Biden refuses to close door to presidential run

Biden refuses to close door to presidential run
© Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoseph (Joe) Robinette BidenThe Hill's 12:30 Report Pence talks regularly to Biden, Cheney: report Biden moving toward 2020 presidential run: report MORE signaled Monday he's not done with politics and is “not closing the door” on a White House bid in 2020.

In interviews as part of the launch this week of his new book “Promise Me, Dad,” Biden flirted with the idea of a third White House run.

“I honest-to-God haven’t made up my mind about that,” Biden, who turns 75 later this month, said to NBC’s Savannah Guthrie and Matt Lauer in an interview to discuss his new tome. “I’m not closing the door. I’ve been around too long.” 

ADVERTISEMENT
In another interview with Oprah Winfrey on Sunday, Biden acknowledged: “I’m —thank God right now — in awful good health,” he said. “But I don’t know what things are going to be two years from now.” 

Biden’s refusal to rule out a run means observers and commentators will include him among the Democrats who could challenge President Trump.

The chatter was part of the cable news broadcasts on Monday, while the headline of one opinion column in the Chicago Tribune read: “Joe Biden vs. Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpDems win from coast to coast Falwell after Gillespie loss: 'DC should annex' Northern Virginia Dems see gains in Virginia's House of Delegates MORE in 2020, It could happen.” 

Biden also showed up in a "Saturday Night Live" sketch this weekend that mocked Democrats for the fact that their leaders all seem to be elder statesmen of the party.

“It’s Biden Time!” Jason Sudeikis, playing the former vice president, proclaimed in the skit.

The sketch, which ridiculed Democrats including Biden, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTrump is right: The visa lotto has got to go Schumer predicts bipartisan support for passing DACA fix this year No room for amnesty in our government spending bill MORE (N.Y.) and Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinSenators push mandatory sexual harassment training for members, staff Bipartisan group of lawmakers aim to reform US sugar program Senate panel to hold hearing on bump stocks MORE (Calif.), hit a nerve with some in the party looking for fresh faces in 2020.

“If you look at the results of the last election, it's difficult to find a justification for Vice President Biden to get in the race, but who knows,” said Democratic strategist Jim Manley. “As far as I can tell, voters are looking for fresh faces, and I don't think the vice president qualifies.”

Another Democratic strategist added, “Uncle Joe! Love him, we all do, but probably not the best idea.”

Earlier this year, The Hill reported that mega-donors for the 2008 and 2012 Obama and Biden campaigns were not committing to the former vice president, even as he contemplates whether to run. 

“He’s got more than 40 years in Washington,” one donor said at the time. “He’s the opposite of what the party says it wants right now. He’s going to have a tough time if he runs.”

Biden allies say the former vice president is exactly what the party needs.

They say he would bridge the divide between progressives and centrists in the party and offer a direction at a time when the party lacks it. 

“He can unify [Democrats] around a message of standing up for something, the kind of stuff that he does better than anybody,” said Scott Mulhauser, who served as a senior aide to the former vice president during the 2012 presidential election. “He enunciates a vision and a contrast better than just about anyone in American politics. … You could see how a moment like this could call.”

A Zogby poll released last week shows Trump trailing Biden, Sens. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersWorld leaders reach agreement on trade deal without United States: report Sanders on Brazile revelations: DNC needs ‘far more transparency’ Sen. Warren sold out the DNC MORE (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenBipartisan group of lawmakers aim to reform US sugar program Schumer: Dems want DACA fix in government spending bill The Hill interview — DNC chief: I came here to win elections MORE (D-Mass.), and former first lady Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaMichelle Obama: We raise men to feel 'entitled' Michelle Obama: 'Don't tweet every thought' Michelle Obama, Prince Harry visit public school in Chicago MORE in head-to-head matchups. 

Mulhauser predicted Biden would be near or at the top of most lists of Democrats. 

“If what matters right now is being smart, progressive and a fighter, that’s him,” he said. 

Another former aide said Biden would provide a remedy for a Democratic Party trying to find its way. 

“We’re trying to find our identity and Joe Biden may be the true North Star,” the former aide said. “I think there is an appetite for a run more than ever because we’ve lost our way with the middle class, and he has a consistent message.” 

Biden seems to think he would be the one to beat Trump if he ran in 2020. 

In an interview on NBC on Monday, Megyn Kelly pointed out that “the blue collar Rust Belters you need to win already love Donald Trump."

Biden shot back: “They love me more.”