People have been waiting for front-running former vice president Joe Biden to announce that he is entering the 2020 presidential election race. In a Freudian slip, the man fondly known as “Uncle Joe” said he was running. Then he reeled it back in, but most pundits see him trying for the brass ring soon, so what is the hold up?
For one thing, the former vice president has seen the impact of Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) hauling in $5.9 million and former representative Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) bringing in $6.1 million both in the first 24 hours. People say Biden has been lining up his big donors, but now he has an almost-secret weapon: Stacey Abrams.
If the Georgia elections had been fair, Abrams would be the governor of her state. They were not. Instead, she ended up giving the Democrats’ coveted response to Donald Trump’s the State of the Union Address. Biden and his closest advisers have been considering Abrams as his vice president when he announces.
The very popular Democrat is just 45-year-old, a good complement to Biden, 76, who would be the oldest serving president if he won.
Presidential historian and author of Presidents of War Michael Beschloss noted that thus far, no presidential candidate has ever chosen a vice president before the primaries ever started. Beschloss told Axios:
‘If Biden were to name his running mate long in advance of the Milwaukee convention, it might be very good politics. It also might ultimately provide good government. Voters in the primary process deserve to know as much as possible about the future they are opting for.’
Biden invited Abrams to lunch last week. The two talked about what is next for her in the political arena. Some Democrats have been looking hard at her for the next Georgia senator.
As charismatic as Abrams is, there is a downside to Biden choosing her at this time. Some of his advisers are dead set against her. For one thing, the Democratic primary debates will highlight a whole list of talented individuals, and people will ask why the former vice president did not select one of them.
One top Democrat noted that it could hurt the former VP by creating “an air of inevitability.” Biden’s advisors also fear that the early selection could be considered a political stunt. In addition, this just might look like him being “out of step with the times” — just when voters are looking for something new.
Reverend Al Sharpton told Axios that Abrams could help Biden. She could erase his responses to Anita Hill during the Justice Clarence Thomas’ confirmation.
USA Today columnist Joe Bardella explained why he wanted Biden to enter the race:
‘Events of recent days have reminded us that tragedy or disaster can completely upend the national and even global conversation at any time. As the 2020 campaign for president unfolds, there are going to be moments, quite a few I suspect, when unexpected heartbreaks supplant the petty political squabbles of the moment.’
‘Contrast that (Trump) to what we’ve seen from Biden over the years. He doesn’t have to act presidential. He doesn’t have to pretend to show empathy. He doesn’t need a note card prompting him to care.’