Joe Biden Running for President in 2008

Eschewing custom, Joe Biden freely admits that he’s running for President in 2008. Most candidates duck the question until shortly before the primaries.

Biden to Seek Presidential Nomination (WaPo, A3)

Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.) said yesterday he plans to seek the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008 unless he decides later this year that he has little chance of winning. “My intention is to seek the nomination,” Biden said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “I know I’m supposed to be more coy with you. I know I’m supposed to tell you, you know, that I’m not sure. But if, in fact, I think that I have a clear shot at winning the nomination by this November or December, then I’m going to seek the nomination.” Biden said he plans to spend the year road-testing a message to see whether his views are compatible with a majority of Democrats while evaluating whether he can raise the money needed to compete in a race that is widely expected to include Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), a prodigious fundraiser. “I’ve proceeded since last November as if I were going to run,” he said. “I’m quite frankly going out, seeing whether I can gather the kind of support.”

Biden is the top-ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and has used that pulpit to launch increasingly caustic criticisms of President Bush’s policy in Iraq. Yesterday, he again accused the administration of failing to level with Americans about the situation there, saying the insurgency is far from being in its last throes, as administration officials have suggested. “I think the administration figures they’ve got to paint a rosy picture in order to keep the American people in the game, and the exact opposite is happening,” Biden said. “The exact opposite.”

Biden, who opposes setting a timetable for withdrawing U.S. forces from Iraq, said that, without changes in U.S. policy, the United States faces failure in Iraq. “If nothing changes here, we’re going to be out of Iraq by the end of 2006 as a nation that has been viewed by the rest of the jihadists in the world as having been pushed out, which is a very bad thing for us,” he said. “And Iraq’s going to end up having imported into the center of the Middle East . . . radical Islamic terrorist cells and groups that train in the middle of that province.”

Biden says he believes that national security issues will be central to the outcome of the 2008 presidential election, as they were in 2004, and that his experience in that arena gives him a possible advantage over other potential candidates.

The Delaware senator ran for president in 1988 but withdrew from the race in 1987 amid accusations that he had plagiarized from speeches by a British Labor Party leader. He openly talked about his interest in running for president in 2004 but in the end chose not to after determining that other candidates had too much of a head start in terms of organization and fundraising.
“Now he understands it’s a long march, and if he was to do it, he’d be much better prepared,” said Biden spokesman Norm Kurz. “He understands you don’t parachute in at the last second.”

Biden isn’t particularly charismatic but he comes across as serious and competent. While a charismatic Southern governor may be the Democrats’ best hope, Biden may be the best alternative to Hillary Clinton. The Democrats have to have a candidate with serious foreign policy gravitas if they want to win back the White House during wartime. Had Biden run and won the nomination in 2004, he may very well have beaten President Bush.

FILED UNDER: General,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. McGehee says:

    While a charismatic Southern governor may be the Democrats’ best hope, Biden may be the best alternative to Hillary Clinton.

    [giggle]

  2. Mustang 23 says:

    Is it just a bit early to start the campaign… or is it just me?

  3. James Joyner says:

    No, pretty much everyone that’s got a shot is already running. Biden’s just admitting it.

  4. dw says:

    I guess he’s assuming no one remembers Neil Kinnick.

    Any of you know why that name is significant here?

  5. James Joyner says:

    dw: Yep, the article alludes to it — “The Delaware senator ran for president in 1988 but withdrew from the race in 1987 amid accusations that he had plagiarized from speeches by a British Labor Party leader.”

    I suspect no one will care about that at this point.

  6. Harry says:

    It may well be that Biden’s time is about to come. While he is lacking in flash, he offers Democrats something that has been lacking – solidity on issues and resume. He had the dust-up in the late 80s on speech plagiarism, but that seems pretty tame now. And while he’s to some degree led the opposition response the past 5-6 years, he hasn’t done it such a bomb-throwing manner as some Democrats. Obviously, Hillary is the big factor, but I think there will be a large number of Democrats willing to look at a serious alternative.

  7. ICallMasICM says:

    ‘Biden isn’t particularly charismatic but he comes across as serious and competent.’

    compared to an assclown like John Kerry?

  8. Bob says:

    In agreement with ICallMasICM on the charisma thing. Compared to Kerry and Gore, Biden is a rock star.

  9. Jim Rhoads says:

    I have always had the impression that Joe Biden is a fairly common example of the species “senatorius pettifoggomundus” who has a bit more chrisma and common touch and is a bit less of the haughty elitist than John Kerry.

    He is also somewhat brighter than Barbara Boxer and less of a knee jerk, dogmatic liberal than Ted Kennedy.

    That said, I do not think he has the gravitas of Al Gore.

    I agree, though that the Neil Kinnick rap is a bad one.

  10. ronya says:
  11. McGehee says:

    …he hasn’t done it such a bomb-throwing manner as some Democrats.

    And that’s going to cost him in the primaries.

  12. reliapundit says:

    biden is a liberal blowhard pontificating perorating SENATOR from an EASTERN state and has about as much chance at winning the presidency as he has of winning the nomination. ZERO!

    BTW: I’m a registered Democrat – have been since 1974. Tho’ that will change before the next election.

    IMHO: The Dems only chance (and it’s still a slim chance because they stand for nothing that a majority of Americans agree with) is a Richardson/Bredesen ticket.

  13. Scott in CA says:

    Biden is wasting his time. If the Dems want to win, they need to ditch Hillary and find some moderate, Western governor who has no connections to the Northeast and who has been visibly willing to break out of the party mold. I think Richardson has a better chance. Being half Mexican won’t hurt, either.

  14. Ron says:

    I do not think he has the gravitas of Al Gore.
    Now that was funny.

  15. Susie says:

    You Republicans only like Biden because you know he has the charisma of a Right winger and that is a no winner

  16. charlie32 says:

    It would be funny to compare his statements to Hillary’s when she announces- I wonder if he peeked at her speech.
    Biden is the same guy who couldn’t get the numbers right on the size of the new Iraqi forces we are training when he quizzed Condi Rice last December. He plays fast and loose with facts, like Ol’ Bill, but is not half as slick at covering his tracks when he screws up.
    And exactly what executive decision making experience has he got on his resume as a Senator from a small, basically one party state?
    Great choice for the Dems–keep ’em coming.

  17. Mari says:

    DW –

    I guess Neil Kinnock isn’t that important if no one can spell his name correctly.:) And, it certainly shouldn’t have been that big of a deal to the media, either.

    Let’s consider what Biden was up to while running – i.e. the Bork hearings…Trying to protect our 1st amendment rights…. And, in a sense trying to protect the media’s rights…and look what they did.

    No one INSIDE the beltway did anything but allude to Bush’s longtime affair except that one Nightline interview with Gary Hart.

    There was plenty to go around and somehow when you start comparing petty things IMHO the whole media attack back in 88 was a bit out of line.

    As for being too early to start – ask Hillary.:)