Hillary Clinton endorses Joe Biden

Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonFive things to watch in two Ohio special election primaries Clintons, Stacey Abrams meeting Texas Democrats Biden says Russia spreading misinformation ahead of 2022 elections MORE endorsed Joe BidenJoe BidenThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - White House, Dems play blame game over evictions GOP skepticism looms over bipartisan spending deal Biden vaccine rule sets stage for onslaught of lawsuits MORE’s bid for the White House on Tuesday, making her the latest party leader to throw her support behind the presumptive Democratic nominee.

The 2016 Democratic presidential nominee and former secretary of State announced her support for the former vice president during a virtual town hall event focusing on the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on women.

“I am thrilled to be part of your campaign — to not only endorse you but to help highlight a lot of the issues that are at stake in this presidential election,” she told Biden in a joint livestream.

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Clinton also recounted her relationship with Biden from their time together in the Senate to their work in the Obama administration.

“I’ve been in the lobby of the Senate. I’ve been in the cloakroom and I’ve watched Joe bring people together,” she said. “We need a leader — a president — like Joe Biden.”

Biden has racked up a slew of high-profile endorsements in recent weeks, including one from Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - White House, Dems play blame game over evictions The Memo: Left pins hopes on Nina Turner in Ohio after recent defeats Five things to watch in two Ohio special election primaries MORE (I-Vt.), the progressive standard-bearer who ended his own campaign for the White House earlier this month. Other high-profile Democrats who have publicly thrown their support behind Biden recently include former President Obama, Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenAmerica's middle class is getting hooked on government cash — and Democrats aren't done yet California Democrats warn of low turnout in recall election Pelosi disputes Biden's power to forgive student loans MORE (D-Mass.) and former Vice President Al GoreAlbert (Al) Arnold GoreMcAuliffe calls on Youngkin to drop out of 'election integrity' rally Anything-but-bipartisan 1/6 commission will seal Pelosi's retirement. Here's why Kamala Harris's unprecedented challenge MORE.

Clinton, for the most part, kept her distance from Democratic primary politics over the past year, though she made known her distaste for Sanders, whom she fought bitterly with during the party’s 2016 presidential nominating contest.

Her endorsement of Biden is not particularly surprising, given that the former vice president is all but certain to be the Democratic nominee.

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Still, her support is likely to prove valuable for Biden. Even after falling to President TrumpDonald TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - White House, Dems play blame game over evictions The Memo: Left pins hopes on Nina Turner in Ohio after recent defeats Biden administration to keep Trump-era rule of turning away migrants during pandemic MORE in 2016, Clinton commands the support of a legion of supporters, many of them women.

She also has the unique status of being the only other Democrat to go head-to-head with Trump in an election, and she could provide much-needed advice to Biden as he heads into a potentially bruising general election campaign against the president.

Clinton and Biden’s relationship has seen its share of ups and downs over the years. The two battled it out for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008 before serving in the Obama administration together. Biden also weighed a run for the White House in 2016, but backed away from the idea after Obama threw his support behind Clinton.

After Clinton’s loss to Trump in 2016, Biden spoke somewhat critically of her campaign, suggesting that it failed to reach out to the middle-class voters who had long been a part of the Democratic coalition.

“What happened was that this was the first campaign that I can recall where my party did not talk about what it always stood for, and that was how to maintain a burgeoning middle class," Biden said in a 2017 appearance at the University of Pennsylvania.

“You didn't hear a single solitary sentence in the last campaign about that guy working on the assembly line making $60,000 bucks a year and a wife making $32,000 as a hostess in a restaurant,” he added.

— This report was updated at 3:29 p.m.