Three things you should know about Joe Biden’s qualifications to run for the Democrats’ presidential nomination this time:
- He and his entourage once ran up a Paris hotel bill in excess of $500,000 — for one night. So, Joe definitely knows how to spend other peoples’ money.
- As vice president, Biden charged the Secret Service rent for staying on his property to protect him. So, he also knows how to raise money.
- Joe once declared that John McCain was too old to become president of the United States at 72. Joe turns 77 this year.
Democrats are in a fret right now because Joe is reported to be leaning toward a third run for the White House. And he’s not only way ahead of all other party wannabes in early polls, he’s ahead of the Oval Office incumbent.
Now to be fair, very early polls 90 weeks out from an election don’t really measure political potency; they measure name recognition. Joe’s old pals with all the union bosses. He’s joking buddies with Al Sharpton. He was for gay marriage before Obama.
A Roman Catholic, Joe would have some other things going for him. Over the years the Scranton native has displayed that blue-collar touch which, to put it mildly, Hillary Clinton lacked and billionaire New Yorker Donald Trump had. Go figure.
Hence, the angry Heartland abandoned Clinton for the rich Republican with his own set of golf clubs, the large real-estate kind you build, not swing. Go figure again.
Joe is experienced, very experienced, extremely experienced. This used to be a good thing in U.S. politics. However, 36 years in the Senate and eight as Barack Obama’s VP leave a long record for opponents to mine, not counting Joe’s voluminous list of big $#&@!&* gaffes to negate Trump’s. Take, for example, Biden’s support for the Iraq war and praise for George W. Bush.
One glaring weakness in today’s stark political climate, Joe has made a big deal through the years about being able to work with (whispers) Republicans.
Then, 11 years ago voters went for a senator with three years of experience. And three years ago they chose a GOP chief executive who had absolutely no political experience beyond donating money, mostly to Dems.
The current outbreak of Democrat candidates, which could well eventually exceed Republicans’ 17 last time, has very little experience.
And none of them would look at home in a diner. For instance, in her campaign video Elizabeth Warren, she of the famed forced resume, tried so hard to appear authentic. “Hold on a sec,” said the Harvard professor of bankruptcy law, “I’m gonna get me a beer.”
Joe also has reams of liberal credentials — for the 20th Century. But in this emerging crowd of left-wing Dems whose energies and votes are so essential for a 2020 White House victory, he looks and sounds downright conservative.
The McClatchy DC news bureau recently interviewed 31 party operatives across the country and found “the Democratic political community is more broadly and deeply pessimistic about Biden’s potential candidacy than is commonly known.”
Said one who sought anonymity:
There’s a lot of reason to think he would wind up a significantly weaker candidate than Hillary.
Amidst all these fresh new Democrat faces spouting higher taxes for someone else, Biden could conceivably be an attractive, more familiar, moderate alternative attractive to independents and Republicans uncomfortable with Trump’s antics.
For the younger, radical Democrat base whose collective memory goes as far back as the mid-90s he could also be an immense yawn and stale grandfather whose speeches prompt everyone to check their cell.
“Let’s be honest,” said Jim Cauley, a veteran party strategist in Kentucky, “He’s an older white guy. Does he connect with the base?”