Report: Joe Biden’s 2020 Campaign Launch Abruptly Pushed Back

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Ethan Miller, Chip Somodevilla, Win McNamee/Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign announcement — reportedly slated to take place this Wednesday — is now being pushed back to an unspecified date, according to The Atlantic’s Edward-Isaac Dovere.

The eyebrow-raising development comes after Dovere reported last week that Team Biden was preparing to release a campaign launch video on Wednesday and considering kicking things off in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Meanwhile, some in the Democrat elder’s orbit are worrying that his campaign-in-waiting is already in disarray.

“I’ve never seen anything so half-assed,” one former Biden aide told TIME.“They’re improvising and doing last-minute planning. The guy has been running for President since 1987 and can’t figure the basics out, like where to stand on his first day? This should make everyone very nervous.”

 “The guy’s best day is the day he announces,” a Biden insider told the magazine. “Everything after that gets worse.”

One of the most recognizable names in American politics, Biden served for two terms as Barack Obama’s vice president after nearly four decades as a senator from Delaware. His high-profile, working-class background and connection to the Obama years would help him enter the race as a front-runner, though he faces questions about his age and whether his more moderate record fits with a party that has become more leftist.

With a record in elected office that stretches half a century, Biden faces multiple challenges.

Last month he struggled to respond to a complaint from Lucy Flores, a 2014 lieutenant governor nominee in Nevada, that he made her uncomfortable by touching her shoulders and kissing the back of her head before a campaign event. A few other women have made similar claims, though none has alleged sexual misconduct.

The incident is just a taste of the harsh vetting from both Democrats and Republicans expected for Biden, who has run for president twice before but never from such a strong political starting point.

His first White House bid in 1988 ended after a plagiarism scandal. And in recent weeks, he was repeatedly forced to explain his 1991 decision, as Senate Judiciary Committee chairman, to allow Anita Hill to face questions about her allegations of sexual harassment against Clarence Thomas, then a nominee for the Supreme Court.

Biden has since apologized for his role in the hearing. But in the #MeToo era, it’s another example of why critics believe he may struggle to catch on with the Democratic primary voters of 2020.

The AP contributed to this report. 

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