Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of president John F Kennedy, endorsed Joe Biden yesterday, calling the former vice president the Democrats' "best bet to win the White House".
The Kennedy family has been a major force in Massachusetts politics for generations, and Caroline Kennedy's sought-after endorsement came the day that the 2020 Democratic contest landed in neighbouring New Hampshire, which holds its presidential primary next week.
Ms Kennedy, a former ambassador to Japan, announced her decision to endorse Mr Biden in an opinion article in the 'Boston Globe'.
"We need a nominee who can compete in every state, who can bring wandering Democrats and independents back to the fold, and even attract some Republicans," Ms Kennedy wrote.
"Biden at the top of the ticket is our best bet to win the White House, keep the gains we made in the House, and put the Senate in play."
Ms Kennedy's endorsement of Mr Biden came before there was a declared winner in Monday's Iowa Caucuses, which descended into chaos because of technical problems with an app used to report results.
Recent public opinion polls showed Vermont senator Bernie Sanders with a slight edge in Iowa, but Mr Biden, Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren and former South Bend, Indiana, mayor Pete Buttigieg were all positioned to win.
Ms Kennedy said President Donald Trump had been a destructive force and "shredded our credibility around the world".
Mr Biden, she wrote, would be a calming presence who could "bring people together, who knows how to get things done at home and abroad, whose word we can count on, and who can nurture the next generation of leaders".