Joe Biden is in the right place at the right time in U.S. history, according to various news sources calling for him to enter the presidential race. Polarization, according to the Washington Post, is consuming the 2016 presidential election, with the likes of Donald Trump on the right, and Bernie Sanders on the left, pulling at the fabric of the political spectrum, and stretching it to its limit. As expressed in a recent post on Ballotpedia.org, and in many other sources, Biden, if he chooses to recognize his place in history, will run for president as a candidate who can unite a polarized electorate.
Some Democratic analysts have been afraid of Biden’s entry because they feel he will nullify their criticism of Trump, and others are beginning to see him as the answer to the Clinton free-fall. They feel a Biden run may work if Trump’s antics grow old and he fails to put substance into his campaign. Because of the favorable/unfavorable numbers, the political spectrum does not work in favor of Trump or Sanders. Polls showing unfavorable ratings indicate that Trump will have serious trouble pulling votes from the people he has offended along the way. Sanders, as attested to on his own website, is an unashamed socialist, and polls show his favorable numbers upside down.
As expressed on a recent The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, experts believe Biden could be the person to attract voters from both sides of the spectrum as well as the middle. Some Democratic analysts believe this makes him an attractive candidate. Adding to that belief, a recent RealClearPolitics.com national poll has Biden leading Trump 47.8 percent to 42.3. The vice president is leading the Republican’s leader without having even entered the race.
Biden is considered to be a nice guy by the people who know him. In this polarized election, fueled by Trump hysteria, that might work in his favor. Lindsay Graham, a Republican, commented in a recent interview with The Huffington Post that the current vice president is as good a man as he has ever met. Graham considers him a friend, even though he admits they do not agree on much. Even so, he shares the opinion held by many that the vice president is the real deal. According to one analyst, the biggest criticism of Biden is that he is not “cool” by some standards. That label could work in his favor in this era of political correctness, and might serve as a cover for some of his verbal gaffes.
The most obvious reason why he will run for president is the recent free-fall of Hillary Clinton. A recent CNN/ORC poll shows Clinton’s numbers dropping dramatically among Democrats. In August, she was at 47 percent and now she is at 37; a ten point drop in one month. CNN reporter Jeff Zeleny believes the recent downturn is due to the enthusiasm numbers. According to the poll, she is down to just 43 percent of Democrats who say they view her favorably. That number was at 60 in April when she announced her run. Ironically, Biden polls at 20 percent of Democrats favoring him for president, which is a 6 percent increase from the last poll, and he has not even entered the race.
The same poll shows Clinton failing in a national match-up with Republican candidates. She trails Ben Carson 51 to 46 percent, Jeb Bush 49 to 47, and is tied with Trump at 48 percent. These are serious numbers considering that Clinton had a sizable lead over all Republicans until recently. The Democrats have no other viable candidate since the numbers of all other candidates in this poll are way down against Republican candidates. Sanders followers would disagree, but his campaign may have slowed since his numbers are down 2 percent in this latest national poll. This leaves the race wide open for Biden.
The power of the political machine may be too much for Biden to resist. The Nation, in an article last year about revamping how the president is chosen, made the case that the power brokers are manipulating the process, and most election observers agree that elections are being manipulated from somewhere else. The tremendous amount of money being spent by the big spenders is common knowledge. The power and influence being wielded is impossible to quantify, but the machine will somehow get the person into the election that they believe can win. For the Democrats, that person may well be Vice President Biden.
Biden is undoubtedly considering the effect a run would have on his health and his family, according to statements he has made to the press. On the question of his age, it can be pointed out that Reagan became president at 69 and Clinton would be 69 if and when she takes office. At the age of 72, Biden is in good company. It can also be argued that today’s 70 was yesterday’s 60 since people are living longer. His daughter is grown and he lost his son, Beau, in May to brain cancer. Grief over Beau’s death has made his decision about running a difficult one, but the way he has handled it can be added to the positive reasons he may run and could win.
By Lloyd Gardner
Joe Biden the Biography
The Wire: Joe Biden is not Cool
Washington Post: The Importance of the Yes but Voter
Breaking News: Joe Biden
Newsmax: Lindsey Graham says Joe Biden is a Good Man, July 13, 2015
Photo Courtesy of Barack Obama’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License