Barack and Michelle Obama will “come off the sidelines and get involved” to support presidential candidate Joe Biden, according to Mr Obama’s former campaign manager.
Jim Messina told MSNBC on Wednesday that the withdrawal of senator Bernie Sanders from the 2020 race would allow the former president and first lady support their former vice president in a way that was “a very, very big deal”.
“This move by Bernie Sanders allows the two big powers in the democratic party, Barack and in some ways as importantly Michelle Obama, to now come off the sidelines and get involved,” Mr Messina said.
“I mean people forget that Michelle Obama is the most popular political figure in America by far. Having Barack and Michelle Obama on the trail talking to both the base and the swing voters. Especially these swing women voters who abandoned the Democrats in 2016, came back big time in 2018 to give Nancy Pelosi the House of Representatives.”
Mr Sanders ended his bid for the presidency on Wednesday, telling supporters he saw no way forward following the Wisconsin primary and in “good conscience” could not remain in the race.
His withdrawal opens the way for Mr Biden to become the presumptive Democratic nominee and face Donald Trump in November.
During the Democratic primaries, the Obamas have refrained from endorsing any one candidate. But Mr Messina said he expects both to now enter the public eye in the lead up to the general election.
“Having the two of them out there in a full-throated manner is a very, very big deal,” Mr Messina said.
“And Joe Biden will do what Joe Biden’s always done in these moments. He will sit back and he will be very classy he will congratulate people and he will unite the base.
“I think Bernie’s language was really important today. When he said united we stand together to defeat Donald Trump. He and Joe Biden are personal friends. And the base will be united to beat Donald Trump who is, in Democrats estimation, the most serious threat of our lifetime.”