likely he will not, and no one would blame him for wanting to eschew the rigors
of a campaign. The recent lost of his son may have convinced him to just finish
out his term as VP, and spend his remaining years enjoying his family.
However, I hope Joe Biden runs for president, because I am
reminded of what President Obama recently said about his late son Beau during atearful eulogy. "Beau
Biden was an original. He was a good man. A man of character." I think the
apple didn't fall far from the tree in this case. I think the country needs Joe
Biden -- his straightforwardness and the wisdom that comes from years of public
What is also significant to me is that his son Beauvolunteeredto serve in Iraq. Joe Biden, like many
military families, understands what it means to have a child in a war zone.
My desire for a Biden presidential run didn't just start
recently. I remember last year discussing the upcoming 2016 election with
friends who had worked on the Obama campaigns with me. We discussed the dearth
of candidates we could get excited about. These were people who put in
"blood, sweat, and tears" to build the momentum and get out the vote
for Obama. Our contingent in Riverside County, Calif., included suburban moms,
African-American and Latino single women, high school and college students,
LGBT activists, and many,such as myself,
who had never before been involved in a campaign.
months ago, as we again surveyed the landscape for 2016, some of us decided
that only Joe Biden could appeal to this contingent. We felt that he would run
on enhancing the president's agenda, not throwing it away. We also believe he
can get out the minority vote in a way others cannot. (Personally, I also took
a look at Jim Webb, but he doesn't seem to have momentum and isn't as
well-known or well-liked as Biden. Others are embracing the Democratic
Nevertheless, for those of us who support a Biden candidacy,
there are concerns. Namely, that in spite of his outstanding public record in
support of women, workers and American families, and his extensive foreign
policy experience -- many seem ready to dismiss Joe Biden as a lightweight. His
so-called gaffes are brought up often and some in the GOP have started
referring to him as a joke. (Ted Cruzeven joked about him as he prepared to
bury Beau.) I think this characterization of Biden is partially because many
potential opponents know he is indeed a contender.
Last fall, an article was written bySteven Kurlandertitled, "Even With 'Gaffes,'
Biden Building Momentum for Democratic Nomination in 2016." Kurlander
criticism of Biden appears to be an attempt to weaken his credentials as one of
the only competent members of the Obama administration's foreign affairs inner
circle. It also appears to be an effort to lessen his viability as a serious
candidate for president in 2016.No matter
how politically incorrect Biden -- the working class Joe from Scranton, Pa. --
has been, his mouth, in fact, is his strongest tie to the average American, who
can relate not only to what he says, but to how he says it."
follow Vice President Joe Biden, you know he has a reputation for being
politically incorrect and too blunt."
To that I
say: I agree, but if his heart is in the right place, is that such a bad thing?
Does he understand and can he empathize with the plight of today's struggling
middle and working class families?
personal life offers us a glimpse into the heart of this man. We know about the
tragedy of him losing a wife and child at the very beginning of his Senate
career, and his close relationship with his remaining children. We know about
the family he built with Jill. Dedication to family defines him.
Another question is -- is hegenuine?
easy being genuine in the political world, especially for politicians of
Biden's stature. Every action, every event -- no matter how personal, is placed
before the camera and becomes bait for discussion. I don't know Joe Biden, have
never met him. Like many Americans I did watch the services for his son. We saw
true emotions from this Dad. This wasn't a "be strong for the camera"
And that is
what we like about Biden. Even with the gaffes, you get the feeling he is the
real deal. Not a lot of pretenses or poll driven reactions.
forget about what doesn't come from this prestigious diploma -- the heart to
know what's meaningful and what's ephemeral; and the head to know the
difference between knowledge and judgment."
temptation of your generation to let "network" become a verb that
saps the personal away, that blinds you to the person right in front of you,
blinds you to their hopes, their fears, and their burdens."
"He gets it!" I thought. Here is someone who can truly
represent the middle class. It has nothing to do with what your net worth is,
it's where your heart is. Biden'sheartis
in the right place, showing empathy with the everyday American.
beloved by many segments of the populace, including the youth. He may not have
the Bernie Sanders effect that some of our young people are embracing, but
Biden can actually win over middle America. Even the most fervent Sanders
supporters doubt his ability to win the election.
My 16 year
old daughter, who will be voting for the first time in the upcoming
presidential election, had this to say on why she would vote for Joe Biden,
"I feel like he's on Obama's level of chill."
like much of what she says I have no idea what "level of chill"
means, but I do believe Biden can get the youth and the college-age vote.
Black vote. Joe Biden's closeness to Obama endears him to many. For the most
part, he is one of the few DC-insiders who has always given Barack Obama
respect -- as President and as a man. Biden comes across as the friend you want
standing beside you. He won't change with the wind.
about Hillary Clinton? Well, I think she would be an excellent Vice President,
providing leadership and strength to a Biden administration.
election represented "hope and change" as its winning theme. A Biden
campaign would hopefully be about unity. We are all tired of the divisiveness.
The us versus them; rich versus poor; black versus white; red versus blue;
female versus male landscape we are now in. This is what Barack Obama alluded
to in that famous speech at the Democratic convention that got so many
Americans excited about him as a possible presidential candidate. The work
continues. I believe the country is ready to unite as Americans and move
Again, no one could blame Joe Biden if he decides to skip the race. But I
think, at this time, America needs a guy like him for President. I sure hope he
So much of
life is about timing, and this is also true in politics.