Vice President Joe Biden shook hands with President Donald Trump during a joint ceremony at the White House in September
Let’s be honest: Firing the worst president in recent history has consequences. Ask my brother, Vice President Joe Biden.
For several weeks, all the media attention has centered on the drama unfolding around President Donald Trump. Never mind that Democrats sent proactively released a statement about the possibility of their own ambitious candidate someday winning the presidency. Even those who initially were confident they wouldn’t have to worry about that have to admit now that it could happen.
Now the real challenge starts, and the lights are blinding. Biden must again be preoccupied with winning his long-expected presidential bid–this time while serving in the Senate rather than in the White House. Forget about his sometimes frustrating family feud with his father. As he wrestles with whether to run for president, the Biden family won’t get much time to smooth the way. Neither his ex-wife or daughter are seeking elected office, at least in the foreseeable future. That gives the next step in the confirmation process for his daughter’s and granddaughter’s Senate nominations a lot of attention.
On a broader level, the Democratic Party, once seen as the party of immigrants and of moderate Democrats, will now take on a distinct Trumpian flavour. The new candidates who “look like me” (and not the ones who “look like him”) will take the nation’s attention. And there’s no way Biden will get a chance to run a large-scale party platform.
The very brief US presidency of Joe Biden is winding down and the Democratic Party is limping forward in almost endless primary season race. As the debate unfolds about what the candidates, starting this summer, should do differently to be more electable than Trump, the television watcher may be distracted by the Biden family at the White House, like it or not.
Many of us remember a Biden who was always ready to help. He worked tirelessly to raise Democratic Party money. He worked hard to earn the endorsements of progressive Democrats. He worked to raise enough money to defeat those who damaged the Democratic Party’s core ideology. He worked well with Democrats to boost the national political agenda, giving voice to the concerns of working families.
For what it’s worth, we know how to beat him. We did in 2008 and 2012. And we know how to move past the problems of his family. We do so by not having to work so hard to win him and his kind.
Ken Schwencke, the son of former vice president and senator Thomas R. Schwencke, lives in Durham, North Carolina.