Joe: I’m leaving the door open
Former Vice President Joe Biden has left open the possibility he will run for president in 2020, saying a third bid for the Oval Office is not out of the question just as his new book “Promise Me, Dad” hits the shelves today.
“I’m not closing the door,” he said on the “Today” show yesterday. “I’ve been around too long. I’m a great respecter of fate.”
Biden, who previously ran for president in 1988 and 2008, would be 78 during the next election.
He said on the NBC show he regretted he wasn’t president now, but it was “the right decision” not to run in 2016 as he grieved the tragic death of his 46-year-old son, Beau, from brain cancer.
Biden’s nod to a possible run sparked immediate interest from supporters.
Larry Rasky, a longtime Bay State confidant who ran communications for Biden for both presidential bids, said age wouldn’t be an issue for the seasoned politician.
“He would be a formidable candidate if he decided to run,” Rasky said. “He said it himself, he hasn’t closed the door, and I think there is a good reason for him to not close the door.”
In an interview with Snapchat’s “Good Luck America” set to be released today, Biden said that if “no one steps up,” he’d be open to giving it another try, according to a transcript given to The Associated Press.
“I’m not doing anything to run,” he said. “I’m not taking names. I’m not raising money. I’m not talking to anybody, but something’s got to happen.”
Biden has launched a monthlong tour to promote his memoir, where he writes about his son’s illness, being former President Obama’s right-hand man and his own political aspirations.
He also foreshadows a potential run by saying a Biden campaign, if he had launched one, would “paint a picture of America’s future, what we could become, how everyone could be dealt back into the deal.”
The consensus among pundits is that Biden — seen as a relatable politician to blue-collar voters — could pose a serious challenge to President Trump, if both are on the final ballot.
“He comes off as a likable, middle-of-the-road guy who is a known commodity,” said Brad Marston, a conservative political strategist. “I think if things continue as they are for Trump, people will look more to someone with experience and someone they know and feel comfortable with.”
If Biden decides to enter the race, he would be wellequipped to handle the inevitable barbs thrown his way by a Trump campaign that took a scorched-earth approach to the 2016 showdown, according to Larry Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia.
“He had one of the longest careers in the Senate. He knows how to punch and counterpunch,” Sabato said. “He couldn’t have survived that long in politics if he didn’t.”
But not all Democrats see Biden as a strong candidate for the party’s nomination.
“I love Joe Biden, but we have to stop talking about him as the nominee,” Democratic strategist Scott Ferson said. “The future of the party isn’t a person who we should have nominated last time. We can’t just keep going back to the same well we have been going to since 1988.”
OPEN OPTIONS: Former Vice President Joe Biden, below right with former President Barack Obama, did not seek office in 2016 after the death of his son, Beau Biden, above.