By Election Day 2020, Joe Biden will be 78 years old. But age isn’t stopping Biden from considering a run in the next presidential election.
According to POLITICO, Biden and his staff are already planning out the next three years, should the former vice president and Delaware senator decide to run again. Should he go for it, it will be Biden’s sixth time either running or considering running for the Democratic nomination.
Biden’s previous attempts have been wildly unsuccessful. He ended up dropping out of the 1988 race before the primaries due to several controversies, while he dropped out of the 2008 primary race after the very first contest, where he received only 1% of the vote.
Though he said that his 2008 presidential run would be his last, Biden seriously considered running in 2016. Despite the creation of a “Draft Biden PAC,” the then-vice president declined, stating that he needed to focus on family in light of the tragic death of his son Beau in 2015. However, he later told NBC Connecticut’s Keisha Grant that he regrets not running “every day,” though the decision was ultimately right for his family.
Since leaving Washington alongside his best bud Barack Obama, Biden has spoken at numerous colleges and political events. “He wants to have a voice,” a Biden adviser told POLITICO. “The more stuff he does like this, the more people hear his voice.”
Biden believes that he has an answer to the question of what the Democratic Party should be in the Trump era. Though many commentators, strategists, and party leaders claim that Democrats need to abandon “identity politics” in favor of appeals to the “white working class” that supposedly delivered Trump his Electoral College victory, Biden has a vision for America that includes both the middle class and civil rights. This kind of populist message, one resembling Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow Coalition, is what the Democratic Party truly needs right now. It is especially important in retrospect of the Hillary Clinton campaign. Biden, along with commentators from across the political spectrum, criticized Clinton for weak messaging rooted in her confusion as to why she was running in the first place. “I don’t think she ever really figured it out,” Biden told the Los Angeles Times. “She thought she had no choice but to run. That, as the first woman who had an opportunity to win the presidency, I think it was a real burden on her.”
Should Biden win the 2020 race, he will be the oldest candidate to be elected to the Oval Office. Ronald Reagan currently holds that mantle, being 73 years of age at the time of his 1984 landslide victory.
But does Biden actually stand a chance in the 2020 election? At the moment, it’s unclear. Early polling suggests that he would be the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination, with incredibly high approval ratings among Democratic voters. However, the same Public Policy Polling survey shows that only 8% of Democratic voters want a candidate in their 70s.
With a presidency as scattershot as Donald Trump’s, it’s impossible to know what the political landscape will be like in three years. But if Democratic leadership still aims to snatch up the vote of the “white working class” as well as mobilize minority voters who stayed home in 2016, Joe Biden certainly has a lot to offer.