Joe Biden may not run for public office again, but if not, the former vice president certainly knows how to give a great impression of a candidate. The Washington Post reports that Biden will launch a new political action committee, looking for candidates in next year’s races to compete against the GOP’s dominating position on the national stage. The PAC won’t be organized for a Biden candidacy … yet, anyway:
Declaring “it’s time for big dreams,” former vice president Joe Biden is prepared to launch a new political action committee on Thursday, a move certain to stoke more speculation about whether he plans to mount a 2020 challenge to President Trump.
The new PAC, dubbed American Possibilities, is being set up to help elect candidates who, like Biden, still believe in a nation “of ordinary people doing extraordinary things,” according to an email the Democrat plans to send to supporters.
Biden writes that he wants to promote optimism and “thinking big” as a return to traditional American politics:
“We’re the people who built the Hoover Dam and the Transcontinental Railroad, landed a man on the moon, cured polio, built the Internet and sequenced the human genome. And yes — soon we will be the people who will find a cure for cancer. Thinking big is stamped into the DNA of the American soul. That’s why the negativity, the pettiness, the small-mindedness of our politics today drives me crazy.”
Those aren’t exactly themes for state-legislature races, or even House seats, which usually depend more on issues in local communities. Those are themes in presidential campaigns, or at least were themes in earlier times. Biden clearly wants a return to those politics, but there’s something else that has changed than time, and that’s the fiscal situation of the US government.
We built the Hoover Dam, Transcontinental Railroad, and landed a man on the Moon when we had our fiscal house in order and could afford those kinds of investments. The launch of the Internet came at about the tail end of the fiscally responsible era, depending on definitions (if we’re talking about ARPAnet’s initial development). Our national debt threatens to surpass our GDP and we’re borrowing 40 cents on the dollar in the budget to pay for other “thinking big” projects like Medicare, Social Security, and ObamaCare. Now that we’re drowning in red ink, we’re getting into “negativity” because some people have the temerity to point out that we need to stop deficit spending and find a way to pay down the debt before it breaks us.
You know who had eight years to do something about that? Joe Biden.
His wife, Dr. Jill Biden, told CBS This Morning that he’s aiming at influencing the midterms. “Joe’s not going away,” she warned:
“Joe is not going away…he loves politics,” Dr. Jill Biden says on her husband, former Vice President Joe Biden pic.twitter.com/XwUDfe7CU3
— CBS News (@CBSNews) June 1, 2017
Traditionally, prospective presidential candidates will launch PACs for midterms just to prove their potency in midterm elections — and that creates a very competitive market for donors. Biden is a very traditional Democratic politician, and his entry into this arena should not be blithely dismissed. Biden knows what he’s doing; he’s bigfooting the 2020 sweepstakes very early and will get a head start on backers, or at least on wooing them. He may not have fully decided on running in 2020, but he’s opening all of the doors necessary for it.