The world is on fire. No, seriously.
Former Vice President Joe Biden reportedly will announce his candidacy for the presidency on April 25.
But Biden has been dogged by his past lately. Revelations about his track record on school integration and a recent piece by a former candidate for Nevada lieutenant governor, Lucy Flores, has called his candidacy into question.
I have been asked often if Biden’s inappropriate behavior with women disqualified him for office. I have repeated over and over again that this behavior, plus my other critiques of Biden’s record, including his recent comments about the way he handled the Anita Hill hearings (saying “I wish I could have done something” as if he’d forgotten that, as chair of the committee, he was free to do anything he wanted) demonstrated to me that despite all of the good things Biden has done for women, he was still unwilling to take responsibility for the bad things he’s done. Add his on-again, off-again relationship with a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion, his role in passing a crime bill that led to millions of mostly black and brown incarcerated bodies, and his vote to gut welfare mercilessly kicking mothers with low incomes off assistance, among a lengthy list of additional issues, and for me, the answer is yes, this is disqualifying and I don’t think he should run. I have also emphatically stated that ultimately it was up to individuals to assess if the totality of his history made him worthy of their vote.
If Biden decides to run, his entire history will be vetted by voters just like any other candidate. And the #MeToo movement will have to decide two things: to what degree we’re willing to have a discussion about basic respect and consent; and whether we hold everyone accountable, no matter how little or how much we personally like them. As a society we gain nothing by calling out the disgusting behavior of someone like Donald Trump while allowing far less vulgar but still harmful behavior like Biden’s get a pass.
The Atlantic broke the news that Biden will run.
Here’s how staff writer Edward-Isaac Dovere summarized his candidacy:
He wants this. He really wants this. He’s wanted this since he was first elected to the Senate, in 1972, and he’s decided that he isn’t too old, isn’t too out of sync with the current energy in the Democratic Party, and certainly wasn’t going to be chased out by the women who accused him of making them feel uncomfortable or demeaned because of how he’d touched them.
Biden’s campaign will, at its core, argue that the response to Donald Trump requires an experienced, calm hand to help America take a deep breath and figure out a way to get back on track. First, however, the man who would become the oldest president in American history needs to get through a primary—one that’s already tracking 18 other candidates, including six senators, two governors, a charismatic Texan wannabe senator, a geek-cool Indiana mayor with an impossible-to-pronounce name, and a guy no one had ever heard of who’s already scored a spot on the debate stage by becoming a mock obsession in weird corners of the internet by talking about universal basic income and robots.
How will Biden find a niche? What makes him so popular in these early polls? We analyze it.
Produced by Stacia Brown.
- Ginger Gibson Political correspondent, Reuters; @gingergibson
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