Former Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday finally announced his intention to seek the Democratic presidential nomination, framing his run as a sort of ‘rescue mission’ to save the core values of American Democracy.
Unfortunately for Biden, the excitement surrounding his indecision on running is likely to eclipse that of his actual campaign.
The one advantage he has over his competitors is name recognition.
Joe Biden spent 36 years in Congress before serving as Vice President under Obama (2009-2017). He is well-liked by both parties, and polls suggest he enjoys a 72% approval rating among registered Democrats.
“He’s got a very long record, which is both a strength and it has drawbacks,” says Jim Kessler, a former aide to Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY). “His challenge will be selling voters on, ‘I’m the person who can restore some sense of civility and some functionality in Washington, DC,’ and that could be a very powerful message for him but time will tell.”
Moving forward, Biden will have some tough questions to answer as he hits the campaign trail. First off, should he accept support from super PACs? He has the ability to win support from big donors, but doing so could turn off progressive voters looking for a Democrat who represents the working class.
Speaking of progressives, it is unlikely Biden will embrace far-left proposals like “Medicare for All” and the “Green New Deal.” He is also unlikely to join lawmakers in calling for Trump’s impeachment following the release of the Mueller Report.
Finally, Biden must address recent accusations of unwanted touching. This issue is going to “keep rearing its ugly head,” said one donor. “And he better have a strategy about dealing with it or it’s going to be the equivalent of Hillary’s emails.”
Other issues voters are likely to complain about include:
- His support for the war in Iraq
- His support for a 1994 crime bill which has largely been blamed for the mass incarceration of African Americans
- His age (if he wins, Biden will be inaugurated at age 78)
- His votes against gay marriage and reproductive rights
- His failure to support Anita Hill’s accusations of sexual harassment against then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas in 1991
In reference to that last bullet point, Hill says she can’t support Biden’s run for president until he takes full responsibility for his actions during Thomas’s confirmation hearings.
“[Biden] needs to give an apology to the other women and to the American public because we know now how deeply disappointed Americans around the country were about what they saw,” says Hill. “And not just women. There are women and men now who have just really lost confidence in our government to respond to the problem of gender violence.”
Editor’s note: He was a weak candidate before and has never exceeded a few percentage points in any previous Presidential race. His biggest problem is that his name recognition is maxed out. He won’t get any more popular than he is right now. Other candidates will begin to emerge as their campaigns start spending and the debates take place. Biden has nowhere to go, but down.
Notice that the media is calling him the frontrunner, but as Horist always says, the media have a tendency to call the winner of a boxing match after each round. My prediction is that his polling numbers will be down in the single digits by the first primary.