Joe Biden has longed to be president for decades, but the 2020 campaign — which is likely to be his last shot — is off to a very rocky start.
The man who served for under Barack Obama should be seasoned at the game. After all, Biden first ran for president way back in 1988, although he withdrew before noted political disaster Michael Dukakis secured the Democratic nomination.
Biden stepped up to the plate again two decades later in 2008, trying his best to win against both Obama and Hillary Clinton. He fell short, although that effort did secure him a respectable position as vice president for eight years.
Now, over 30 years since he first tried to reach the White House, Biden is at it again. He’s expected to officially announce his candidacy for the 2020 race on Thursday — but even liberal observers are seeing a tough road ahead.
A New York Times report this week explained that unlike his far-left rivals, Biden is starting with literally zero dollars in the bank, all while his staff can’t even seem to agree on his campaign launch video.
“His leading rival in the Democratic primary, Senator Bernie Sanders, has amassed $26.6 million across his various political committees, including more than $10 million left over from his 2016 presidential run and 2018 re-election in Vermont,” The Times pointed out. Not bad for a capitalism-bashing socialist.
But Biden? He’s a cool $26 million behind.
“Mr. Biden begins at $0, and it would take his raising more than $100,000 every day until Christmas just to match what Mr. Sanders had banked at the start of April,” the newspaper reported.
The crowded Democratic field is doing the former vice president no favors. Younger, more liberal figures like Sen. Kamala Harris of California and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg are generating buzz, and even left-leaning media outlets have undermined Biden’s image with negative stories.
And with the 76-year-old candidate’s official campaign announcement expected any time now, his team seems surprisingly unprepared for prime-time.
The New York Times reported that his launch video, which would likely be shared on YouTube and Facebook while setting the tone for the rest of the race, was scrapped at the last minute.
“Mr. Biden is grappling with some internal tensions as he builds an organization: A launch video crafted by his new media consultant, Mark Putnam, was not favorably received by other advisers, and the former vice president’s longtime aide Mike Donilon devised an alternative video,” the newspaper said.
With a professionally produced campaign video likely going for a minimum of $10,000 or so, that’s a lot of wasted time and money. A few such blunders in a crowded field could set Biden back to the point that he might never recover.
Those problems are even before getting into the “Creepy Joe” scandal.
The candidate has tried to shrug off and joke away allegations of improper behavior by a female member of his own party, but his uncomfortable behavior going back years has become a seemingly unstoppable meme through numerous videos and photos circulating online.
“This is going to be tough. This is going to be a heavy lift,” admitted Rufus Gifford, the former 2012 finance director for President Obama. “The Obama people are not a given, and they’re going to have to work for them just like everyone has to work for them.”
All of that adds up to a shaky candidate who seems like a political amateur, instead of a seasoned political veteran who has been running for office and building connections since the 1970s.
For somebody with so much experience, Biden sure is looking inexperienced.
And his campaign is looking like a disaster.