Perfect time for Joe Biden to prove his naysayers wrong and make a successful bid for 2020
Allegations of sexual misconduct have cast a long shadow over Biden's presidential prospects, but the longtime congressman has the potential to turn the tide against rival Bernie Sanders
Former Vice President Joe Biden, who has led almost every Democratic primary poll without having to really do much, finally announced his presidential bid on Thursday.
Over the past several weeks, the longtime congressman's team has been trying hard to cement his position as the frontrunner with a series of high profile fundraisers and endorsements. His team has reportedly tapped decades-old friendships seeking financial as well as political support for his campaign, aside from lining up major Democratic party figures to root for him.
Many argue his campaign is already "feeling the Bern," especially after Bernie Sanders, the self-described Democratic socialist and progressive, raked in millions of dollars and topped the first quarter of campaign fundraising.
It is important to note that Biden made the decision this time after dilly-dallying for almost two years. While this will be his third try for the White House, with many people presuming he wouldn't be running at all, his place in the 2020 Democratic-primary field finally seems to be locking into place.
Joe Biden has wanted to be president for the longest time, arguably since he was first elected to the Senate in 1972 after defeating Republican Senator J. Caleb Boggs. He has thrown caution to the wind despite the wave of young blood that has dominated the Democratic party of late.
What's more? He has also decided to shrug off a series of sexual misconduct allegations against him by several women — generally a career-ending dent in modern times — who said he made them feel uncomfortable by the way he touched them.
With that said, the Biden campaign is almost sure to draft his character as the antithesis to Donald Trump — the poised, experienced alternative who will get America back on course.
Perhaps Biden's greatest obstacle is getting through the Democratic primaries, considering 19 other highly-motivated candidates are already on the roster, ready to fight it out.
However, the Senator from Delaware has a long list of emotional chronicles he could use to amalgamate support from his now-scattered base.
As a child, Biden stuttered when he spoke and was repeatedly bullied in school for his speech impediment. Nonetheless, he overcame the weakness by himself, reading long poems aloud in front of a mirror. The political veteran has gone through numerous tragedies in his life.
In 1972, he somehow managed to beat a well-funded, three-term incumbent Republican at just 29 years old. However, the same year, he lost his wife Neilia and infant daughter Naomi in a car accident while they were out shopping for Christmas. While his two sons, Beau and Hunter, were also in the vehicle, they survived life-threatening injuries.
At the time, Biden took the Senate oath of office at his sons' hospital bedsides, having been elected just days before the devastating accident.
In 2015, the 76-year-old politician suffered another major blow when his eldest son, Beau, passed away from brain cancer at 46.
Coming back to the present, Biden's team is projecting every poll that has him in the first place — asserting that his popularity will only grow from here on out. But several pundits, even Democratic operatives for that matter, reportedly believe he will start losing support as soon as he makes his presidential bid official.
"Biden’s doubters are convinced that he seems better as a theoretical alternative than as someone people would actually support, especially when they start looking at his record closely," Edward Isaac Dovere wrote in an op-ed for The Atlantic.
There are several criticisms of Biden throughout his political career, right from the time he opposed school busing in the 1970s, to his ambivalence on Anita Hill's testimony against now-Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas as chairman of the Judiciary Committee in 1991. While Biden has lately tried to justify his inaction saying he wished he "could have done something", his pleas only angered people further, who responded saying he was in charge of the hearings.
The recent allegations against Biden — which saw 10 women accuse him of making them feel uncomfortable — had just begun to move out of the spotlight after having received intensive coverage across mainstream media outlets. However, Biden's campaign announcement might just bring the accusations back into public discourse, creating further problems for him in the run-up to the 2020 elections. Earlier this month, Biden apologized on Twitter saying he will be "more mindful about respecting personal space in the future."
Regardless, Biden must amp up all efforts to increase small-donor fundraising — an area in which he is currently outpaced by other players in the primary field, especially Bernie Sanders. The senator from Vermont so far has the highest, most consistent polling aside from Biden. Furthermore, he garnered national attention after raising a staggering $18.2 million in the first quarter of funding.
This could just be the perfect time for Biden to prove his naysayers wrong and show them who's boss.