Establishment Democrats rallying behind Biden

Establishment Democrats rallying behind Biden
© Greg Nash

Establishment Democrats are consolidating behind former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenSenate holds longest vote in history as Democrats scramble to save relief bill Ex-Trump appointee arrested in Capitol riot complains he won't be able to sleep in jail Biden helps broker Senate deal on unemployment benefits MORE after his decisive South Carolina victory in their effort to block liberal front-runner Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersMcConnell makes failed bid to adjourn Senate after hours-long delay Senate holds longest vote in history as Democrats scramble to save relief bill Democrats break COVID-19 impasse with deal on jobless benefits MORE (I-Vt.) from clinching the Democratic nomination.

Two of Biden’s competitors in the moderate lane — former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by ExxonMobil - Senate begins marathon vote-a-rama before .9T COVID-19 relief passage The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Virus relief bill headed for weekend vote Biden turns focus to next priority with infrastructure talks MORE and Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharHillicon Valley: China implicated in Microsoft breach | White House adds Big Tech critic | QAnon unfazed after false prediction FDA signals plan to address toxic elements in baby food Sen. Tina Smith calls for eliminating filibuster MORE (D-Minn.) — dropped out of the race following Saturday’s primary in South Carolina and endorsed Biden on Monday evening.

The former White House hopefuls flew to Dallas on Monday, to appear on stage with Biden just hours before voters in Texas and 13 other states cast their ballots on Super Tuesday. A third former 2020 contender, former Texas Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeTexas Republican criticizes Cruz for Cancun trip: 'When a crisis hits my state, I'm there' Progressives target 'Cancun Cruz' in ad to run on 147 Texas radio stations 'Get off TV': Critics blast Abbott over handling of Texas power outages following winter storm MORE, also joined the Dallas rally and told the crowd he will be casting his ballot for Biden. 


Another big boost came from former Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidBiden turns focus to next priority with infrastructure talks How to pass legislation in the Senate without eliminating the filibuster Who is the Senate parliamentarian and why is she important? MORE (D-Nev.), a key congressional ally when former President Obama and Biden were in the White House.

“Democrats need a candidate who can assemble the largest, most diverse coalition possible to defeat Trump and lead our country following the trauma of Trump’s presidency. That candidate is Joe Biden,” Reid said in a statement Monday.

While the Buttigieg and Klobuchar endorsements were the biggest gets for Biden, he won other endorsements in recent days from other high-profile politicians and power brokers from Super Tuesday states and beyond.

Over the weekend, Biden hit the campaign trail in southern Virginia, a Super Tuesday state, with Terry McAuliffe and Sen. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineOvernight Defense: White House open to reforming war powers | Army base might house migrant children | Fauci scolds military on vaccine White House open to reforming war powers amid bipartisan push Ron Johnson grinds Senate to halt, irritating many MORE (D-Va.), who both served as governor of the state and as chairman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC). Biden also picked up support from Rep. Bobby ScottRobert (Bobby) Cortez ScottNASA names headquarters building after agency's first Black female engineer House Democrats to keep minimum wage hike in COVID-19 relief bill for Friday vote Full COVID recovery requires raising the minimum wage MORE — a member of the Congressional Black Caucus and chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee — and two centrist freshmen who flipped GOP seats in 2018, Reps. Elaine LuriaElaine Goodman LuriaDemocrats snipe on policy, GOP brawls over Trump Chamber-endorsed Dems struggle on election night Overnight Defense: How members of the Armed Services committees fared in Tuesday's elections | Military ballots among those uncounted in too-close-to-call presidential race | Ninth US service member killed by COVID-19 MORE (D-Va.) and Jennifer WextonJennifer Lynn WextonActing chief acknowledges police were unprepared for mob Six ways to visualize a divided America Wexton, Speier call for revamp of clearance process to screen for extremist views MORE (D-Va.).

Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.), the first lawmaker to back Buttigieg, threw his support behind Biden, too.


A number of establishment and moderate Democrats have warned in recent days that a Sanders nomination would lead to a down-ballot disaster. House Republicans are already painting vulnerable Democrats as radical left-wingers, tying them to Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist.

“Some candidates are calling for a revolution. Well, you know what? We already had a revolution 244 years ago, and it ended 30 miles from here. We don’t need a revolution, we need Joe Biden in the White House,” McAuliffe said at a campaign event in Norfolk, taking a blatant swipe at Sanders.

In delegate-rich California, progressive freshman Rep. Gil CisnerosGilbert (Gil) Ray CisnerosMORE, who backed Sanders for president in 2016, also jumped on board the Biden bus, as did former Sen. Barbara BoxerBarbara Levy BoxerTrump administration halting imports of cotton, tomatoes from Uighur region of China Biden inaugural committee to refund former senator's donation due to foreign agent status Questions and answers about the Electoral College challenges MORE, a Senate colleague of Biden’s for 15 years.

“Joe has been knocked down. Hard,” she said. “He always gets up.”

Other women who endorsed Biden after South Carolina included freshman Rep. Veronica EscobarVeronica EscobarBill introduced to create RBG monument on Capitol Hill El Paso shooting survivor deported to Mexico after traffic stop House Judiciary Democrats ask Pence to invoke 25th Amendment to remove Trump MORE (D-Texas), a rising star in the party; Sen. Tammy DuckworthLadda (Tammy) Tammy DuckworthFDA signals plan to address toxic elements in baby food White House open to reforming war powers amid bipartisan push Duckworth, Norton call for improved accessibility for the blind at FDR memorial MORE (D-Ill.), a decorated Iraq War veteran who lost both her legs in combat; Rep. Marcia FudgeMarcia FudgeWe need to lay the foundation for meaningful housing policy change Black Caucus members lobby Biden to tap Shalanda Young for OMB head Sanders votes against Biden USDA nominee Vilsack MORE (D-Ohio), a former Black Caucus chairwoman; former Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.); Vicki Kennedy, the widow of former Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.); Susan Rice, Obama’s former national security adviser; and Rep. Debbie Wasserman SchultzDeborah (Debbie) Wasserman SchultzDeSantis threatens to divert vaccines from communities criticizing distribution Lobbying world Democrats urge Biden FDA to drop in-person rule for abortion pill MORE (D-Fla.), who resigned as DNC chair in 2016 after hacked emails showed that her staffers were trying to sabotage Sanders’s presidential bid that year.

More endorsements are expected as the primary calendar shifts to more favorable terrain for Biden in states such as Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Mississippi and Ohio.

Longtime Rep. Bennie ThompsonBennie Gordon ThompsonThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by ExxonMobil - Increased security on Capitol Hill amid QAnon's March 4 date House passes voting rights and elections reform bill Lawmakers line up behind potential cyber breach notification legislation MORE (D-Miss.), a Black Caucus member who serves as chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, told The Hill he will formally endorse Biden ahead of Mississippi’s primary on March 10.

“If you hold on, I will be [endorsing Biden] shortly,” Thompson said.

The groundswell of support and newfound momentum comes at a critical time for Biden, who will battle it out with Sanders, Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenSenate rejects Sanders minimum wage hike Philly city council calls on Biden to 'cancel all student loan debt' in first 100 days Hillicon Valley: High alert as new QAnon date approaches Thursday | Biden signals another reversal from Trump with national security guidance | Parler files a new case MORE (D-Mass.) and former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg on Super Tuesday, where one-third of all 3,979 delegates are up for grabs.

“I think he has the wind at his back,” Democratic strategist Jon Reinish, a former aide to Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandABC names new deputy political director, weekend White House correspondent The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Lawmakers face Capitol threat as senators line up votes for relief bill The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Senate Dems face unity test; Tanden nomination falls MORE (D-N.Y.), told The Hill. “South Carolina changed the game. It wasn’t just that Biden won. It was who he won, where he won, and the incredible numbers he won by.”

The consolidation of the moderate lane could stand to give Biden a needed boost in California with its 415 delegates and Texas, where White House hopefuls will be competing for 228 delegates.

Additional support from Klobuchar’s and Buttigieg’s supporters gives Biden a better chance of reaching the 15 percent viability threshold in California and Texas, where Sanders has a better chance of winning. Biden does not need a statewide victory to shore up delegates so long as he reaches the threshold.

“We’re no longer dividing the pot between four, five or six people. We’re dividing it between three people,” said Kelly Dietrich, the founder and head of the National Democratic Training Committee, which works with Democrats running for office.

However, Biden isn’t dominating the moderate lane just yet. Bloomberg will make his debut on the ballot Tuesday after blanketing the country with high-dollar ad buys.

“I will tell you, I talked to Mayor Pete and Amy Klobuchar,” Bloomberg said. “They represented their country and their states very well, and I felt sorry for them, but I’m in it to win it.”