With the midterm elections behind us, the 2020 U.S. presidential election is getting ever closer. Donald Trump has long since made his re-election aspirations clear, but who among the Democrats will take him on remains an open question — for now. This week at a book tour stop in Montana, former Vice President Joe Biden seemed to indicate that he’s incredibly close to announcing a bid for the presidency, although he acknowledged a number of factors that could derail the effort at any point.
Still, he insisted:
‘I think I’m the most qualified person in the country to be president… No one should run for the job unless they believe that they would be qualified doing the job. I’ve been doing this my whole adult life, and the issues that are the most consequential relating to the plight of the middle class and our foreign policy are things that even my critics would acknowledge, I may not be right but I know a great deal about it.’
It’s true that he’s worked in politics for decades, and he spent eight of those years in Barack Obama’s presidential administration. During that time, he distinguished himself for his attention to foreign policy and negotiation with the “other side,” issues that remain of paramount importance to this day. Although the official “war in Iraq” has wound down, large numbers of U.S. troops remain overseas in the country and other places like Afghanistan. Meanwhile, other foreign policy issues continue to present themselves, like North Korea’s nuclear aggression — and Russia’s.
Biden’s already made clear he’d handle the Russian threat differently than Trump has. Where the current commander-in-chief has suckered up to Russian President Vladimir Putin and barely gone along with Congressionally mandated sanctions, Biden would have long convened a multi-agency task force to deal with Russian meddling.
Despite his beliefs about his competence, he acknowledged a number of issues that could serve as barriers to a victory, including co-sponsorship of an overly harsh 90s crime bill and his harsh handling of Anita Hill’s sexual misconduct allegations against eventual Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
He still thinks he’s easily in a winning category apart from the current commander-in-chief, however.
As he explained his take:
‘I am a gaffe machine, but my God, what a wonderful thing compared to a guy who can’t tell the truth. I’m ready to litigate all those things, the question is what kind of nation are we becoming? What are we going to do? Who are we?’
Some have noted, as the 2020 race gets ever closer, that Biden maintains a strong appeal among white, working class voters.
A POLITICO/Morning Consult poll released in early August had Biden with a seven percent lead over Trump in a hypothetical 2020 match-up, although a number of voters remained undecided. Biden captured 44 percent of the support, while President Trump had 37.
Meanwhile, most recent polls have a majority of the public holding a favorable view of the former vice president.
He said this week that a decision about a future presidential bid could come within six weeks and he’d be considering whether he could appropriately balance his family and the demands of the campaign trail in the meantime.
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