Joe Biden May Be Close To Scoring Major Endorsement From Former Democratic Opponent

Joe Biden speaks at a campaign event.
Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Joe Biden may be on the cusp of scoring a major endorsement ahead of the start of the 2020 Democratic primary.

The New York Times reported on Thursday that California Sen. Kamala Harris is weighing an endorsement of the former vice president, which would likely come at the conclusion of President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial. The report noted that the endorsement would be both a boost for Biden and a potential boon for the former Democratic presidential hopeful, who is seen as a potential vice-presidential candidate.

The report noted that Harris and Biden remained in contact since she exited the race, including a lengthy discussion following her decision. Though the two clashed during debates, Biden praised Harris at a campaign event in Iowa shortly after she dropped out.

At the time, he made reference to their conversation and appeared to hint that she could play an important role if he were to win in November.

“Senator Harris has the capacity to be anything she wants to be,” Biden told reporters, via Reuters. “I talked to her yesterday. She’s solid. She can be the president one day herself. She can be the vice president. She can go on to be a Supreme Court justice.”

The former vice president added that he would definitely consider the California senator as a running mate.

However, Harris still has a number of considerations before making a decision and announcing a public endorsement, the New York Times report noted.

“Democrats close to Ms. Harris said she wanted to carefully consider the potential impact of her endorsement; was mindful that two of her female colleagues, Senators Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, were still in the race; and was uneasy about the prospect of backing a candidate only to see him or her lose California.”

Though Biden has been the Democratic frontrunner since entering the race last year, several recent polls show that it has tightened in the days ahead of the first voting in Iowa. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has pulled close or ahead in polls of early states and in one national poll. Sanders was also ahead in polling of California, which could factor into Harris’ decision about whether to endorse Biden — or when to announce her choice.

Biden and Sanders have also clashed more frequently in recent weeks. This includes an apparent spat after Biden’s campaign accused Sanders of misrepresenting his position on cuts to social security.