Should Joe Biden run for president in 2020? | The Tylt
As the country crawls ever closer to the 2020 presidential election, pundits and politicians turn their powers of speculation to the question of who will be crowned the Democratic party’s nominee. While few have declared, the list of potentials is long and growing longer. The tippy top of that list, though, has been consistently maintained by veteran politician Joe Biden. Biden’s an expert political operative, boasts a deep roster of connections and a history of liberal policies. Many worry the time for the Democrats to nominate an aging white statesmen has passed. What do you think?
Should Joe Biden run for president in 2020?
One of Biden's biggest supporters, at this juncture, may be Biden himself. The former vice president is currently on a small, cross-country book tour supporting his recent memoir, "Promise Me, Dad: A Year of Hope, Hardship, and Purpose." During a stop in Montana, CNN reports he was straightforward about his thoughts on his Oval Office readiness.
"I'll be as straight with you as I can. I think I'm the most qualified person in the country to be president," Biden said to applause at the University of Montana. "The issues that we face as a country today are the issues that have been in my wheelhouse, that I've worked on my whole life."
"No one should run for the job unless they believe that they would be qualified doing the job. I've been doing this my whole adult life, and the issues that are the most consequential relating to the plight of the middle class and our foreign policy are things that I have -- even my critics would acknowledge, I may not be right but I know a great deal about it," he added.
While Biden stopped short of declaring his candidacy, saying he will demur to the desires of his family, he is clearly standing at the ready.
Some don't see Biden's decades of Congressional and West Wing experience as positives. Frank Bruni writes in an op-ed column for the New York Times that the moment for centrist, career Democrats to lead the party has long past. Not only that, but running Biden would be to ignore every lesson that should have been learned from Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign.
[W]hat would you say if I told you that we should put our chips on a man who failed miserably at two previous campaigns for the nomination, the first one all the way back in 1988, a year before Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was born? And that when he applied the lessons from that debacle to his second bid two decades later, he did no better, placing fifth in the Iowa caucuses, getting fewer than 1 percent of the state’s delegates and folding his tent before even the New Hampshire primary?
And that he spent nearly 45 years in Washington, a proper noun that’s a dirty word in presidential politics? And that his record includes laws and episodes that are reviled — rightly — by the female and black voters so integral to the Democratic Party? And that, on Election Day, he would be 77, which is 31 years older than Bill Clinton was in 1992, 30 years older than Barack Obama was in 2008 and a complete contradiction of the party’s success over the last half-century with relatively youthful candidates?
...We should be cleareyed about each Democratic contender’s shortcomings and vulnerabilities.
Biden, who followed 36 years as a senator from Delaware with eight as Obama’s vice president, has many. His record is one of them. There’s prodigious accomplishment there but also trouble: his stern treatment of Anita Hill when she appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee, of which he was chairman; his role as an ambassador for the financial services industry in Delaware; his key part in the passage of crime bills that ended up punishing African-Americans disproportionately. None of that jibes with his party’s current priorities and mood.
Biden is saddled with baggage that will make it hard for him to enthuse the party's newly energized liberal wing and could, once again, lose the Democrats the election.