Mr. Biden was referring to the hilarious reception that Pence had received last month at a security conference in Munich, to illustrate the damage done by President Donald Trump to our relations with our allies in the world. The idea that Biden advocated was that Pence, in himself, was a person who would receive a perfectly polite reception at a conference like the one in Munich, but, because of Trump, Pence had been treated in silence. That was, as Trump Go criticizes, relatively pedestrian.
All this episode is very telling – about Biden, his almost certain race for the 2020 Democratic nomination and the state of the party Biden wants to lead. Here are three things that he tells us:
1) Biden is a creature of a totally different political time. Biden is a political anachronism. He has been in politics for almost 50 years. he was first elected to the Senate in 1972! Politics at the time (and throughout the mid to late 1990s) was much more distinguished and polite than today. Biden is a type of guy well met. I guess he's called about 200,000 people (NOTE: This is an estimate) a "decent guy" during his political life. That does not mean that he agrees with them. Or that he even likes them. It is rather a reflection of the general collegiality that reigned in politics when Biden came into play.
Things have changed dramatically since then, however. And this fuss is a sign of things to come for Biden. He is a guy who enjoys the benefit of doubt and who runs to lead a party that considers the other side as not only stupid and incompetent, but also perverse. It may be the first time that Biden is a politician who travels directly into the new reality of the ruling Democratic Party.
2) Biden is definitely a candidate for the presidency. OK, really, there was not much doubt about Biden's plans to run in 2020 for a while. But just in case there is any doubt, his quick response to Nixon should clear that up. If Biden was leaning against the 2020 race – or had decided not to run (even though he had not announced it publicly) – it's hard for me to see that "I'm not going to run. he would even answer Nixon, let alone do it as quickly and with apologies as he did.
3) Biden will try to calm the gamet. Although we know that Biden has been working for a while – see number 2 – it was less clear How he will run. Will he behave like a shameless centrist, a pillar of the establishment and conventional thinking that a Democratic nomination candidate can not go too far to the left or run the risk of losing the election-sensitive center? General? Or will Biden seek to assert that he is as liberal a defender as Senators Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) Or Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.)? Biden's decision to hire Nixon and apologize so quickly suggests that he will be more responsive to the liberal left's purity demands than I would have thought.
Biden will soon enter the race for the presidency. And the day he does it, he will become the leader of the nomination – on the basis of his pole position in the first national and national polls. But this "decent guy" controversy suggests that the former vice president will not have an easy road. Can he adapt to the changing political world – in his party and in the country as a whole? Or will he eat it alive?