears to have the best shot at stopping Bernie Sanders.
Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), one of the party’s biggest powerbrokers, announced his support of Biden on Monday. So did Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), a woman with buzz as a potential vice presidential pick.
They join Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) and Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Hillary Clinton’s 2016 running mate, who both backed Biden in recent days. So did Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.), whose endorsement helped power Biden’s lopsided South Carolina victory. Reps. Veronica Escobar (D-Texas), Gil Cisneros (D-Calif.), Bobby Scott (D-Va.), Don Beyer (D-Va.) and Jennifer Wexton (D-Va.), a quintet of lawmakers from Super Tuesday states, all endorsed Biden since his South Carolina victory Saturday night.
Former Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Mark Udall (D-Colo.) jumped aboard as well, as did former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, and former National Security Adviser Susan Rice, a pair of Obama cabinet members. Dozens of state lawmakers and mayors have joined the rush since Saturday night.
The flood of endorsements is very likely an orchestrated effort from Biden’s campaign. Many of the people backing him now he worked with for decades as a senator and vice president, or got his endorsement as they ran for office in 2018. But this outpouring of support wouldn’t have been possible without his big South Carolina win and the moves from Klobuchar and Buttigieg to exit the race.