Polling of the huge field of Democrat candidates likely to run against President Donald Trump in 2020 still favors former Vice President Joe Biden, but Biden’s former Senate colleagues are skeptical of his candidacy.
Perhaps due to his name recognition, Biden still rules the growing field of Democrat candidates vying for the Democrat nomination in 2020. He could face off against such candidates as Democrat Sens. Cory Booker; Kamala Harris; Kirsten Gillibrand; and Elizabeth Warren, not to mention dark horse candidates, such as former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe; and Eric Holder, attorney general in the Obama administration, among various others. But Biden still leads the pack.
A recent Harvard CAPS/Harris poll, for instance, finds Biden with 32 percent of the support. Showing that name recognition may be the main reason for his success, Hillary Clinton came in second at 18 percent, and her one-time Democrat opponent, Bernie Sanders, senator from Vermont, came in third with 16 percent. Finally, Elizabeth Warren came in fourth with ten percent of the vote. The others barely appeared as a blip on the radar.
But, according to the Hill, many Senate Democrats are skeptical of Biden’s suitability as a candidate for 2020.
Some cite Biden’s advanced age — at 75, he would be 77 if he were to win, making him the oldest president in U.S. history — while others say his vote in favor of the Iraq war is a black mark on his record.
“It’s hard to see someone [winning] who voted for the Iraq War. People are looking to turn the page,” one senior Democrat aide told the Hill.
Others cited Biden’s runs for the presidency in nearly every election since the 1980s in which he never came anywhere near winning enough primary votes to become his Party’s nominee. Biden explored a run in every election since 1988 and officially became a candidate in 1988 and 2008. He bowed out in ’88 after it was revealed he had plagiarized a college essay as well as several campaign speeches and in 2008 when he failed to win many primary votes.
But Biden has other, more shocking baggage.
In his epic exposé, Secret Empires, Peter Schweizer revealed that in 2013 the firm belonging to Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, signed a billion-dollar deal with a subsidiary of the Chinese government’s Bank of China just ten days after Joe and Hunter Biden flew to China aboard Air Force Two.
Some may want to give Biden’s candidacy a hard pass in this day when “colluding” with foreign governments is a hot-button issue.
According to the research done by Schweizer:
“In December of 2013, Vice President Joe Biden flies to Asia for a trip, and the centerpiece for that trip is a visit to Beijing, China,” said Schweizer. “To put this into context, in 2013, the Chinese have just exerted air rights over the South Pacific, the South China Sea. They basically have said, ‘If you want to fly in this area, you have to get Chinese approval. We are claiming sovereignty over this territory.’ Highly controversial in Japan, in the Philippines, and in other countries. Joe Biden is supposed to be going there to confront the Chinese. Well, he gets widely criticized on that trip for going soft on China. So basically, no challenging them, and Japan and other countries are quite upset about this.”
Elaborating, Schweizer said, “Well, I think the reason he goes soft on China is because with him on that trip, flying on Air Force Two, is his son Hunter Biden, and ten days after they return from China, Hunter Biden — who has this small firm, he has no background in private equity, he has no background in Chinese finance — gets a whopping $1.5 billion deal from the Chinese government. This is the Chinese government giving Joe Biden and a [John] Kerry confidante the management over this money, and they made huge fees off of this money, and it’s an example of this kind of corruption. That’s the first of three major deals that the Chinese government does with people who are either the children — that is the sons — or close aides to Vice President Biden or Secretary of State John Kerry.”
With his advanced age, his long losing record, and his problematic ties to China, it would appear that Joe Biden would not be the Democrat Party’s best foot forward in 2020.
But one candidate who has welcomed a Biden 2020 run is President Donald Trump.
“I dream about Biden,” Trump joked in July. “That’s a dream. Look, Joe Biden ran three times. He never got more than 1%, and President Obama took him out of the garbage heap, and everybody was shocked that he did. I’d love to have it be Biden.”
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.