Joe Biden Finally Announces 2020 White House Bid
Surprising absolutely no one, former Vice President Joe Biden launched his presidential campaign on Thursday, joining a crowded Democratic field as the front-runner via a video posted to social media.
Biden’s announcement focuses on a “battle for the soul of this nation,” with a dramatic video centered around the 2017 white supremacist protest in Charlottesville, Va., and President Trump’s response that there were “very fine people on both sides” after a counterprotester was killed.
“In that moment, I knew the threat to this nation was unlike any I had ever seen in my lifetime,” Biden says in the video.
“I believe history will look back on four years of this president and all he embraces as an aberrant moment in time,” Biden continues. “But if we give Donald Trump eight years in the White House, he will forever and fundamentally alter the character of this nation — who we are — and I cannot stand by and watch that happen.”
Biden, 76, is following the announcement of his candidacy with a rollout tour that includes a fundraiser in Philadelphia on Thursday afternoon, an appearance before union workers in Pittsburgh on Monday, and rallies in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada extending into late May.
With Biden’s entry into the race, the Democratic field stands at 20, with six women, five people of color, and one openly gay candidate vying for the opportunity to take on incumbent Republican President Donald Trump.
Biden, a lifelong politician, spent five decades in Washington and is popular with white working-class and union voters.
In fact, published reports say the International Association of Fire Fighters could endorse him as early as next week.
Biden served for two terms as Barack Obama’s vice president after nearly four decades as a senator from Delaware.
Despite his experience and name recognition, it’s unclear how he’ll make inroads with the loud, relatively youthful left-wing of the party.
Biden, who has run unsuccessfully for president twice before and come up empty, in 1988 and 2008, is largely seen as a moderate. He is now also the second oldest candidate in the race, after 77-year-old Bernie Sanders.
And yet for many rank-and-file Democrats Biden’s announcement was a long, long time coming.
The former vice president was originally expected to enter the race in January, then predictions of an announcement were floated every few weeks.
In fact, it wasn’t until a month ago, during an appearance before the International Association of Fire Fighters in Washington, that Biden finally signaled that his decision had been made.
Firefighters clamored to their feet and chanted “Run, Joe, run” as he entered the room.
When he finally made it to the podium, Biden told them to save their energy because “I may need it in a few weeks.”
With that, the chanting began anew.
“Be careful what you wish for,” Biden said.
Biden’s speech on that day and in several appearances since then have focused on contrasting his vision of America with that of the current occupant of the White House.
“We can’t be divided by race, religion, by tribe,” Biden has said. “We’re defined by those enduring principles in the Constitution, even though we don’t necessarily all know them.”
“In America, everybody gets a shot,” Biden has said.
He also taken aim at Republicans more generally, condemning them for supporting policies that favor the wealthy to the detriment of the middle and working classes.
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