‘Clever’: Biden Plays the Obama Card

As Ethiopian Americans we're intimately following two important elections this year: the upcoming parliamentary polls in Ethiopia and the 2020 U.S. presidential election. Below is an update from politico.com highlighting former vice president Joe Biden's campaign. (AP photo)


‘Clever’: Biden plays the Obama card

Barack Obama hasn’t endorsed his former vice president, Joe Biden. But you wouldn’t know that from watching Biden’s newest campaign ad.

“We all know that on its own, his work does not capture the full measure of Joe Biden,” Obama says in the ad, piano music lightly rippling in the background as black and white images of the former vice president flash on the screen, before calling Biden “a resilient and loyal and humble servant.”

“The best part is,” Obama says in closing, “he’s nowhere close to finished.”

The ad, stitched together from Obama’s speech presenting Biden the Presidential Medal of Freedom before they left office together in January 2017, is part of Biden’s closing argument in the days leading up to the Iowa caucuses on Feb. 3. It’s a way to convince Democratic voters that they should put him in the Oval Office because Obama — the most popular figure in the party — put him a heartbeat away from it.

“This a very effective ad … it is a clever way of signifying Obama’s feelings about Biden, implying an endorsement the president has not made,” said David Axelrod, a top Obama adviser.

“His testimonial from the Medal of Freedom speech goes to what are perhaps the most salient and appealing qualities of Biden: character, empathy, decency,” Axelrod continued. “Barack Obama is a highly esteemed figure in the Democratic Party and perhaps nowhere more than Iowa, which really embraced him and launched him to the presidency.”

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