Endorsement: Joe Biden for president in Democratic primary

Throughout the long Democratic presidential contest, one of the accepted assumptions has been that the Bernie Sanders campaign could energize the electorate. What a surprise to conventional wisdom on Tuesday when the energizer turned out to be Joe Biden.

We have a theory about the stunning Super Tuesday surge to Biden, and it's supported by the polling: Tuesday's vote was not so much the result of a newfound love affair between Democratic voters and Biden; and it was not the result of a mythical unfinanced and under-the-radar power play by the so-called establishment or Wall Street.

Quite the contrary, Tuesday's vote was as grass-roots as grass-roots gets.

It was Democratic voters, supported by some middle-of-the-road crossovers, singing in unison: We want Donald Trump out.

And they don't think Sanders is the guy who can do that. Some of those voters might be sympathetic to Sanders' views; most probably find them too impractical or extreme. But in either case, they don't think Sanders can beat Trump.

They think Biden can.

Some of them may have loved Biden from the start. For some of them, he may be an alternative choice. A few may, truth be told, have strong reservations about him.

But they all have been looking for a winner, somebody who can beat Trump, somebody who can provide a return to normalcy, somebody who can mend our ugly divisions.

They have wanted somebody who can confront climate change, restore America's place in the world, expand justice and equal opportunity, quell gun violence and keep the economy humming.

For so long, hampered by the sheer volume of candidates jockeying imperfectly and unpredictably for position, the question was clouded and even exasperating: Who was going to emerge from the bountiful field of common-sense Democrats?

And would it be too late by the time someone did?

Suddenly, at the brink of presumptive midnight in South Carolina a week ago, that someone emerged. Joe Biden.

And the Democratic Party masses, hungering for a nominee who could beat Trump without wishful thinking, moved to him in a rush.

That surge was breathtaking democracy. Yes, as grass-roots as grass-roots gets.

Truth be told, there is some disappointment that such a wide and diverse field of candidates ultimately would narrow to two white men whose age at inauguration would be about the same as America's average life expectancy. And the president one of them will challenge in November will be only slightly younger.

Age provides experience and wisdom but even the aged among us recognize that youth has its advantages too, and without as much risk of frailty.

The matter of gender is not inconsequential. Despite an array of qualified early contenders, it now appears the dreams of young girls that they can grow up to be president will have to wait for at least another election cycle to be epitomized. The wait is tough, but we are confident its end is in sight.

All that said, we join the tide endorsing Joe Biden in the Democratic primary for president.

He is a man of decency with working class roots. His life story is one of overcoming personal challenge and heartbreaking human tragedy.

He has a long record of experience and accomplishment in foreign affairs and domestic policy. As vice president, he worked actively as a teammate with Barack Obama.

Of the two contenders for the Democratic nomination, Biden clearly offers the best hope for bringing the country together and healing the wounds of our polarization.

For weeks now, Biden has been saying, "The American people want results, not revolution."

On that score, Biden has been right.

He deserves the Democratic nomination for president.

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