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Biden wins Hillary Clinton's endorsement in bid to woo women voters
PRESUMPTIVE Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden won the endorsement on Tuesday of Hillary Clinton for the office she fell short of winning in 2016 in her bid to become the first woman elected as US president.
The endorsement, at an online town hall on the effects of the coronavirus crisis on women, came at a critical moment as Mr Biden aims to raise his profile with female voters and other key demographic groups even as the pandemic ravages the US economy.
Mrs Clinton - a one-time secretary of state, US senator from New York and first lady - suffered an upset defeat in the 2016 presidential election to Republican Donald Trump, despite winning the popular vote.
She also lost the 2008 Democratic presidential race to Barack Obama, whom Mr Biden served as vice-president.
Mr Biden, who has vowed to pick a woman as his running mate this year, introduced Mrs Clinton at the town hall as the person who should nowbe president.
She told the former vice-president: "I am thrilled to be part of your campaign to not only endorse you but to help highlight a lot of the issues that are at stake in this presidential election."
Mrs Clinton's defeat four years ago remains the source of anger and consternation among liberals, including some who wrestle with whether they chose the right candidate.
Women favoured Mrs Clinton over Mr Trump in 2016, exit polls showed, and are expected to play a critical role in swaying the most competitive swing states in the Nov 3 election between Mr Biden and Mr Trump.
On Tuesday, Mr Biden and Mrs Clinton promoted the need to define abortion as essential healthcare during the coronavirus pandemic and to provide subsidies to victims of domestic violence forced to take time off from work.
The former first lady's signature issue during the presidency of her husband, Bill Clinton, was healthcare reform, and her early career included advocacy on family and children's issues.
Speaking on the webcast, she said women were disproportionately hurt by some of the consequences of the pandemic.
Mr Biden agreed, adding that abortion was being used as "a political wedge" during the crisis. Some Republican-led states have sought to curb the procedure as part of their emergency response.
In a statement responding to the endorsement, Mr Trump's campaign manager Brad Parscale said: "There is no greater concentration of Democrat establishment than Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton together. President Trump beat her once and now he will beat her chosen candidate."
Mrs Clinton's support for Mr Biden at this stage was never in doubt. Mr Biden is widely supported by his party's establishment and his last remaining rival, Senator Bernie Sanders, dropped out earlier this month. Mr Sanders has also since endorsed Mr Biden.
Mr Sanders, a democratic socialist, clashed with Mrs Clinton over personality and ideology in their 2016 Democratic presidential race. Mrs Clinton was Mr Obama's first secretary of state. Mr Biden decided against mounting a campaign against her at the last election in 2016 as he grieved the death of his son Beau.
Mr Obama, the first black American president, endorsed Mr Biden's campaign two weeks ago after Mr Sanders' withdrawal from the contest. REUTERS