Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Trump finalizing executive order calling on police to use ‘force with compassion’ The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook MORE signaled Monday he’s not done with politics and is “not closing the door” on a White House bid in 2020.
In interviews as part of the launch this week of his new book “Promise Me, Dad,” Biden flirted with the idea of a third White House run.
“I honest-to-God haven’t made up my mind about that,” Biden, who turns 75 later this month, said to NBC’s Savannah Guthrie and Matt Lauer in an interview to discuss his new tome. “I’m not closing the door. I’ve been around too long.”
In another interview with Oprah Winfrey on Sunday, Biden acknowledged: “I’m —thank God right now — in awful good health,” he said. “But I don’t know what things are going to be two years from now.”
Biden’s refusal to rule out a run means observers and commentators will include him among the Democrats who could challenge President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE.
The chatter was part of the cable news broadcasts on Monday, while the headline of one opinion column in the Chicago Tribune read: “Joe Biden vs. Donald Trump in 2020, It could happen.”
Biden also showed up in a “Saturday Night Live” sketch this weekend that mocked Democrats for the fact that their leaders all seem to be elder statesmen of the party.
“It’s Biden Time!” Jason Sudeikis, playing the former vice president, proclaimed in the skit.
The sketch, which ridiculed Democrats including Biden, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerOvernight Health Care: US showing signs of retreat in battle against COVID-19 | Regeneron begins clinical trials of potential coronavirus antibody treatment | CMS warns nursing homes against seizing residents’ stimulus checks Schumer requests briefing with White House coronavirus task force as cases rise Schumer on Trump’s tweet about 75-year-old protester: He ‘should go back to hiding in the bunker’ MORE (N.Y.) and Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Democrats demand Republican leaders examine election challenges after Georgia voting chaos GOP votes to give Graham broad subpoena power in Obama-era probe MORE (Calif.), hit a nerve with some in the party looking for fresh faces in 2020.
“If you look at the results of the last election, it’s difficult to find a justification for Vice President Biden to get in the race, but who knows,” said Democratic strategist Jim Manley. “As far as I can tell, voters are looking for fresh faces, and I don’t think the vice president qualifies.”
Another Democratic strategist added, “Uncle Joe! Love him, we all do, but probably not the best idea.”
Earlier this year, The Hill reported that mega-donors for the 2008 and 2012 Obama and Biden campaigns were not committing to the former vice president, even as he contemplates whether to run.
“He’s got more than 40 years in Washington,” one donor said at the time. “He’s the opposite of what the party says it wants right now. He’s going to have a tough time if he runs.”
Biden allies say the former vice president is exactly what the party needs.
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They say he would bridge the divide between progressives and centrists in the party and offer a direction at a time when the party lacks it.
“He can unify [Democrats] around a message of standing up for something, the kind of stuff that he does better than anybody,” said Scott Mulhauser, who served as a senior aide to the former vice president during the 2012 presidential election. “He enunciates a vision and a contrast better than just about anyone in American politics. … You could see how a moment like this could call.”
A Zogby poll released last week shows Trump trailing Biden, Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill’s 12:30 Report: Milley apologizes for church photo-op Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness MORE (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWarren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases OVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Joint Chiefs chairman says he regrets participating in Trump photo-op | GOP senators back Joint Chiefs chairman who voiced regret over Trump photo-op | Senate panel approves 0B defense policy bill Trump on collision course with Congress over bases with Confederate names MORE (D-Mass.), and former first lady Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaThe Hill’s Morning Report – Treasury, Fed urge more spending, lending to ease COVID-19 wreckage Budowsky: Michelle Obama or Tammy Duckworth for VP Michelle Obama urges class of 2020 to couple protesting with mobilizing, voting MORE in head-to-head matchups.
Mulhauser predicted Biden would be near or at the top of most lists of Democrats.
“If what matters right now is being smart, progressive and a fighter, that’s him,” he said.
Another former aide said Biden would provide a remedy for a Democratic Party trying to find its way.
“We’re trying to find our identity and Joe Biden may be the true North Star,” the former aide said. “I think there is an appetite for a run more than ever because we’ve lost our way with the middle class, and he has a consistent message.”
Biden seems to think he would be the one to beat Trump if he ran in 2020.
In an interview on NBC on Monday, Megyn Kelly pointed out that “the blue collar Rust Belters you need to win already love Donald Trump.”
Biden shot back: “They love me more.”