Biden wasn’t No. 1 choice at first; he is now

(AP Photo/John Minchillo)

I find myself trying to stop the head-spinning caused by the trajectory of the Democratic Party presidential primary contest.

Joe Biden is now the presumptive nominee of the party that will challenge Donald Trump for the presidency. He claimed that title when Bernie Sanders dropped out of the race.

I need to make two key stipulations. One is that I am glad to support former Vice President Biden’s nomination and his election as the next president of the United States. The second is that Joe Biden was not my first choice among the 22 candidates who lined up originally to seek the Democratic nomination.

I wanted someone new. I wanted a fresher face than the one Biden presents. He wasn’t among the top five Democrats in the field, but surely within the top 10.

To be candid, I didn’t have a favorite among the thundering herd that started this race. I like Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker … all of them brought plenty to the table. My hope early on, prior to the field being formed, was for the Democrats to nominate someone who would leap out of the proverbial tall grass, a total surprise.

I thought there might be another Jimmy Carter out there; bear in mind, I make the Carter reference only in hoping someone would surprise the political world the way Carter did in 1976.

None of those candidates made the final cut. Joe Biden is the last man standing.

I am all in for Biden now. Yes, I think he was — as President Obama has described him — the “finest vice president we’ve ever had.” He was consequential, a critical member of the Obama team. He served as a bridge between the president and congressional Republicans who over many years had developed abiding respect and love for the nation’s No. 2 politician. We need a president today who can rebuild that bridge.

Donald Trump has governed just as he campaigned. He appeals only to his base. I am going to place my faith in Joe Biden to actually deliver on his own pledge to “restore the soul” of our nation.

My journey to this place was full of fits and starts. However, here is where I stand. I do so proudly.

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