Joe Biden Changes The Whole Race


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Janet Ybarra
Former Washington Journalist
Contributor on The Bipartisan Press

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After months of teasing–and weathering what has amounted to a relatively minor scandal over a few women “uncomfortable” with his tactile expressions–former vice president Joe Biden has jumped into the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Biden announced Thursday with a video on social media:

This is Biden’s third run for president. Opinion polls have had Biden leading a large Democratic field, even before his official entry. Polls, including a Fox News poll from last month, has Biden decisively defeating Trump in a hypothetical head-to-head general election contest.

Furthermore, reaction to Biden’s decision to run was largely positive.

“When American voters go to the polls in February of next year, the first caucus, no one is going to be thinking about a rollout. They’re going to be thinking about what the person has done in their career, the level of experience, the qualities they have, and the campaign that they’ve run,” said Ed Rendell, a former governor of Pennsylvania and ex-chairman of the Democratic National Committee. “So, I don’t think, I’m not on the inside, I don’t know what the strategy was, but I do know that Joe Biden is going to run a good campaign, he’s got great credentials and the American people know he is a decent, honorable man in contrast to the president.”

Biden is appreciated for his integrity and empathy, according to Jay Carney, who worked as the vice president’s director of communications before going on as White House press secretary during the Obama administration.

“Well, he’s Joe Biden, and that comes with a lot of, you know, positive I think momentum for him,” Carney said. “He’s recognized and appreciated he’s not a divisive figure within the party. He’s a serious person with high integrity. He also has enormous empathy. I think [others were] talking about … the empathy deficit we’re seeing in our country, and Joe Biden has empathy that is borne out of his own personal experience. There are very few people I know who have suffered in life as much as he has, and yet he wakes up every morning thinking about other people, thinking about how to make their lives better and, you know, with great concern for the, you know, the fate of people who have less than he does. And that’s what you want in a leader.

“And I think those advantages outweigh issues around [being of an older] generation,” Carney added. “After all, he’s not even the oldest Democrat in the race. So I think that he’ll be fine on those issues.”

Even Republican John Kasich, the former Ohio governor who ran for president in 2016, offered Biden high praise.

“Joe Biden is the Secretariat of this horse race,” Kasich said, referring to the Triple Crown winner which is regarded as one of the greatest race horses of all time.

But Kasich added, “Now, so, here is this thing, even Secretariat can stumble. And you know, Biden — he talks a lot. I talk a lot. I mean, when do you that, you’re authentic. And sometimes you make mistakes. But you can’t pay that much attention to Twitter World when it comes to the general thrust. But he changes the whole race.”

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