Let’s be honest: it’s easy to laugh off Joe Biden. The former vice president comes across as America’s goofy uncle. He has the albatross of his time in the Obama administration around his neck. He’s the subject of a hilarious series of memes, for crying out loud.
Add to all these factors the fact that Biden will turn 78 just days after the 2020 election and the reality that he’s a while male in a sea of intersectionality and a rainbow of minority candidates of varying degrees of charisma, and it can easily be tempting to dismiss Joe Biden.
But to overlook Biden is to do so at your own peril. He has nearly five decades of experience in public service, most of those years at the national level. He’s an engaging figure with plenty of inspiring stories from his long life. He’s a moderate in a sea of wild leftists who has a real chance of peeling less conservative voters away from Donald Trump. Last, but not least, Biden has genuine momentum.
For starters, Biden has a commanding lead in a recent poll. CNN shows the former Delaware senator with nearly 30 percent of the vote – and he hasn’t even announced his candidacy yet!
Biden, who has yet to enter the Democratic presidential race, is out in front with 28 percent of those polled. In second place is Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who is backed by 20 percent of voters.
Additionally, several foreign leaders are urging Biden to run because of his foreign policy acumen. At last month’s Munich Security Conference, which the former vice president attended, he was one of the hot topics of conversation.
Biden heard a repeated refrain, according to a conference attendee familiar with the conversations: The world needs you.
Citing Biden’s long foreign policy track record and longtime commitment to the trans-Atlantic alliance, some of the leaders — echoing views from across the continent — told Biden that his return to the White House would be a sure way to restore western alliances that President Donald Trump has dramatically fractured.
Biden could be an appealing alternative to the seemingly endless parade of frightening left-wingers. And if he survives the primaries, he could come across as an opportunity for moderates and #NeverTrump folks to vote differently. And that’s scary.
We can’t afford to have a Democrat in the White House any time soon, even one as relatively nonthreatening as Joe Biden, which makes dismissing or ignoring him dangerous.