What the heck? It’s Sunday night so let’s entertain an idea being floated over at the Washington Post. The title is one of those clickbait package deals which likely isn’t going to deliver the goods, but at first glance it’s hard to resist. “Joe Biden still wants to be president. Can his family endure one last campaign?” Oh, my! Really?
Well… that depends on how far you want to follow the WaPo author down what may be little more than a political rabbit hole on a weekend where they’re tired of talking about that latest Trump controversy. They begin by reporting on the new $2M beach house which the Bidens purchased in Rehoboth Beach, Del., thanks to three lucrative book deals landed by Joe and his wife. There’s plenty more detail in this idyllic backstory, but the Post then poses the intriguing question… is he really done with politics? And they offer some hints that perhaps he’s not.
The past six months have seen the formation of the Biden Foundation, a way for Joe and Jill to support their pet causes, and the Biden Cancer Initiative to honor Beau. The University of Pennsylvania inaugurated the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement to study international issues, and the University of Delaware the Biden Institute for domestic initiatives.
Last — but not least — there’s a new political action committee, American Possibilities, a vehicle for raising money for Democratic candidates.
And maybe for one last try at the White House in 2020.
No offense, but that’s some fairly thin straw to spin Democratic gold such as this from. In fact the author, Roxanne Roberts, goes on to essentially deflate her own premise. Biden has been asked multiple times (likely on a weekly basis at least) if he’s got one more run left in him. The best they can come up with are a couple of quotes, one where Biden says he “regrets” not being president and a second (told to NPR) where he goes so far as to say, “I don’t have any plans to do it, but I’m not promising I wouldn’t do it.”
So where did you get the title, “Joe Biden Still Wants to be President?” That’s pretty much nothing. And to get to that quote you need to make your way through an extremely lengthy article where they spend an almost unseemly amount of time talking about his younger son Hunter and how he struck up a relationship with brother Beau’s wife while the latter was dying. It’s not the sort of scandal that would put any baggage on Joe Biden if he were to run, but I suppose it makes for a more colorful picture of his family life.
The fact is that Joe Biden is now 74 years old. If he were to run next time and win he would turn 78 well before taking office. (In fact, only a couple of weeks after the election.) That puts him at 82 at the end of his first term. The current president is no spring chicken and Biden seems remarkably fit for his age, but that’s asking a lot of the man.
In the end, until somebody gets a quote from Biden saying that he’s forming an exploratory committee this is likely just vaporware. I’ll agree that Uncle Joe remains one of the most popular figures in his party and he might be able to bulldoze his way past the young bucks who want a more “woke” candidate next time, but for the time being I’ll believe it when I see it.