After a bout of prevarication, Joe Biden’s eventual announcement that he will contest the US presidency in 2020 has been greeted with widely varied responses.
While the news is exciting for his supporters, the signal of intent has not been readily welcomed by the Democratic party. Misgivings that the candidature of the “ultimate centrist Democrat”, so-called, might widen the rift between the moderate and progressive factions of the party are not wholly unfounded.
It would be a grave paradox of US constitutional history if the divisions within or more accurately the ideological flux, if exacerbated by Mr Biden, trumps the Democrats and the current occupant of the White House gets re-elected… for all his aberrations.
The strength of the former Vice-President is embedded in his vast experience and global stature that many of the nominees on either side of the fence would be proud of, but few able to claim. He has promptly denied suggestions of a left-wing ascendancy in America.
He sure is in a position to lead a party in which the younger generation is becoming increasingly predominant and might arguably be sceptical of his age (76) and ideological moderation. He cannot be overly sure of his party’s support, indeed the swing factor in any election. The Democratic party, in the manner of the Communists the world over, has trimmed its sails to the winds of change.
His video presentation, if somewhat rhetorical, wasn’t exactly a statement of intent in terms of policy, still less his biography. “We are in this battle,” he said, “for the soul of this nation”. His primary focus appears to be riveted to Trump ~ “I believe history will look back on four years of this President and all he embraces as an aberrant moment in time. But if we give Donald Trump eight years in the White House, he will forever and fundamentally alter the character of this nation, who we are, and I cannot stand by and watch that happen.”
With a little over one and a half years to go for America’s Election 2020, the video presentation in the moment of his candidature, was a decidedly robust campaign speech, one that minced no words in his reference to the incumbent President. It has in the process emitted a somewhat unnerving signal to the White House. There are divisions among the Republicans, after all, as there are among Democrats.
The polity is fractured and the outcome in November 2020 is as yet fogbound. Mr Biden, often referred to as a “trustee of Barack Obama”, will have an eight-year legacy to protect. Chiefly, this will entail the restoration of the consensus-seeking liberalism of Obama’s administration.
Small wonder that Mr Biden has occasionally referred to himself as an “Obama- Biden Democrat”. He can well take the support of the former President for granted. And that, in a word, is the inbuilt advantage of Joseph R. Biden. He leads the field of potential Democratic contenders, whose number is legion.