Former Vice President Joe Biden has people buzzing about whether or not he will run for president in 2020 after he declared himself “the most qualified person in the country to be president” and said he will make a decision within the next two months.
The death of Biden’s eldest son, Beau, from brain cancer, kept him from running for president in 2016. He detailed that story in Promise Me, Dad, and during a Monday night Q&A session promoting the book in Montana, where Biden told New York Times columnist Bruce Feiler, “I think I’m the most qualified person in the country to be president.
“The issues that we face as a country today are the issues that I’ve worked on my whole life—the plight of the middle class and foreign policy,” Biden said. “But my family and I need to decide as a unit whether we’re ready—we do everything as a family.
“I have two young grandchildren my son left who love me and adore me and want me around. I want to be there to take care of them, so we’ve got to figure out whether or not this is something we can all do as a family.”
Feiler countered with some reasons people might say Biden shouldn’t run, including his age, the amount of money he would need to raise, that he cosponsored the horrendous 1994 bad crime bill, and that he is what some people consider to be a “gaffe machine.”
“I may be a gaffe machine, but my god, what a wonderful thing compared to a guy who can’t tell the truth. No one doubts what I say, the problem is I sometimes say all that I mean,” Biden said in response. “The question is what kind of nation are we becoming?”
“We can’t have four more years,” he added.
Biden and Trump have had a few back and forths over the last two years, so it’s not surprising that he would take the “At least I’m better than Trump” angle, but there is much more at stake here than that.
First of all, remember that in a recent glowing remembrance of the recently deceased George H.W. Bush, Biden suggested that 41 was the most decent president he ever served under—this from the man who served as vice president to Barack Obama.
“I’ve been there with eight presidents as an elected official and none had more class and a greater sense of decency than President Bush,” Biden said.
Another and more important thing that did not come up in Monday night’s discussion but needs to be addressed is the role Biden played in 1991 when Anita Hill testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee about the sexual harassment allegations against then-Supreme Court Justice nominee Clarence Thomas. Biden was the chair of the committee at the time.
Hill’s story was thrust front and center again during the confirmation hearings for Justice Brett Kavanaugh after he was accused of sexual assault by Christine Blasey Ford.
The #MeToo movement is not leaving much room for men to weasel out of their transgressions against women, whether they actively participate in sexual misconduct or passively allow the sexual misconduct to go on.
The Senate Judiciary Committee did a disservice to Hill, and that is something that Biden still needs to answer for.
Perhaps he can talk that over with his family as well.
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