On Monday, Vice President Joe Biden threw his hat in for the 2020 presidential race. Well, not really — he said he wouldn’t rule it out — but before he walked it back, it sounded pretty definite.
“I’m going to run in 2020. For president. So, uh, what the hell, man,” Biden told reporters Monday, the Associated Press reported.
The vice president walked it back, but not entirely. “I’m not committing not to run,” Biden said when asked whether he was joking. “I’m not committing to anything. I learned a long time ago, fate has a strange way of intervening.”
— CNN (@CNN) December 6, 2016
Biden turned 74 last month, and will turn 78 just after the 2020 election. By comparison, Ronald Reagan — America’s oldest president — was just a few days short of turning 78 when he left office in January 1989. If Donald Trump is re-elected in 2020, he will be 78 when when he leaves the White House in 2025.
The vice president ran for president twice before, in 1988 and 2008 — losing the primary each year. Although it was highly anticipated, Biden did not enter the primary race in 2016. In October, he told CNN: “I didn’t run for one simple overarching reason. My son was dying and he died. I didn’t not run because Hillary’s running. I didn’t run because my son’s not here.” His son Beau passed in May 2015, and reportedly his last wish was for his father to run for president once again.
The very thought that Biden — the butt of a thousand Internet memes — would be considered for the Democrat presidential primary in 2016 or 2020 underscores the liberal party’s central problem: it has a remarkably shallow bench. While Republicans fielded 17 candidates — including 5 senators, 9 governors, a female former CEO, a neurosurgeon, and a billionaire household name — the Democrats had 6, three of whom withdrew before the primaries even started.
The Republican candidates were also much younger, on average, than the Democrats. They were also more racially diverse — including one black man, two Cubans, and one Indian.
Unlike Obama, Biden is an old white man, and he is actually one of the more likable faces in the Democratic Party. When news broke, he actually received some support on Twitter.
Next Page: Stranger than fiction — people excited for Biden to run in 4 years.
Here are at least four people who describe themselves as “excited” for Biden’s 2020 run:
Biden in 2020? Finally some hope to hold onto.
— G.Lo (@springsgail) December 6, 2016
— Red (@Redpainter1) December 6, 2016
A Biden run in 2020? Say it's so, Joe!! #hardball
— Bridget (@TopazioSmeraldo) December 6, 2016
Is this an accurate prediction?
Here’s the real reason people like him.
Biden announces that he's running in 2020 and all I can think is "YES, more memes" pic.twitter.com/5sQDQYclqD
— Alex Nagel (@alexnagel51) December 6, 2016
Next Page: But the negative response was deafening.
But the negative response was deafening.
Some said Biden was proof the Democrats have no bench to lean on.
Biden in 2020 is what happens when your party has zero bench to lean on.
— Azu$a🌹光🇹🇼 (@PositiveInt) December 6, 2016
Others called the party “unhinged.”
74 year old Joe Biden now threatening to run for president in 2020. Can the Democratic Party get any more unhinged?
— Mark Young (@MarkYoungTruth) December 6, 2016
The Democrats have learned nothing.
Biden in 2020…the establishment really thinks they lost because of Russia.
— Star Stuff (@BernieBroStar) December 6, 2016
Seriously, though, if the dems run Joe Biden in 2020, it will be absolute proof that the party has a complete inability to learn *anything*
— Evan Greer (@evan_greer) December 6, 2016
At least he’ll have a “hands on” campaign…
Some wanted Biden to run — to ensure another 4 years of Trump.
Sorry, Joe. I would say better luck next time, but somehow that just doesn’t seem appropriate.