Has Joe Biden finally made up his mind?
The former vice president has told a House lawmaker that he is running for the 2020 Democratic nomination and asked for an endorsement, according to The Hill.
The site reports that Biden called the lawmaker and said ‘I’m giving it a shot’, before asking if he could run some campaign strategy ideas by them and proposing an in-person meeting at a later date. The Democratic lawmaker did not commit to supporting Biden, and spoke to the publication on condition of anonymity ‘due to the sensitive nature of the conversation.’ If it was that sensitive, surely they could have kept it to themselves?
Biden has long been considered a favorite for the nomination: a RealClearPolitics average of four polls has him at 29 percent, seven points ahead of Bernie Sanders and 18 clear of Kamala Harris. His stint as Barack Obama’s VP mostly helped him restore his career-long reputation as a blunderer (I say mostly), and may give voters a sense of feverish nostalgia for the early 2010s. He is widely touted as the candidate with the best chance of picking up votes in the Rust belt where Trump had the edge over Hillary in 2016, and would enter the race with more name recognition than the other older white guys in the running. Commiserations, John Hickenlooper. Tough turkey, Jay Inslee.
The 76-year-old has spent the past few weeks making suggestive noises about a campaign. His strategist Steve Ricchetti said Biden was ‘95 percent sure’ he was running, according to The New York Times last week. As he addressed the International Association of Fire Fighters this morning, he responded to chants of ‘run Joe run!’ with ‘be careful what you wish for…save it a little longer, I might need it in a few weeks.’
Biden’s spokesperson Bill Russo told The Hill, ‘He has not made a final decision. No change.’ Come on, man.
The VP makes a big deal about being macho and a scrapper — see his rolling up of sleeves about John McCain in 2008 and posturing over taking Donald Trump ‘behind the gym’. So why isn’t he brave enough to say whether he’s running or not rather than bleeding it out through endless side sources? I dare you, Joe.
Hopefully Neil Kinnock’s speechwriters have started drafting a few ideas for when he officially announces. Don’t wake me up until then.