Tag Archives: Joe Biden

Democrats looking for sure-fire ‘diversity’ on 2020 ticket?

At the risk of confirming my pledge to avoid political predictions by getting another prediction dead wrong, I am going to offer a possible result in the Democratic Party’s presidential primary campaign in 2020.

It’s looking to me as though Democrats — whoever they nominate for president a year from now — will include (a) a woman or (b) a person “of color” on their presidential ticket to run against Donald J. Trump, or (c) maybe both.

A Politico.com story talks about how former Vice President Joe Biden is building on his early front-running momentum as he kicks his presidential campaign into high gear. It also references the chatter about how Biden, the prohibitive early front runner, could produce a political juggernaut if he wins the presidential nomination and then selects Sen. Kamala Harris to run with him as his vice-presidential nominee.

I don’t know who the Democrats will nominate. If it’s Biden, it seems to make all the sense in the world for him to find a young, vibrant running mate. Harris fits the bill. She also, quite obviously is of the correct gender and she also happens to be biracial.

A woman of color!

How does look?

As Politico reports: “Harris is everything the 76-year-old Biden is not. The freshman senator from California is younger, a woman and a person of color. As Biden gets dinged for his bipartisan bromides, Harris is winning applause for her merciless cross-examination of Trump officials.”

OK, I cannot predict a Biden-Harris ticket will materialize. It seems to make perfect sense, though, for Democrats to look consciously for someone who isn’t a white guy for one of the two spots at the top of their presidential ticket.

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus call such a lineup to be a political “dream ticket.” They might be on to something.

Beto’s early burst needs a boost

Beto O’Rourke burst on the national public political stage with a near-miss loss to a Republican U.S. senator in Texas in 2018.

Then the former El Paso congressman launched his presidential campaign and hearts started fluttering beyond Texas’s state line. He raised a lot of money in the first 24 hours of his 2020 presidential candidacy.

But then . . . O’Rourke plateaued. Other Democrats — and there are a lot of ’em out there — began stealing Beto’s thunder. They spoke in many more specifics than O’Rourke has offered.

So now, according to the Texas Tribune, O’Rourke is now finding himself looking for a bit of a reset. He is settling in for the long haul. The Tribune reports that O’Rourke is still campaigning “aggressively,” but he’s now just one among a large field of politicians who want to become the next president of the United States.

Yep. It’s going to be a long one, no matter how O’Rourke finishes this campaign.

The RealClearPolitics poll average has former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. as the runaway frontrunner for the Democratic Party nomination. Biden stands at 41 percent among all the announced candidates; Sen. Bernie Sanders is next at something like 16 percent. Beto stands at 4 percent, according to the RCP poll average.

It’s way too early to write Beto off, just as it way too early to anoint Joe Biden as the next Democratic Party presidential nominee.

I guess O’Rourke’s recent struggles tell us about the fickle nature of the voting public and offer an example of how a candidate cannot rely solely on a prior campaign . . . that he lost!

Trump flies off the rails … over Biden endorsement

I have tried for the past couple of years to avoid saying things such as Donald Trump has gone “unhinged,” or that he has “lost his mind.”

However, when former Vice President Joe Biden secured a key union endorsement in his bid for the presidency in 2020, the president . . . well . . . went ballistic!

Vanity Fair reports that Trump set some sort of personal record with a 60-tweet tirade that erupted after the International Union of Firefighters endorsed Biden’s presidential bid.

He ripped into what he called the firefighters’ “dues-sucking” union leadership. Trump said he expected the leaders to endorse Biden, but added that the rank-and-file firefighters will vote for the president.

Really? He knows that?

The president’s Twitter tirades are nothing new, of course. What is amazing is that he spends so much of his supposedly valuable time firing these messages into cyberspace. Oh, I forgot: We’ve got that “executive time” that Trump sets aside for doing whatever he does when he’s not making America great again. 

I am having difficulty understanding how the president can function like this. I guess is he doesn’t function in his capacity as head of state/head of government/commander in chief/leader of the free world/chief executive of the world’s most indispensable nation.

He’s too preoccupied with fomenting lies about his foes and hurling insults at those who want to know the truth about whether this individual sought to obstruct justice while special counsel Robert Mueller looked for answers into whether there was “collusion” with Russians.

Vanity Fair suggests, too, that Trump is “panicked” at the prospect of facing the former VP in a fall 2020 campaign. Thus, he is launching a pre-emptive Twitter strike against Biden with the hope of torpedoing the ex-veep’s reported surge in public opinion polling.

I’ll continue to steer away from words such as “unhinged” when talking about Trump. My sense is that he knows what he is doing when he ignites these Twitter tirades.

I hope this strategy explodes in his face.

First things first, Mr. VPOTUS: you gotta be nominated

This is just my view, but my sense is that the national political media are getting ahead of themselves with regard to Joe Biden’s entry into the 2020 presidential campaign.

The former vice president is the 20th Democrat to enter his party’s primary. A lot of highly qualified, well-heeled, articulate candidates have been in the game for a good while.

Yet the media have become focused on Biden’s campaign rollout and the ire he is incurring from Donald Trump, who is responding to Biden’s direct criticism of him.

I hope Biden keeps getting under Trump’s skin. The president deserves to be rankled and riled. I want him to lose the next election. I want him gone from the White House. He has disgraced the office. He has sullied and soiled our nation’s good name. He has proven to be an incompetent imbecile, a lying narcissist.

However, I am not yet willing to say that the former VP is the man who should beat him. Biden has a towering hurdle to clear if he hopes to win his party’s presidential nomination. He has to get past those 19 other Democrats. That’s just for starters.

I just want the media to stop inching toward treating Biden as if he’s the presumptive nominee already.

Biden should channel G.W. Bush?

Mark Shields is well-known to watchers of PBS’s “NewsHour” as a regular commentator and pundit who, along with his pal David Brooks, regularly assesses the week’s political goings-on.

Shields had some good advice for Vice President Joe Biden: Don’t talk too much when trying to explain yourself over questions regarding how you “invade others’ space” by getting too touch-feely.

Biden entered the 2020 presidential race amid questions and complaints from those who said he was a bit too, um, ebullient in his treatment of them.

Even now, the former VP tends to over-talk himself while explaining his actions. Shields had a reasonable option for Biden to consider: Model your response after former President George W. Bush’s manner in dealing with some of his own past behavior.

Shields noted (and it’s in the video attached to this blog post) that when Bush ran for president in 2000, he was dogged by questions from the media about his drunk driving arrest, how he drank too much alcohol and about how he found religion and sobriety at the age of 40.

Bush developed a pat answer, Shields said, which was: “When I was young and foolish, I was young and foolish.” 

Shields said that the future president recited that mantra with such regularity and frequency that reporters got tired of asking him about it. The issue effectively faded away during the course of the 2000 campaign.

Good advice to follow? Oh, sure . . . but only if the media still lack the staying power to keep harping on an issue that can be explained in a single sentence or two.

Trump vs. Biden: Battle of ‘Both Sides’

Joe Biden has fired a salvo at Donald Trump and Trump has responded by doubling down on arguably his most disgraceful moment as president of the United States.

The former vice president entered the 2020 presidential contest Thursday with a video in which he says the president’s comment on the Charlottesville, Va., riot demonstrates the depths he has taken the country. Trump said in 2017 that there were “fine people on both sides” of the riot; one of those “sides” featured KKK members and Nazis. Biden said the president attached “moral equivalence” between those who spread hate and those who fight them.

Well, Trump responded today by taking Biden’s bait. He said his “both sides” comment was the “perfect response.” Trump said he was referring to those who were protesting the takedown of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, who he described as a “great general.”

I’m trying to recall any mention of Gen. Lee in the moment when Trump made that “both sides” remark. I can’t discern any of it. He might have intended to make that reference — except that he didn’t.

Instead, he spoke about the alleged violent intent of those who counter-protested the hate groups’ march against the statue removal.

I believe VP Biden has punched Trump squarely in the biggest hot button he could find.

How do I know that? I don’t, exactly. However, the president’s response to the Charlottesville criticism illustrates how easily he can be rattled into making patently ridiculous assertions.

I must wonder: Will it matter that Donald Trump is a blundering buffoon who cannot be trusted to tell us the truth?

Biden takes fight straight to Trump

Joe Biden has a huge hurdle to clear if he intends to take up residence in the White House in January 2021.

The former vice president must defeat an enormous field of Democratic opponents vying for their party’s nomination; then if he succeeds at that he will have to defeat Donald Trump in the general election.

The ex-VP’s opening gambit, released this morning via video, goes straight after Trump. I have to hand it to Biden. He is acting like the Democratic front runner.

Biden’s video takes dead aim at the president’s hideous comment about “fine people . . . on both sides” of the Charlottesville, Va., riot that erupted in 2017. One of those “sides,” let us recall, comprised neo-Nazis, white supremacists and Ku Klux Klansmen. Biden noted in his campaign video that Trump sought to attach “moral equivalence” between haters and those who protested against them.

That was the moment, Biden said, that he realized the nation was facing the worst threat he has seen “in my lifetime.”

Biden’s front-running status is likely to diminish as his fellow Democrats start picking away at his huge public service record. It contains more than a few missteps, mistakes, misstatements and assorted gaffes along the way.

For now, though, the former vice president has decided that his No. 1 happens to be the current president of the United States.

To which I say: Give him hell, Joe!

Will there be an endorsement from BHO? Don’t hold your breath

The chatter has begun already: Is there an endorsement in the works from President Obama to his “brother,” the former vice president, Joe Biden?

Do not bet a single nickel of your lottery winnings on it.

Joe Biden announced his presidential candidacy this morning. He is the immediate front runner for the Democratic nomination. He took dead aim at Donald Trump’s relentless campaign of division, fear and loathing.

I’ll have more on all of that later.

But the question now centers on what Barack Obama will do.

He should not make an endorsement with 20 men and women vying for his party’s presidential nomination. It’s not customary for prominent politicians to take sides so early in a still-developing race for public office.

President Reagan once created an “11th Commandment” that urged Republicans to avoid speaking ill of other Republicans. The same can be said of Democrats, particularly when it involves a politician sitting on the sideline.

Yes, the former president and former VP grew close during their eight years in power. President Obama has referred to Vice President Biden as the brother he never had. Their wives worked closely together to forge support for veterans and their families. Obama has talked about how his daughters and Biden’s granddaughters became “best friends.”

The ex-POTUS might offer the former VP some back-door advice. Nothing public will be heard.

So, let’s stop with the chatter about whether Barack Obama will endorse formally his good friend, Joe Biden. That will come in due course.

First things first. Joe Biden first has to get nominated. That will be a long and arduous slog up a steep and possibly slippery slope.

Former VP about to liven an already-lively contest

It appears official, or is about to become official.

Former Vice President Joe Biden is set to enter the race for the presidency of the United States.

Oh, my. How am I supposed to react to this? I’ll give it a shot.

I am of decidedly mixed feelings about it. I admire Joe Biden’s long record of public service. I appreciate all he endured during his time in the U.S. Senate, starting with his immense personal tragedy stemming from the motor vehicle crash that killed his wife and baby daughter.

He took the senatorial oath and served well for more than three decades. Along the way he sought the presidency twice. He got caught in a plagiarism controversy during his first run; he then lost to Barack Obama in 2008, who then selected him as his running mate.

Biden has been on the public stage for a long time. He has a lengthy record of accomplishment. There has been some embarrassment. He didn’t acquit himself well during those hearings involving Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and the woman who accused him of sexual harassment.

I prefer a younger, fresher candidate to challenge Donald Trump in 2020. If it’s not to be, though, I will gladly give VP Biden my support on Election Day.

To be sure, age is an issue. Biden will be 77 years of age were he take the oath in January 2021. Time is no one’s friend. Still, he is the current frontrunner in this enormous field of Democratic hopefuls.

Make no mistake, though, about Biden’s ability to energize the debate. Yes, he is gaffe-prone at times, which might enliven the discussion right off the top.

I simply prefer someone in the White House with a demonstrated commitment to public service. Joe Biden has provided that service dating back to the time I cast my first vote for president.

That’s a long time, man.

Just apologize, Joe Biden

Joe Biden looks and sounds like someone who is going to run for president of the United States in 2020.

Before he does, though, the former vice president needs to perform one simple but significant task. He needs to apologize to all those who might have felt uncomfortable as they received touchy-feely greetings from the longtime public official.

You know the story. Some women have disclosed that the former VP got a little too close for comfort to them. He grabbed them by the shoulders, got in their faces, kissed some of them on the top of their heads.

Did he commit an act of sexual deviancy? Did he assault them, as others in public life have done or have been accused of doing (such as the current president of the United States)? No. He hasn’t.

And in my view these acts that Biden allegedly did are not disqualifiers if he wants to run for the presidency.

However, the video he released in which he said “I get” that social norms have changed since he entered the national scene in 1972 as a young U.S. senator, doesn’t go quite far enough.

Biden should say he is sorry for what he did. By saying he is sorry, I don’t mean he should offer one of those lame “I am sorry if I offended” someone, or “I am sorry to those who are offended.”

He needs to say, “I am sorry for my actions. I regret them terribly. I have learned my lesson. I pledge to be a better man.”

If he does that, then he should launch his campaign . . . and go full throttle in a quest to win the Democratic Party presidential nomination. He is not my ideal candidate to defeat Donald Trump, but he would take a huge step toward that goal by saying he is sorry for the way he has behaved.