Many people like the idea of ​​Joe Biden – but is the real Joe Biden "eligible"?


According to reports, former Vice President Joe Biden is about to make his decision about the opportunity to run for president in 2020.

Like most people who cover politics, I strive to base my analysis on the right mix of research and anecdotal experience. Without a thorough analysis of polls and studies, current trends, and historical precedents, any conclusion on Mr. American's political future can only be pure speculation. On the other hand, if you do not listen to the political views of men and women encountered in daily life, then the analysis becomes bloodless and sterile – and also at the same time. shelter from every kind of deeper truth.

With this observation in mind, I write about Uber drivers who love Joe Biden. As a person who can not drive for medical reasons, I rely heavily on Uber for my transportation needs. I have had many conversations with Uber drivers. Although these discussions do not always involve politics, I do not fear the subject either and have recently started a little experiment: I started asking Uber drivers to Chance what they thought of the presidential election of 2020. Quite frankly, most of them do not seem to care about it, and more than a small number of them. 39, among them were steadfast supporters of President Trump.

Among those who identified themselves as Democrats or as concerned non-partisan citizens, however, an interesting trend emerged: when I asked who they wanted to see winning the Democratic nomination, driver after driver, driver after driver, mentioned the name Joe Biden even before I mentioned it.

This could be a geographical phenomenon (I live in the Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania, not far from Scranton, where Biden was born), or the result of pure name recognition. My notes are full of phrases like "he's a good guy", "he looks real" and "he's not full of shit". The overall impression is that Biden is authentic and therefore likeable, a Trumpian figure to the extent that he speaks with his mind and non-Trumpian in that he seems compassionate and trustworthy (and, unlike Trump, can truly claim to be self-taught).

Do these observations indicate that Biden would be the strongest Democratic candidate in 2020? Or that he is likely to be the next president of the United States?

Reliable data suggests that this might be the case. Since the end of the 2016 election cycle, Biden is almost at the top of almost all reliable polls of potential candidates for 2020. His relationship with former President Barack Obama, a beloved icon among Democrats, have no doubt made it popular within the party. Her blue-collar background and unvarnished rhetoric style give her a potential appeal to Rust Belt, which was sorely missed by Hillary Clinton when she ran for president in 2016.

At the same time, Biden's idea and Biden's reality are two very different things. Although Biden's idea is undoubtedly quite eligible for primaries and generals, Biden's reality may be very different.

On the one hand, there is the problem of Biden's political past. As the Democratic Party moves to the left, Biden has a legislative record from the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s that he must account for when he hopes to win progressives at the primaries. This includes, but is not limited to: his support of Bill Clinton's 1993 vilified crime bill, which he justified by chanting "predators on our streets"; to side with Ronald Reagan to reduce the maximum rate of income taxation from 70% to 50%; support a freeze on social security spending; opposition to antitrust legislation; supporting the controversial financial deregulation policies of the former Bill Clinton, who contributed to the Wall Street crash; denouncing the Roe v. Wade as going "too far"; and to oppose school transportation as a means of desegregation.

It is important to note that, on all these issues, Biden adopted these controversial positions decades ago, when the Democratic Party felt it had deviated too far to the left after George McGovern's disastrous presidential campaign in 1972. Political considerations Practices that motivated Biden's thinking had long since evaporated by the time he had agreed to assume the duties of second in command of the first black American president. Like all human beings, Biden has the right to grow and evolve. there is nothing shameful to say that he has had certain opinions that he has no more today.

At the very least, Biden will have to count with this record to win the liberal voters, while avoiding to move so left that he is not going to alienate the moderates who seem to be rushing behind him. It will not be an easy task.

Then there are the scandals that his supporters seem to ignore. I do not speak of his regular verbal gaffes; It's fair to say that in a country that can choose Trump, Biden's inclination for missteps is unlikely to be too overwhelming. No, the problem is that, in a period after # MeToo, Biden has always had the habit of being jostled with women, often in front of a camera, including a 13 year old girl at least once. Indeed, while Biden had his arm wrapped around Senator Iowa's teenage daughter, Joni Ernst, while she was being sworn in, the joke of the time then joked, "I hope that Mom has a big fence around your house. "

The most generous interpretation of this behavior is that Biden does not respect the boundaries of young women in an entirely inappropriate way. From another point of view, details of Biden's past would risk creating a real threat that would make it difficult or impossible to claim Donald Trump's moral pretense.

Then there was the plagiarism scandal that derailed Biden's presidential campaign in 1988. He cited other politicians without any attribution and was caught in a scandal of plagiarism since the beginning of his studies. by right. This scandal finally forced him to end his 1988 campaign, even though he was initially considered one of the favorites.

Does this mean that my Uber drivers are wrong about Biden? Yes, but they are not mistaken about what they liked about Biden. Once Joe Biden has to explain the less tasty aspects of his past, my Uber pilots will be able to reassess their opinions. But the things they have seen are qualities that the next candidate must possess: authenticity, compassion, ability to speak to blue-collar voters and Rust Belt. Biden, the idea, around 2019, is a powerful idea, even if it is unlikely that the man is up to the task. Democrats should be careful.

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