Joe: I’m leav­ing the door open

Boston Herald - - NEWS - By BOB McGOVERN

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.

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