Civil Rights icon & congressman John Lewis endorsed Joe Biden for president

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Joe Biden picked up one big endorsement and one HUGE endorsement on Tuesday. Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio endorsed Biden, which is a big deal to me because I like Sen. Brown and I feel like he’s an old-school, union-manufacturing-jobs Democrat. But Sen. Brown’s endorsement was completely overshadowed by the other Biden endorsement: Rep. John Lewis, one of the greatest living Civil Rights icons in America today. Rep. Lewis announced his endorsement with a group phone call with reporters (thus assuring that multiple outlets would run with it at the same time):

Representative John Lewis, an iconic civil rights leader and one of the nation’s most prominent black lawmakers, on Tuesday endorsed Joseph R. Biden Jr. in the 2020 presidential contest, in the latest illustration of Mr. Biden’s strength with many African-American voters. Mr. Lewis, Democrat of Georgia, called the former vice president “a friend, a man of courage, a man of conscience” and promised to “travel around America to support him.” He also expressed enthusiasm at the prospect of a woman of color on the Democratic ticket.

The congressman, a veteran of some of the most significant moments in the history of the civil rights movement, including the Bloody Sunday march in Alabama and the 1963 March on Washington, announced in December that he had advanced pancreatic cancer. But in a call with reporters on Monday evening, he said that he wanted to campaign aggressively for Mr. Biden — though the coronavirus outbreak has shuttered the traditional campaign trail for now.

“I know what it is to campaign hard and to work hard,” Mr. Lewis said, acknowledging that he faced some “problems now, but they will not be with me forever.” “And I will be out there working and campaigning for Joe Biden as president of the United States of America.”

Older black voters, in particular, revived Mr. Biden’s once-floundering candidacy and played a decisive role in propelling him to the cusp of the Democratic nomination. Some Democrats — including Representative James E. Clyburn of South Carolina, the highest-ranking African-American in Congress and a top Biden ally — have expressed a preference for a black woman on the ticket with Mr. Biden.

“I think Vice President Biden should look around,” Mr. Lewis said, when asked if he believed Mr. Biden should select a woman of color. “It would be good to have a woman of color. It would be good to have a woman. It would be good to have a woman who looks like the rest of America.” Mr. Lewis noted that there are “plenty of able women. Black, white, Latino, Asian-American, Native American.” The time has “long passed,” he said, for making “the White House look like the whole of America.”

[From The New York Times]

Civil rights leaders and activists operate this way – men like Jim Clyburn and John Lewis know that their endorsements are valuable (in Clyburn’s case, an absolute game-changer), and they know that in exchange for their endorsements, they get at least one big “ask” of the candidate. Some will call it transactional, and it absolutely is, because this is Political Science 101 and we’re all f–king adults. What’s fascinating to me is that both Clyburn and John Lewis decided to make their immediate, public ask of Biden “will you choose a woman of color for your running mate?” We stan allies. It makes me wonder if Lewis and Clyburn feel (as I do) that Kamala Harris got a completely raw deal in 2019, in the lead up to the primary votes. It makes me wonder if Kamala Harris’s name is the one being pushed by Civil Rights leaders.

Biden immediately released this absolutely gorgeous, goosebumpy ad with Rep. Lewis’s voiceover. Run this on every TV station for the next seven months.

Don’t go and look at the comments on that tweet either. You’ll find a bunch of neckbeard Bernie Bros brosplaining civil rights to John Lewis.

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16 Responses to “Civil Rights icon & congressman John Lewis endorsed Joe Biden for president”

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  1. The Fauch says:

    Great. Make Nina Turner the running mate and I’ll get on board.

    • CindyP says:

      That made me laugh…thank you!

    • halcyon says:

      Nina Turner? how is she qualified or deserving to be VP?

      Kamala, Warren, Klobacher, Abrams, Whitmer.. any of them yeah but Turner?! Please don’t, Joe. None of the Bernie toxic staffers/surrogates deserve any place in his cabinet.

      • The Fauch says:

        You have to give the progressive base of the party something, otherwise they won’t turnout in sufficient numbers.

      • halcyon says:

        Adopt some of the progressive platforms yes but nope to Turner as VP

  2. GR says:

    I’ll vote for Biden – there’s no other choice – but how about Anita Hill for vp?

    • Oh-Dear says:

      Dr Jack Brown does body language analysis on twitter (I have no idea how accurate he is or what his training is, but I enjoy it anyway) and he did a thread on Kamala Harris’ body language when she was asked if she will be picked for VP. Dr Brown seems to think she believes she is in the running and tells why.

  3. Joanna says:

    Wow, that gave me goosebumps

  4. Jerusha says:

    One of my proudest moments was meeting John Lewis when I was campaigning for Doug Jones. Mr. Lewis is a national treasure, I admire him so much.
    In 1986 I so envied the voters of Georgia’s 5th Congressional District, being able to choose between incumbent Julian Bond or challenger John Lewis. If only we all had such quality in leaders, instead of having to choose between bad and oh, god, no!

    • Esmom says:

      I know, right? I’d like to think this era is inspiring a new generation of leaders, people of intelligence, compassion, substance. Because these times have really exposed how many utterly empty, amoral, ignorant shells have managed to get themselves elected. We can do so much better, and I do think we will.

  5. BlueSky says:

    Either Kamala or Warren would be a great VP pick

  6. Esmom says:

    This is reassuring and heartwarming. I’d add to Kaiser’s comment to not look at the Twitter comments to never look at the Twitter comments on any Biden Tweet. Between the Bernie Bros and Don Junior and his minions, people are determined to trash him as best they can. It’s horrible to behold, it’s Hillary 2.0.

  7. Sam the Pink says:

    Twitter was full yesterday of Bernie cult members going crazy over this. Between the white people LITERALLY calling Lewis an uncle tom, a house slave, etc. and the ones trying to push tied talking points about Biden authoring the 1994 crime bill (which Bernie voted FOR), it was a mess of white feelings and scientology-level misdirection.

  8. dj says:

    I want a woman president so badly I can taste it! I know this will not be popular but I am pragmatic. We have to get Trump and Republicans OUT! My own personal opinion would be to either get Gov. Gavin Newsom as VP or Gov. Cuomo as VP. I want in my heart of hearts a woman because this will probably set them up as the next Pres. candidate but California would deliver the votes to WIN. NY would not hurt vote-wise either. We need someone to deliver electoral votes.