To the presumable delight of many and the surprise of absolutely none, former Vice President Joe Biden made it official this morning. He’s running. (Now we can finally ditch all of the “he’s running” jokes.) And to show that the 76-year-old Democrat can hang with the cool kids in 2019, he did it on Twitter and YouTube. (NY Post)

Former Vice President Joe Biden formally joined the crowded Democratic presidential contest on Thursday, betting that his working-class appeal and ties to Barack Obama’s presidency will help him overcome questions about his place in today’s increasingly liberal Democratic Party.

He made his announcement in a video posted on Twitter.

Thursday’s announcement marks the unofficial end of the chaotic early phase of the 2020 presidential season. The field now features at least 20 Democrats jockeying for the chance to take on President Donald Trump next year. Several lesser-known candidates may still join the race.

Here’s the social media announcement.

We’ll get to the video in a moment, but first a few observations. It’s a rather curious decision to launch the official campaign with a YouTube video, isn’t it? If anyone in the country could have organized a huge rally with thousands of cheering supporters – particularly given how long he’s had to get ready – it’s Biden. He’s not even going to do a rally until next week, preferring instead to do some big dollar fundraisers between now and then.

The video itself is certainly slick enough. It’s the kind of production you can only pull off with a professional development team and some good advisers fine-tuning the message. And the message only has a single theme: Donald Trump is a racist who doesn’t represent America’s values. The entire thing is about the riot in Charlottesville and Trump’s “fine people on both sides” comment in the wake of it. That’s it. That’s the entire reason he’s running. We’re in “a battle for the soul of this nation,” according to Uncle Joe.

But really, what else was he going to run on? A complaint about record low unemployment, rising wages, and low taxes? A promise to do even more than Donald Trump to stop massive incursions of illegal aliens crossing the southern border? His job is to convince people to switch horses in midstream when things are going pretty well across the board, so he’s got to attack Trump on a personal level. We’ll see how well that resonates with the public. He’s coming in as one of the two frontrunners in the primary polling, so he should expect a pretty soft landing with the Democratic base.

I’m going to make one other observation here, knowing full well how shallow it’s going to sound, so feel free to criticize me for it. Somebody needed to do a better job with the makeup and grooming for this video because Joe just looks old. I mean really old, even for a man in his mid-seventies. His delivery is great, but his skin just looks deathly pale. From what we’ve heard, his health is excellent for a man of his years, but in that video, he really doesn’t look it.

Now the attacks on Biden from the other candidates can begin in earnest. (They’ve been ramping up already, with clips from long ago surfacing for a fresh spin.) But I think all of the other contenders know that they’ll have to be somewhat gentle in going after Joe. He’s a very popular figure among Democrats and people seem to genuinely like him. Attacking him too brusquely could backfire.

Anyway, enough from me. Here’s the video if you haven’t seen it already. It’s only a few minutes long.