Joe Biden

Joe Biden Is Probably Running for President. He's Got a Lot of Baggage.

How will a former vice president with a lot of baggage fare in an increasingly progressive, intersectional Democratic primary?

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Abaca Press/Douliery Olivier/Abaca/Sipa USA/Newscom

Joe Biden has made the decision to run for president in 2020, according to Tuesday article published by The Hill.

"I'm giving it a shot," Biden reportedly said on a phone call with senior Democratic lawmakers, lending credence to long-running speculation that the 76-year-old former vice president and senator from Delaware would enter the crowded Democratic primary field.

A spokesperson told The Hill that Biden still has yet to make a final decision. However, this latest news, plus the numerous hints that Biden keeps dropping, make his announcement an almost forgone conclusion.

Should he choose to enter the race, Biden, who's been in public office since the mid-1970s, has a lot of things going for him. The biggest pluses he has are probably high name recognition and his role as vice president in the still fondly remembered Obama administration.

Polls show Biden easily at the top of the field. The latest Monmouth poll has him at 28 percent support, compared to 25 percent for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I–Vt). A poll of likely Iowa caucus voters showed Biden with 27 percent, nearly tied with Sanders, and well ahead of the rest of the field.

Meanwhile, as the rest of the Democratic primary contenders are taking a sharp left turn in an effort to appeal to an energized progressive base, Biden's comparative moderation and cross-party appeal could be seen as an asset to moderate Democrats, and even some progressive types, who are keen on beating Donald Trump at all costs.

He's the Democrat Republicans are reportedly most worried about.

Still, it's important not to overstate early polling, which often tests name recognition more than genuine popularity. Those same things that make Biden a popular name now could also sink his chances in a Democratic Party that is becoming increasingly intersectional and progressive.

Biden's most recent gaffe was his decision to call current Vice President Mike Pence "a decent guy." In the good old days, that might have been seen as a gentlemanly thing to do, something that might win you points for trying to rise above it all. In 2019, those remarks were seen as craven praising of the fiercely anti-LGBTQ Pence.

Biden eventually apologized for his remark, but he'll likely run into similar problems with his defense of billionaires, who he says "aren't bad guys."

More significant are Biden's past views on a number of hot button topics, including race and criminal justice, which his opponents will almost certainly hold his feet to the fire over.

Both the Daily Caller and the Washington Examiner have dug up Biden's opposition in the 1970s to busing—a policy whereby school children were bussed to schools often far from their homes in order to create more a more racially integrated school system.

"I think the concept of busing…that we are going to integrate people so that they all have the same access and they learn to grow up with one another and all the rest, is a rejection of the whole movement of black pride," said Biden in a 1972 interview as reported by the Examiner.

Biden was also the primary author of the 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act (sometimes called the Biden Crime Bill) which increased federal sentences, created mandatory minimum sentences for some crimes, and dedicated more money to building prisons and hiring cops.

The bill is often blamed for the explosion in the prison population and leading to our current era of mass incarceration.

Earlier this year, Biden expressed regret for some of the mandatory minimums included in his bill, but it's doubtful that level of contrition will be enough in the eyes of some voters.

Just four years ago, Biden wrote an essay for the Brennan Center on the 1994 crime bill in which he bemoaned cuts to police budgets, failed to mention anything about mandatory minimums, and included lines like "all life matters. And the fact that all life matters is the reason most officers became cops in the first place."

Earlier this month the Huffington Post published an article detailing Biden's opposition to anti-trust regulation in the 1970s and support for financial deregulation in the 1990s, two issues that economic populist like Sanders could use to rake him over the coals.

There's also the matter of Biden's wandering hands.

The former vice president is famous for engaging in some awkward, potentially over-the-line touching of women at public events, which is not necessarily a small issue in the #metoo era. At the very least, it could be an embarrassing thing to have to defend on a debate stage.

There's also the chance that Biden, for all his folksy charm, just isn't as exciting as other candidates in the race. He's an older, white male in a party that is increasingly young and ethnically diverse. He's got only a few big policy ideas in a party that is hungry for Medicare-for-all and the Green New Deal.

Biden has yet to make a formal announcement, but that will likely be coming soon. Once he enters the race, there will be a lot of opportunity for him to clarify his positions, and for his opponents to attack his record.

How Biden handles that scrutiny will determine whether his 2020 run will be successful, or just flame out like his previous attempts.

NEXT: Desperate Mothers

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  1. Someone needs to lose to Donald Trump. Who better than Biden?

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    1. Honestly, what else would be more entertaining?

      1. I think watching Trump debate a leftist that hates capitalism would be a ton of fun, and would rightfully mush those socialist lunatics back into the shadows where they belong.

        And watching Reason try to both sides it would add to the entertainment.

        1. I agree, it would [will?] be entertaining.

          If the Dems don’t get their progressive “radicals” under control they will only be marginalized in a general election. Then that damned electoral college again, whereby the enlightened kingdoms of NY and CA do not get to decide how the rest of us bumpkins should live.

        2. At first glance I assumed you meant watching Biden debate leftists; that would be even more entertaining. The old guard vs the new.

        3. I’m not looking forward to it. And I wish both sides could lose (that applies to every election, I’ll vote when there’s a “none of the above” option on the ballot).

        4. I would rather push them into landfills. Face down.

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      3. Omar would be the most entertaining. Radical Muslim vs. incumbent with Jewish kids. She won’t run, but if she was somehow nominated, it might finally push the remaining whites out of the Democrat party and we could get actual immigration reform to stop importing third world ideals.

    2. He’s Biden his time.

    3. LOL

      No amount of Russian interference will help Drumpf win in 2020. Even assuming Mueller fails to remove him from office, an incumbent President won’t get reelected in an economy this terrible.

      1. Yeah, lack of panties all around.

      2. Yet Trump is polling at about 50% with latinos……..

        1. And recent reports say rising illegal immigration from Canada is STILL over 50% from Mexico and Latin America.

          So they aren’t WALKING there.. so how are these “poor huddling masses” getting there?

    4. and here I thought he was the baggage…

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  2. famous for engaging in some awkward, potentially over-the-line touching of women at public events, which is not necessarily a small issue in the #metoo era.

    The times while in blackface are particularly galling.

    1. To be fair, he only applied blackface to his genitalia.

    2. Not just women…specifically UNDERAGE women.

      1. I would not be surprised if one of his openents in the primaries finds some woman to come forward with some unverifiable but “credible” accusations. It’s the progressive way. And with his past…

      2. the best kind obviously…uncle Joe ought to know…

  3. There’s also the chance that Biden, for all his folksy charm, just isn’t as exciting as other candidates in the race. He’s an older, white male in a party that is increasingly young and ethnically diverse.

    1/1024th ethnically diverse!

    1. But he’s also not completely fucking insane. Not sure if that will help, but it’s possible.

    2. “folksy charm” isn’t that code for fucking pervert asshole douchebag?

  4. Why did Biden’s son get a sweet heart billion dollar deal with the ChiComs?

    “Hunter Biden Got Billion-Dollar Deal With Chinese Government After Dad’s Trip To China”

    Drain the fucking swamp.

    1. let’s keep it long enough to drown all those DC fucks first, then we drain…

  5. The best thing about “Gaffer” Joe? He’s not an overt communist or fascist [like Warren who doesn’t want to own the business as much as she just wants to control them]. That pretty much distinguishes him from the rest of the Democrats who have declared their candidacy.

    1. Sadly, he’s probably the least insane of the lot, at least among those who have a shot at it.

      Even sadder, it’s the not being insane that’s likely to deny him the nomination.

  6. Did you see Biden during his debate with Romney’s running mate? The dude has a nice smile and an empty head.

  7. I’m gonna keep an eye on his campaign. With the Democratic party going batshit insane the past 3 years, there’s a chance Biden might be someone I could stomach. But it will depend on whether he’s making an effort to distance himself from them, or if he’s going to cave and cater to the socialists.

    1. Kmele Foster did a Fifth Column interview with Andrew Yang, who is a long-shot Democrat 2020 candidate. He’s a big proponent of basic income, but he at least wants to see it displace some of the existing welfare programs and he seemed willing to admit that there were limitations to what government could do. He’s also a supporter of school choice and is against free college tuition.

      That was the extent of the conversation. Based on what I heard he wouldn’t be my first choice for president, but he may very well be my first choice among Democrats.

      He doesn’t stand a chance, though.

      1. I like Andrew Yang.
        Don’t know how he’s a D (guess its required in Cali).
        He has no shot

  8. Joe Biden! At least he’s not Bernie!
    Has a certain ring to it, no?

    1. I think it would be better to follow up every Biden reference with, “That’s my momma!”

    2. I think it would be better to follow up every Biden reference with, “That’s my momma!”

  9. I can’t wait to watch the left drag the Obama presidency through the mud for a year and a half. It’s about time beltway liberals watched their phony progressive god get knocked off his pedestal.

  10. Both the Daily Caller and the Washington Examiner have dug up Biden’s opposition in the 1970s to busing?a policy whereby school children were bussed to schools often far from their homes in order to create more a more racially integrated school system.

    That’s disappointing. In college my professors taught me how a diverse educational environment benefits everyone. So policies designed to promote diversity ? from busing to affirmative action ? are absolutely essential.

    I’d still vote for Biden over any Republican, of course, but he’s nowhere near my top tier of candidates (Harris, Warren, Gillibrand).

    1. Aha! A true Koch / Reason libertarian would prefer Rand Paul over Joe Biden. Tell us, have you ever heard of Senator Paul describing President Obama or any other distinguished man of color as “clean and fresh?”

      1. Wrong.

        Unlike Rand Paul, President Biden would appoint libertarian-friendly RBG-style Supreme Court justices. Which would be much better for preserving access to abortion care. And abortion access ranks behind only immigration on the Koch / Reason libertarian priority hierarchy.

        1. So, you are conceding that, ultimately you are willingly to overlook the vicious, racist tropes in which Joe Biden traffics.

          Sad day for Koch / Reason libertarians when they condone condescending comments concerning colored men in the name of abortion access which has killed millions of colored babies.

          1. Not sure if he still is, but for a long time, Biden was solidly anti-abortion

            1. For a long while there, Democrats were allowed to be pro-life if they needed to be in order to win election, so long as they didn’t act on it when it mattered. If it did matter, they were expected to vote pro-choice, even if it meant losing the next election.

              But those days are past, today’s Democratic party demands loyalty to the cause of abortion full time, not just when needed.

              1. Yes, many, like Mario Cuomo, adopted the “personal opinion / public policy position” dichotomy. Put another way, they would state they personally opposed abortion but would not impose their personal convictions upon the reproductive liberty of women.

        2. Well at least no one can accuse you of being single issue OBLT; you have at least two that I know of.

    2. I’d vote for a crushed cockroach over anyone on that list…

  11. To paraphrase Joe Biden: He’s not clean, and he certainly ain’t fresh.

  12. Those memes tho

  13. Sounds like Joe would be more popular with the general public than he is within his own party. Joe and Bernie duke it out and the rest tussle to see who will get the v.p. nod and can help deliver a rust belt state.

  14. Keep this in mind about Biden:

    Joe Biden coined the term ‘Drug Czar’ after watching Reefer Madness. According to Biden, the movie set him on a path to have the government warn the nation’s youth about the dangerous marijuana.

    Biden is in constant contact with past and present Drug Czars, who say that the current marijuana is much more powerful than the hippie weed. So much so, that it’s now considered by them to be not only highly addictive but a gateway drug to LSD.

    Unnamed sources say Biden was maneuvered to be Obama’s Vice President so Biden could keep an eye on him. There was a feeling that Obama would start to smoking marijuana again, even though he swore he was off the stuff. So Biden was there to make sure Obama behaved and did not reclassify marijuana.

    1. I’d almost rather have an honest drug warrior than someone like Obama who likes to act all cool, but then laughs in the face of people proposing any actual drug law reform.

  15. I hate to say it, but Joe Biden actually looks sane compared to the rest of the field. I feel sick just saying it.

    1. I would rather have one of the lefties go against Trump, not only would it be entertaining, if they win, everyone can see for themselves how bad they are.

    2. I’ve been saying for years now that he probably would have won in 2016, and should have run then instead of deferring to Hillary. He was popular, memeable in a way that was lighthearted and brought everyone in on the joke, and had a track record of being able to push progressive policies while working across the aisle with Republicans on various issues. No one would have given two shits about his handsy incidents short of a literal molestation incident, nor his verbal gaffes because they’ve become an accepted part of his character.

      I still think he could win, just due to the Obama nostalgia factor + the fact that he can talk to the white working class without sounding like a condescending prick, unlike most of the other candidates running. He’d easily pull the upper Midwest back into the blue category and wouldn’t ignore them during the campaign, unlike Hillary’s team of smooth-brained urbanites.

      1. Yeah. If the Democrats weren’t idiots determined to shoot themselves in the foot, they would nominate Biden or someone along those lines.

        1. The biggest thing to worry about with Biden isn’t his politics–it’s that he’s old as fuck and it’s up in the air whether he’d make it past a single term. Thus, whomever he nominates for VP is the issue to be most concerned about. A hard-left wallbanger, or God forbid, Hillary the Lich Queen, could conceivably ride his coattails to the Presidency in 2024, at which point all hell would probably break loose.

        2. They could nominate that idiot Governor from my state, Jay Inslee. Anything to see that it’d go. Plus he would lose big.

          1. Democrats don’t resign their seats to run for higher office

  16. Well, he’s a bit of an imbecile. He is creepy as hell. He seems awfully “hands-y” with young girls.

    1. He also plagerized his speeches

    2. Well, he’s a bit of an imbecile. He is creepy as hell. He seems awfully “hands-y” with young girls.

      Good points.

      Perhaps Biden’s only chance would occur if Republicans were dumb enough to nominate a vulgar, vainglorious, lying, silver-spooned, bigoted jerk and swindler who raw-dogs porn stars, cheats on his taxes, is beholden to Putin, put a ridiculous thing atop his head every day, and openly fantasizes about banging his daughter.

      1. raw-dogs porn stars, cheats on his taxes, is beholden to Putin, put a ridiculous thing atop his head every day, and openly fantasizes about banging his daughter

        I assumed that Kirkland is projecting his own fantasies here, the image of which led to me puking in my mouth.

        1. Arthur L. Hicklib’s bitter that he has to pay prostitutes to get laid, rather than the other way around.

          1. didn’t know he had that kind of money…hookers charge big time to fuck douche bags like the Rev…

        2. Artie doesn’t fantasize about banging his daughter–his family tree is so screwed up with incest he IS his daughter.

          And that ‘ridiculous thing’ on Artie’s head is his conjoined father-wife.

    3. Nobody cares about that stuff anymore unless it’s the other team.

  17. Biden has a ready-made campaign slogan for His Inevitableness: Joe!. It’s not like Jeb Bush will be needing his slogan back anytime soon.

  18. Joe Biden has a penis and a Y-chromosome, therefore, he is disqualified from running in 2020 as a Democrat.

    1. This begs the question. What if someone is XXY? Hate them more or love them more?

  19. Someone better help him carry it all or his arms are going to get tired!

  20. How will a former vice president with a lot of baggage fair in an increasingly progressive, intersectional Democratic primary?

    First of all, the word you’re looking for in this sentence is fare, not “fair”. Jesus H. Christ.

    Secondly, he’s probably going to do very well because it appears as though he’s going to be about the only one in the clown car who isn’t an extreme far left wing lunatic. All the other clowns in there who are theoretically viable contenders are almost completely indistinguishable from each other.

    1. He would indeed likely fare better in the general election by virtue of not playing in the “who’s more woke” game, but it seems unlikely to me that he’ll get the nomination on those very grounds. In 2016 the Democrats were more disciplined and the powers that be cooperated to bring the Bernie Bros (and Sisses) to heel. The lesson they took away from Trump’s election was that they need to better motivate that base (and probably the Black vote as well) in order to win, and I don’t see any realistic way from Biden to do that.

      I consider Harris the Democrats’ front-runner just on a “check box” basis, and her ultimate success will be a matter of whether her probably being less strategically stupid than Hillary is outweighed by Trump’s incumbency advantage.

  21. Plagiarism for $1200, Alex.

  22. Howard Schultz with name recognition.

  23. Hunter Biden. Burisma. Who really controls Burisma? Is it the “good” Ukrainians who gave Bill and Hill tens of millions of dollars for the Clinton Foundation?

    Good Ukrainians mostly in Western Ukraine, but the natural gas fields mostly in the east, part controlled by pro-Moscow faction. Even before Ukraine split up (I visited Mariupol in the east in 2001 before the fighting started) Ukraine could not produce enough natural gas to keep itself warm, had to buy the rest from Russia.

    But now, magically, Burisma has enough gas for all of Ukraine this cold, cold winter plus has been doing a profitable export business to Germany!

    It’s magic, I tell you. Who knows who really controls Burisma? Have Hunter before Congress. Ask him. Have Tony Podesta, he knows Ukraine inside and out, whether he bothered to register as a lobbyist or not.

  24. It will be interesting to see him competing for the slot against the true crazies.

    Honestly, at the end of the day, I hope he doesn’t get it. He might actually stand a chance at beating Trump, and we sure as shit don’t need that. Maybe if the Dems run their fever dream commie candidate and get stomped, it will be enough for the extreme leftists to lose all their power… And the Dems can go back to being half assed socialists like they were in the 90s, and actually be somewhat sane about things.

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  26. Ready for a hard fall, Joe?

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