Why Joe Biden shouldn't run for president

Former Vice President Joe Biden is not the right Democratic candidate for 2020. And yet, he may soon enter the Democratic race.

Former Vice President Joe Biden is not the right Democratic candidate for 2020. And yet, he may soon enter the Democratic race.

Thus far, what has been most remarkable is how diverse the field is shaping up to be. This is not your traditional slate of Democratic candidates. Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Cory Booker, Julian Castro, Peter Buttigieg, Tulsi Gabbard, Elizabeth Warren, Andrew Yang and several others are already up and running. And more are likely to follow.

The composition of the Democratic field represents the diversity of the country. With so many serious frontrunners who are not, for a change, older white men, the Democrats are showing that they are a party representing the future of the country. In contrast to the kind of rhetoric that has come from President Donald Trump, an ode to the whiteness and masculinity of a limited American political tradition, the Democrats are making a strong statement about what their party is all about. 

And their opening speeches reflect that reality as well. They have revolved around issues such as racial justice, gender equity, immigration rights and more. Even a candidate like Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who is being tagged as the "moderate" with bipartisan appeal, proclaimed: "Stop the fear-mongering and stop the hate. We may come from different places. We may pray in different ways. We may look different. And love different. But all live in the same country of shared dreams."

Then comes Biden. The former vice president has every right to run and certainly has a great deal to offer. During his career in the Senate and in the White House, Biden was a strong champion of the middle class. He pushed for the kinds of policies that Trump, despite all his promises to the forgotten Americans, never pursued. As vice president, he headed the Middle Class Task Force, which championed policies such as capping student loan payments and improving retirement security. He was even ahead of President Barack Obama on the issue of same-sex marriage.

Also, as an older white male (who would be 78 years old in January 2021), there are a number of Democrats who see him as the "safe choice," the only person who will be able to withstand the President's testosterone-filled campaign. And CNN polling shows that right now most believe he would do best in a matchup against the President.

But is Biden really the best answer for the party? There is good reason for Democrats to be skeptical and to consider supporting other candidates.

Most problematic is the fact that Biden has run for the presidency several times, and each time he has struggled under the intense spotlight. When it comes time to hit the campaign trail, Biden has never been able to generate the level of support that is necessary to win. His tendency tomake gaffes has also hurt him. And, in our frenzied news cycle with endless outlets and few filters on information, Biden's style will cause problems again.