Biden Campaign Announcement Delayed But Still Expected Within Days
Reports yesterday had former Vice-President Biden entering the Presidential field as early as tomorrow. Those plans appear to be delayed. but an an announcement still appears to be coming.
According to several reports yesterday, Vice-President Joe Biden was all set to enter the race for the Democratic nomination for President tomorrow with an announcement purportedly planned to include a video, ,which many reporters have said they witnessed being filmed in part in places like Biden’s hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania with a formal rally later in the day in either Philadelphia or Charlottesville, Virginia. Now, the Philadephia Inquirer is reporting that things are back in flux and it’s unclear if there will be an announcement this week at all:
WASHINGTON — Joe Biden’s plans are in flux again.
If the former vice president does launch his presidential campaign this week, it won’t involve a trip to Charlottesville, Va., and plans for potential public events in Pennsylvania are also uncertain, according to sources familiar with his plans.
Even Biden’s widely anticipated entry into the race grew unclear Monday, with the Atlantic reporting that a planned video announcement Wednesday was being pushed back.
It had seemed that Biden’s protracted deliberations had come to an end, only for new doubts to arise about the timing and mechanics of launching his bid.
Two sources close to Biden’s campaign told The Inquirer on Friday that they expected him to begin his campaign in Charlottesville on Wednesday, followed by potential events in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.
Two more sources later confirmed that those plans appeared likely, though they all stressed that the plans were preliminary and might change. The Atlantic first reported that those cities were being considered for a campaign launch.
On Monday, however, one of The Inquirer’s original sources said the considerations involving those sites had been scuttled, and another person close to Biden said definitively that the former vice president would not be traveling to Charlottesville.
Also Monday, a spokesperson for Mayor Jim Kenney’s administration said no permits had been pulled for an event Wednesday on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Eakins Oval, or the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
As of Monday afternoon, Biden supporters were still moving forward with plans for a fund-raiser in Philadelphia on Thursday hosted by Comcast executive David L. Cohen. But with the specifics of the former vice president’s roll-out still unclear, even the fund-raising hosts did not yet have final assurances that their event would happen.
The conflicting information and backtracking continued an atmosphere of uncertainty and indecision around Biden’s intentions, even for people who are close to him. Supporters were still expecting he would run, but were not sure of the launch details, even as they hoped for an announcement soon.
Jonathan Martin of The New York Times, meanwhile reported on Twitter that Biden’s announcement was now expected on Thursday:
Axios’s Mike Allen, meanwhile, reports that things are more on track for Biden than this last minute rescheduling makes them appear to be:
When Joe Biden announces for president later this week, he’ll open his campaign with a “climate of the nation” message that takes on President Trump but doesn’t directly attack any of the other 2020 Democrats, advisers tell me.
What he’ll say: Biden will spell out the stakes for the country, and talk about what kind of people we’re going to be. He’ll emphasize the kind of politics he’s running against, and what kind of leadership the moment calls for.
Then expect Biden to hit Pittsburgh early next week.
Given the reporting that we’ve seen about Biden’s moves to get ready for a Presidential run throughout this month, it seems unlikely that the potential candidate is actually having second thoughts about entering the race. The fact that he’s taken steps such as filming what appears to be a campaign video, quietly announcing plans that he would be closing his charitable foundation ahead of a Presidential campaign, and other moves that one expects a soon-to-be candidate to take in advance of entering a race such as the one for the Democratic nomination for President. The most likely explanation for all of this is that Biden and his advisers are looking for the right time and the right tone on which to announce a campaign and they haven’t reached that point quite yet. Another possibility is that they are leaking these reports to the media to build up the “will he or won’t he?” speculation as much as possible in order to ensure maximum coverage of the announcement.
In the end, of course, the only people who are going to care whether Biden’s video is released tomorrow or Thursday and whether he announces in Charlottesville, Philadelphia. Pittsburgh or even Scranton itself is political pundits and commentators for whom minor details like this are given far more significance than they probably deserve. The average voter isn’t paying attention to such things, and it’s hardly going to matter in ten months when voting begins in Iowa and New Hampshire. At that point, the campaign will be in a far different shape than it is today and details like the time, place and manner of a major candidates announcement of their candidacy are going to be long forgotten.
Update: The Washington Post is reporting that Biden will formally enter the race on Thursday.