Stand by for more Joe Biden than you knew you wanted. Two months’ worth.
The aging VP, who turns 75 this month, begins his book tour today. I said, HE’S STARTING A BOOK TOUR TODAY! So, you’ll see and hear the loquacious retiree on the TV and radio shows of all the usual sympathetic suspects. Everyone will ask him about running for president in 2020. That’s the plan.
Biden likes people talking about him running for president. He ran twice, quite unsuccessfully, as you may recall. One time he had a plagiarism problem. Then came 2008.
Barack Obama, who had much more ambition than political resume, chose Biden as his VP in 2008 because a) Biden was old and seemed to add experience to the ticket, and because b) Biden was old and would be no political threat during Obama’s reign.
Joe was a loyal and obedient No. 2. Biden made the trips to places Barack wanted to skip, like Ukraine and Moldova. The VP often took family along. On one sojourn to Paris, Biden’s party ran up a half-million dollar hotel bill — in one night.
Then in 2015 with light emerging at the end of the long, dark Obama tunnel, Biden began to consider another run, even though what’s-her-name was the Democrat party’s heir apparent.
As our colleague John Sexton noted here recently, Biden thought Democrats should look ahead, not back. He even drafted an announcement speech: “We’re one America, bound together in this great experiment of equality and opportunity and democracy.”
Aside from George H.W. Bush, who won in 1988 essentially as a third Reagan term, modern-day Americans have opted not to elevate vice presidents to the big office. Think Al Gore, Walter Mondale, Gerald Ford, Hubert Humphrey, even Richard Nixon in 1960.
Biden was pumped for the 2016 run. However, the political calculations were complicated by his son Beau’s diagnosis with brain cancer and the subsequent family mourning.
If you want to experience the unimaginable anguish of a son dying helplessly before your eyes, then Biden’s new book — ‘Promise Me, Dad’ — is for you. The title ostensibly comes from the doomed 46-year-old’s bed-ridden plea that his Dad be okay.
Here’s the thing: All modern presidential campaigns begin with a new book. Fortunately, not all political books launch presidential campaigns. Ask Jeff Flake.
The main reason that Biden appears in 2020 conversations is because the party is totally bereft of proven younger leadership. Under Obama’s me-first leadership, the party’s state-level farm teams were devastated by cycle-after-cycle of GOP victors. Democrats currently hold but 15 governor’s offices; Republicans 34.
In Congress, Democrat leaders are even more ancient than Trump, at 70 the oldest man ever to become president.
Nancy Pelosi is 77 and still beating back challengers. Her team includes Jim Clyburn, 77, and Steny Hoyer, 78. There’s Bernie, of course. He’s only 75. And if you want another out-of-touch New Yorker like Hillary Clinton, Chuck Schumer is the liberal spring chicken at 66.
In 2021 at the inauguration, Joe Biden would be 78. But wait! That’s five years older than John McCain was when this same Joe Biden mocked the Arizona senator as far too old to enter the high-pressure presidency.
Maybe in coming days some TV host will ask Biden about that now inconvenient 2008 attack. And Joe can say that’s no big f****** deal.