I could almost feel sorry for Joe Biden. Almost. I don’t agree with him on most issues, politically, and I don’t think he would be a particularly good president, but I don’t think he is a bad guy. I think he would like to be president. Most politicians in his position would aspire to that job. Unfortunately for him, I believe he has already missed his best chance.
In 2016 Vice President Biden would have been a strong candidate, stronger than Hillary, who had trouble beating back the challenge of a previously obscure socialist, like Uncle Bernie. On top of his long tenure in the Senate, he had the visibility and name recognition that goes with having been VP for eight years. As it turned out, both parties ran unpopular candidates. I believe President Obama would have backed him over Hillary. But, Joe hung back. Perhaps, the wounds of his son’s death were too raw. Perhaps, he bought in to the whole fallacy that “it was Hillary’s turn.” In any event, I think he could have won, and now, it appears that events and time have passed him by. In politics, as in life, timing is crucial.
In 2020 the Democratic Party has moved very far to the left. Already, there are a plethora of far left candidates, such as Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Kamila Harris and Corey Booker, who are espousing extreme progressive/socialist ideas who have strong backing within the Party. In addition, there is AOC, who, though only a freshman and too young to run, seems to be the current media darling, and is spouting one crazy idea after another on tv and social media. (Her latest is to threaten Congressmen who vote to support moderate policies with being put on a political “hit” list. She may be of questionable intelligence, but I have to admit, she does have “chutzpah.”) It seems that the party is seeking a diversity candidate, which is code for a woman and/or minority. Biden, as an older, relatively moderate, white guy, seems to be an outcast in his own party.
Furthermore, Biden is not helping his case. His indecisiveness is encouraging others to jump into the fray. At this rate, by the time the primaries begin in early 2020 there could easily be 15 or 20 candidates. What a mess that would be. Entertaining, but a mess.
It looks like Biden’s strategy is to wait, let the various pretenders fight it out and eliminate each other, and then jump in to challenge who’s left. He might be better served by declaring his candidacy and locking up financial funding and political support, rather than hanging back as he has been. Tough call, but I think his current stance makes him appear indecisive, which is not a good quality for a leader.
In my view, Biden did not help himself with the Pence situation. What is wrong with calling another politician from the opposition party a “nice guy?” It doesn’t mean Biden was endorsing his political views. Some twitter morons criticized him, and instead of standing his ground, he tried to apologize. For what? Being respectful toward another politician? Not something a strong, decisive leader does.
I think Biden would be the Dems’ best candidate in a general election. If you’re a Dem you should be rooting for him. He would have an excellent chance of beating President Trump, probably the only Dem who could. But, I don’t know if he can win his own party’s nomination. As they say, we’ll see.