Speed Reads

endorsement watch

Jim Clyburn gives Joe Biden key South Carolina endorsement

Former Vice President Joe Biden picked up the coveted presidential endorsement from Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) on Wednesday, the morning after Tuesday night's debate in Charleston.

The decision was expected — the two are old friends, and Clyburn has praised Biden consistently throughout the Democratic primaries. But it's still a big get for Biden with South Carolina heading to the polls on Saturday for the South's first primary. The vice president has remained the favorite in the Palmetto State for quite some time, but he's looked more vulnerable as the national frontrunner, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), makes gains.

Still, Biden has received some positive reviews for his latest debate performance, and some more recent polling suggest he's still in good standing in South Carolina, so Clyburn's endorsement could very well strengthen his lead. Clyburn is a prominent Democratic voice in South Carolina and Washington alike. He serves as the House majority whip and is the highest-ranking black member of Congress.

"I can think of no one better suited, better prepared, I can think of no one with more integrity, no one more committed to the fundamental principles that make this country what it is than my good friend," Clyburn said, appearing alongside Biden at a South Carolina event. Read more at The Associated Press.