By Andrew Vester ’17
Earlier this week, Vice President Joe Biden hinted that he’d run for president in 2020 in an almost comedic exchange with a reporter (if you want to read the text, click here). After eight successful years in the White House with Barack Obama and 36 years as a senator from Delaware, it’s time for Biden, or Uncle Joe as he’s colloquially referred to, to call it a career.
He has accomplished some great things over his time as an elected official. He authored the Violence Against Women Act, and chaired several Senate committees, such as the Judiciary Committee and the Foreign Relations Committee.
And besides his time in the Senate, Biden was a truly great Vice-President. His position meant that he was responsible for overseeing the proceedings in the Senate, and his background prepared him perfectly for this. But more went into his being a great VP than that. For the entire eight years of Obama’s presidency, Biden was involved in making high-level decisions with the president, something that hasn’t necessarily been the case with past administrations (just look at the second term of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney).
Even though Biden has accomplished all this, there’s nowhere left for him to go. To put it one way, his past attempts at the presidency have been unsuccessful, and gaffes follow him everywhere he goes. His first run was ended by allegations of plagiarism, and his second attempt – in 2008 – saw him drop out after placing fifth out of eight candidates in the Iowa Caucuses, receiving only 23 votes. Another run wouldn’t produce better results.
On top of this, the politics of today are nothing like the politics of even eight years when he last ran. This past presidential election was one of the most despicable in the nation’s history, and with Trump up for reelection in four years, it’s not looking like it will be any different. The politics of today are not the politics that Biden knows, and certainly not one that he’d fit into.
Although Biden seems like he still has plenty in him to run in four years, he shouldn’t. And if he doesn’t want to relinquish his political power, he can keep it in how he acts in his post-Vice Presidential years. Every great period has to come to an end. It’s time for Joe to ride off into the sunset.