Joe Biden, former vice president and right-hand man to Barack Obama, has finally announced his own run for the presidency of the United States – and as of right now, his campaign centres on the fact he’s not President Donald Trump.
The announcement comes after months, if not years, of speculation that he would take a tilt at the top job. His candidacy – and let’s be honest, his immense name recognition – has already shaken up the race to secure the Democratic Party’s nomination for the 2020 election.
In a video announcement, Biden suggested he was compelled to run after the deadly 2017 white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Discussing the moment Trump said there were decent people “on both sides” of the rally, Biden said “with those words, the president assigned a moral equivalence between those spreading hate and those with the courage to stand against it.”
The numbers are already looking good for Biden. The most recent Ipsos poll found 30% of Democrats would pick him as their #1 choice. That puts Biden well ahead of left-wing favourite Bernie Sanders on 15%, and miles from contenders like the ascendant Texan Beto O’Rourke and “Mayor Pete” Buttigieg.
While it might appear Biden is a shoo-in for party’s selection, Democratic figures were recently forced to defend him against longstanding accusations of inappropriate touching. Well before Biden officially threw his hat in the ring, Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said two accusations of unwanted physical contact would not disqualify him from the race.
Of course, Trump proved that admitting to sexual assault won’t preclude anyone from the White House. Watch this space.