Lisa Lerer and Maggie Astor
The New York Times Company

Hillary Clinton, the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee and the person with the most experience competing and debating against President Donald Trump, will throw her support behind Joe Biden on Tuesday, the latest party leader to try to make the case for returning the White House to Democratic hands in November.

Clinton is expected to announce her endorsement Tuesday afternoon, according to a person familiar with the plans, and appear with Biden in an online conversation about the effect of the coronavirus on women.

On her Twitter account Tuesday, Clinton all but confirmed the endorsement as she disclosed that she will be appearing at the online event with Biden.

As the woman who got closest to the White House, Clinton remains a singular figure in Democratic presidential politics, and a complicated one. Both beloved and blamed for her narrow loss to Trump in 2016, she possesses a loyal and powerful constituency of female supporters who argue that the election was stolen from her by Russian hackers.

Her re-emergence in presidential politics also serves as an implicit reminder to the Democratic left about the dangers of a divided party. While a wide array of factors contributed to Clinton’s loss, one element was the refusal of some on the left to coalesce behind her candidacy against Trump.

For progressives now skeptical about Biden, Clinton’s endorsement, among other things, is an invitation to reflect upon whether they want to risk four more years of the Trump presidency because they are uncomfortable with the former vice president. Biden has argued since last year that he is best positioned to defeat Trump — but that he would need a united party to do it. No one knows better than Clinton that there is no room for error or a lack of unity among Democrats in a closely fought general election.

Her endorsement follows similar ones from Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, former President Barack Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, former Vice President Al Gore and Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington. The fast and carefully orchestrated rollout of endorsements for Biden are a sign of the value that his campaign is putting on Democratic unity against Trump.

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