Joe Biden, in apologizing for calling Mike Pence a ‘decent guy,’ shows why he shouldn’t bother running for president – Washington Examiner
Former Vice President Joe Biden isn’t even a candidate for president yet, and he’s already found himself apologizing. This time, the offense is the unconscionable act of saying his successor, Vice President Mike Pence, is a “decent guy.”
If this is any indication of how a Biden candidacy is going to go, he may as well not bother running.
For those who missed it, Biden came under fire from actress turned activist turned failed political candidate Cynthia Nixon, and the following exchange ensued:
You’re right, Cynthia. I was making a point in a foreign policy context, that under normal circumstances a Vice President wouldn’t be given a silent reaction on the world stage.
But there is nothing decent about being anti-LGBTQ rights, and that includes the Vice President.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden)
February 28, 2019
The problem this represents for Biden is two-fold.
The root issue is that Biden has been involved in federal politics since joining the Senate in 1973. That means he spent most of his career in a totally different political and cultural era than the current one. Running for president now, he’ll be forced to explain past positions and statements that are out of sync with the current party. He’ll also need to answer for his willingness to get along with politicians on the other side.
Before “decent-gate,” Biden had already been forced to apologize for supporting the 1994 crime bill, which liberals criticized for ushering in an era of mass incarceration. He’s also been put on the defensive for his handling of the Clarence Thomas-Anita Hill hearings as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
So Biden is going to be called on to apologize for all sorts of past statements and positions as well as current attitudes that will be portrayed as out of touch.
One way to handle it would be to do so as he did in January. At that time, he joked about his friendly relations with Republicans. “I get in trouble,” Biden said at the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Washington, D.C. “I read in the New York Times today that one of my problems is if I were ever to run for president is I like Republicans. OK, well bless me, Father, for I have sinned.”
Essentially, under this model, Biden will carve out a position for himself as somebody who is closer to the center-left, as an adult in the room who is able to work with Republicans to get things done. He may ultimately lose, but this is the only path to victory that’s open to him.
If Biden enters the race only to spend the next year apologizing for being insufficiently “woke,” he’ll just look like a complete buffoon, without convincing any skeptics who will have plenty of alternatives to choose from who are younger and more in touch with contemporary sensibilities on the Left.
If he isn’t going to run his race, he may as well recognize that his time has passed, and instead step aside and make room for the new crop of politicians.