Keisha Lance Bottoms, mayor of what is arguably the blackest city in America, threw her support behind former Vice President Joe Biden on Friday, citing his experience and perceived ability to beat Donald Trump.
Bottoms told the Associated Press, “For me, it was most important that we have a president who doesn’t have to walk in the door and figure out where the light switch is, that we have somebody who can lead on Day One.”
I’m not sure White House light switches are all that difficult—or more important than policy—but sure.
You’d be forgiven if you thought Biden’s bid for the Democratic presidential nomination was dead on arrival after Senator Kamala Harris’ complete evisceration of his record on race at Thursday’s Democratic debate in Miami. But American politics being what it is, it’s a long and weary campaign trail yet, and Biden still has plenty of time to make his case to voters—particularly the black voters that are the backbone of the Democratic party.
The AP noted, Mayor Bottoms attended the Thursday night debate as a guest of Biden’s wife, Jill Biden, so one can safely assume this endorsement was more or less a done deal before the debate. Earlier this month, Bottoms also responded to criticism regarding Biden’s remarks about working with staunchly segregationist senators.
“The larger context was that you have to work across the aisle with people you don’t like, people you don’t agree with,” Bottoms said, adding, “I do it each and every day as mayor of Atlanta in a red state.”
“My position is, if his explanation was good enough for John Lewis, then it’s good enough for me,” Bottoms continued. Lewis, a Georgia congressman and civil rights icon, also defended Biden, who previously lauded the “civility” of the segregationists he worked with, including Sen. Strom “All The Bayonets Of The Army Can’t Force The Negro Into Our Homes” Thurmond.
“During the height of the civil rights movement we worked with people and got to know people that were members of the Klan—people who opposed us, even people who beat us, and arrested us and jailed us,” Lewis said.
“We never gave up on our fellow human beings, and I will not give up on any human being,” Lewis added.
As it stands, Biden currently leads the rest of the Democratic presidential hopefuls in Congressional Black Caucus endorsements, including the CBC’s chairman, Louisiana Rep. Cedric Richmond, the AP reports.