Joe Biden is expected to announce his run for the presidency in the 2020 presidential elections this week. Born Joseph Robinette Biden Jr., he is the 47th Vice President of the United States (2009-2017) and the oldest politician in the increasingly crowded line-up of presidential hopefuls. He is also the most experienced politician of them all.
As many as 18 high-profile Democrats including Senator Elizabeth Warren, Senator Cory Booker, and Governor Jay Inslee have signified their interest in running for President of the United States. Many, however, have taken themselves out of consideration including Senator Sherrod Brown, former New City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe.
Biden’s decision is among the most-awaited pronouncements, if he pursues his plan, of the early presidential primary season.
According to several media outlets, including The Atlantic that first reported on the matter, Biden’s plans have been confirmed by three people with knowledge about his decision. These three people insisted on anonymity since there weren’t authorized to speak about it publicly.
Biden’s announcement may come as early as Wednesday this week. If he does, he will be ending speculations about his political plans and future. But as of this writing, the specific time, date and place for his announcement isn’t known.
Like many of his fellow aspiring candidates, however, Biden will likely be knee-deep in public engagements. These will probably include town hall meetings and visits to states known for their early voting patterns.
Biden is known for his outspoken stand in the rise of white supremacy in the United States, especially under President Trump’s administration. He may then visit Charlottesville, Virginia where counter-protesters and white supremacists clashed in 2017 during a Unite the Right rally.
If Biden attends an early event in relation to the deadly attack, he will be highlighting the contrast between him and President Trump. The latter was criticized for condemning the “hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides” but he didn’t single out neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and white nationalists. President Trump was also criticized for saying that “very fine people on both sides” were present.
In The Atlantic article he wrote, Biden wrote that, “We are living through a battle for the soul of this nation.” His advocacy against racism will apparently be among his platforms for the presidency.
Biden, of course, is among the most recognizable names in the country’s politics due to his long career. He was a two-term vice president under then-President Barack Obama’s administration, as well as a Delaware senator for nearly four decades.
He has a working-class background, one of the reasons for his success as a politician. His close connection to Obama is also perceived as reason for his possibly strong chances as a front-runner in the primary.
But he also has his fair share of challenges. For one thing, he’s the oldest contender in the primary, an issue that divides his fellow Democrats. Age begets experience but it can also be problematic during the campaign and, if he wins, the presidency.
For another thing, the Democratic Party has become more liberal. But Biden has a moderate track record that may or may not fit in well with his party’s current trend.
He has also struggled in his response to allegations about inappropriate conduct with women. Lucy Flores, a 2014 Nevada lieutenant governor nominee, has alleged that he kissed her shoulders and back of her head. A few other women made similar claims but there have been no charges of sexual misconduct.
Biden has also ran for the presidency twice. His current run, however, may or may not be different considering his strong political stand nowadays. He is, after all, well-liked by his fellow Democrats, and it’s a good starting point as any to launch his aspirations for the presidency.
Many analysts, however, are still sceptical about Biden’s chances. New, fresh and younger aspirants seem to have a leg up over the old and experienced politician – and the likes of Mayor Pete Buttigieg are getting considerable early buzz.
He also has to contend with past scandals that ruined his chances at the presidency in the past. During his first failed bid for the White House in 1988, he was accused of plagiarism and it’s a mistake that may haunt him in 2020.
He is also under scrutiny for his 1991 decision to allow Anita Hill to answer questions regarding her sexual harassment allegations against Clarence Thomas. Said decision was made when Biden was chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. While he has apologized for it, he will likely be under pressure for his role in the fiasco, especially in light of the #MeToo movement.
Biden is also said to be getting early funding for his campaign. He still doesn’t have an active account for his campaign, and it will be an issue once the ball starts rolling.
For Biden’s supporters, nonetheless, there’s a silver lining: The manpower appears to be in place and as strong as it can be for now.