Category Archives: 2020 election

Obama Endorses Biden in Video, Ending 2020 Neutrality

Obama promises to join campaign trail ‘as soon as I can.’  Endorsement allows Obama to campaign, raise money for Biden

Bloomberg News, by Jennifer Epstein and Tyler Pager, April 14, 2020
Barack Obama speaks next to Joe Biden in Washington, D.C. in 2016.
Barack Obama speaks next to Joe Biden in Washington, D.C. in 2016. Photographer: T.J. Kirkpatrick/Bloomberg

Former President Barack Obama endorsed Joe Biden on Tuesday in a 12-minute video describing his close partnership with his former vice president and urging Americans opposed to President Donald Trump to join together in a “great awakening” against him.

“Choosing Joe to be my vice president was one of the best decisions I ever made, and he became a close friend. And I believe Joe has all the qualities we need in a president right now,” Obama said, speaking directly to the camera.

Much of Obama’s statement is focused on winning over left-leaning voters who may be cool to Biden’s candidacy, with praise of Bernie Sanders, who exited the race last week, and an allusion to Elizabeth Warren’s promise of “structural change.”

He cast the general election as a binary choice between Biden and Trump, making several veiled references to some of the differences between the two candidates’ approach to governing and their personal backgrounds.

“Elections matter,” he said. “Right now, we need Americans of goodwill to unite in a great awakening against a politics that too often has been characterized by corruption, carelessness, self-dealing, disinformation, ignorance, and just plain meanness. And to change that, we need Americans of all political stripes to get involved in our politics and our public life like never before.”

Obama’s endorsement was expected now, just as the general election against Trump begins. He’d long made clear that he would wait for Democratic voters to choose their nominee before getting involved in the race. Biden didn’t wait for the endorsement, however, to capitalize on their relationship. From his campaign launch a year ago onward, the legacy of his eight years in the White House with Obama was at the core of his case.

Obama’s announcement comes a day after Sanders, Biden’s final opponent for the nomination, endorsed him and urged Democrats, independents and “some Republicans” to unite around Biden to defeat Trump.

Obama’s endorsement means that he and former first lady Michelle Obama, the two most popular figures in the Democratic Party, can begin to campaign — and raise money — for Biden. While Biden’s campaign had hoped to hold massive rallies to roll out the support of the Obamas, it is settling for a digital rollout during virus-related social distancing.

Obama remained publicly neutral throughout the primary race, but he offered to share advice and speak privately with any Democratic candidate. Most candidates took him up on the offer. But as the race narrowed, Obama spoke more frequently with Biden, including congratulating him for his victory in South Carolina, and he spoke a number of times with Sanders as he was contemplating the end of his campaign.

The Trump campaign dismissed the big-name endorsement, saying Biden would “embarrass” his former boss.

“Barack Obama spent much of the last five years urging Joe Biden not to run for president out of fear that he would embarrass himself. Now that Biden is the only candidate left in the Democrat field, Obama has no other choice but to support him,” Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale said in a statement.

Obama and Biden remain close friends, a bond that deepened when Biden was grieving over the death of his son Beau in 2015. Their partnership in the White House — in which Biden was given a broad portfolio — is also the model Biden has been contemplating as he begins the process of selecting his own running mate.

— With assistance by Mario Parker

Progressive Dems of Benicia – Women’s Empowerment Panel

What will it take to get a woman on the 2020 ballot and beyond?

The women’s and youth caucus of the Progressive Democrats of Benicia held a Women’s Empowerment Panel on Wednesday, February 19, 7pm at the Benicia library.

The Women’s Empowerment Panel speakers included:

    • Ana Petero, a past Fairfield-Suisun school board candidate and currently secretary of the Solano Commission for women and girls
    • Susannah Delano,  Executive Director of Close the Gap California
    • Monica Brown, Solano County who is Supervisor District 2, and up for re-election on March 3rd

The panel was asked to address:

    • How  can we get more women elected to government offices?
    • How can we  empower more women take the leap, to run, to get on the ballot?

The featured speakers have all been involved in election campaigns, and offer unique and inspiring perspectives.

We had an engaging evening of conversation about getting women on the 2020 ballot.  All were inspired and empowered!

Sponsored by the Women’s and Youth Caucus of the Progressive Democrats of Benicia.

Encouraging study – women more involved in 2020 political process

From the Benicia Independent

[Roger Straw on BenIndy: I got this in an email from Susannah Delano of Close the Gap California.  Too much BAD news these days – here’s one to get our hopes up.  Fascinating charts – especially Key Takeaway #1. – R.S.]

Stepping Up and Standing Out: Women’s Political Participation in 2020

Read the memo here, the blog post here, and the press release here

Women of all ages and political affiliations — particularly millennials and women of color—have become more politically engaged since 2016, a trend that is likely to continue in the 2020 cycle. Our new research gives further insights into what motivates women and how they plan to participate this year.

Key Takeaways:

1. The 2016 election marked a new era of women’s involvement in political issues and campaigns and they show no sign of stopping in the 2020 cycle.

  • Only 16% of all surveyed women voters said they have become less politically involved in the last few years, with more than half (55%) saying their involvement has stayed the same, and almost one third (29%) reporting increased involvement.
    • The survey shows that Democratic women have been especially motivated to actively participate in the political process, with 35% saying that they have gotten more involved in politics in the last few years, compared to 27% of Republican women and 23% of women who consider themselves Independent.
    • Increased participation is notable among two key voting blocs: 41% of millennial women (18-34 years old) and 36% of women of color say that they have gotten more involved recently.
  • Looking ahead to the 2020 election, the trend of increased involvement is likely to continue, with 31% of women saying they will become more involved and only 9% saying they will be less engaged.
    • Among Democratic women, 39% say they will be more involved this year along with 40% of millennial woman and 40% of women of color.

2. Women are engaging in a range of activities, but are particularly focused on encouraging friends or family to vote or get involved in a campaign or issue.

  • 42% of respondents said that they have encouraged friends or family members to vote or become involved in a campaign or issue—compared to just 35% of men.
  • Millennial women are leading the charge and taking to the streets— nearly one-fourth of them (23%) reported that they have attended a march, rally, or protest since 2016.
  • On every key political action, women of color report being more politically engaged than white women—they volunteer their time, donate to candidates, attend marches, sign petitions, and encourage their friends to get involved at higher rates.

3. Despite increased involvement in political issues, women voters identified time (i.e. being too busy working and/or taking care of family) as the biggest barrier to getting politically involved.

  • The survey asked voters to choose their top reason for not getting involved among a list of several potential barriers: 22% of women said they were too busy working or taking care of their families as the top reason they didn’t get involved compared to 12% of men who identified work or family obligations as their main barrier.

4. Confidence in their own political knowledge is also a barrier unique to women.

  • Despite comparable news consumption, women are 3 times more likely to choose “I don’t know enough about political issues to get involved” as their top reason for not getting involved in politics (15% of women vs. 5% of men).

5. Women, on either side of the political aisle, are primarily motivated by the aspirations they hold for the country.

  • We tested several reasons for why voters have gotten involved in politics in the past few years, and the top two are I want to make my country a better place and I want to make sure our country moves forward not backward.

6. Women are inspired by other women’s political involvement, especially when it comes to supporting women running for office.

  • Women are more likely to volunteer or donate to female candidates, especially Democratic and millennial women, as well as women of color.


The survey was conducted nationwide among 800 likely 2020 presidential voters (including 600 women and 200 men) during December 5-12, 2019.Full data report available here.