Frank Biden thinks his older brother Joe will run for president in 2020, and he can win by avoiding the arrogant mistakes that doomed Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign.
“I think we’re going to run,” the younger Biden told The Palm Beach Post in an interview this week. “You can say that ‘Frank thinks his brother’s going to run.’ Now, he could surprise me. But I know the family’s behind him 100 percent.”
Frank Biden, a 65-year-old “non-lawyer senior adviser” to the Berman Law Group, told the Post his family is expected to meet “very soon” to help finalize the former vice president’s decision on 2020, and Joe Biden’s wife Jill and sister Valerie Biden Owens hold the most sway.
“You have to understand our family structure. I’m the youngest brother. My sister’s the real boss. And Jill,” he said. “It’s an Irish matriarchy. They have the greatest influence.”
Former vice president Joe Biden flirted with a run for president in 2016, but grief from the death of his son Beau left him sidelined. Frank said the family is “healing up well” from the tragedy, and believes his brother is well positioned to take out Trump this time around.
“Joe is in a place spiritually. What he’s been through and how he’s come out the other side, he has become enormously empathetic. He’s always been an empath. But he’s so empathetic toward people who are hurting. He doesn’t think his tragedy is exclusive to him, that somehow he’s Job. This is an everyman deal,” he said.
The younger brother contrasted Biden’s outlook with Hillary Clinton’s failed 2016 campaign, which convinced his mother’s side of the family to cast their ballots for Trump.
“We never would have lost Pennsylvania, and all my relatives – the Finnegan family – who voted for Donald Trump because they felt slighted by Hillary and her campaign. We never would have not gone to Michigan as the campaign decided not to do because they felt entitled to the votes of those people,” he said. “Assumptive politics is losing politics. You have to work for every single vote and people have to know individually, collectively and severally that you care about them, that they’re important.”
Clinton, who served as Secretary of State in the Obama-Biden administration, did the opposite.
“The idea of declaring a whole swath of people ‘deplorables’ is just the most idiotic political calculation, number one, and two, the most – in the Catholic Church, they would call that the sin of pride,” he said. “Who in God’s name am I to say that you have a fundamentally wrong moral position? Talk about lacking humility.”
Joe Biden’s career in politics started when he was elected to represent Delaware in the U.S. Senate in 1972. The son of a used car salesman, Biden first ran for president in 1988 but lost the Democratic nomination to Michael Dukakis amid revelations he plagiarized speeches by Robert F. Kennedy, British Labour Party Neil Kinnock and others.
Biden ran again for president in 2008 but left the race early on to become Barack Obama’s running mate and vice president. In the years since, Biden has been plagued with videos posted online showing questionable behavior during official swearing in ceremonies at the Capitol. In several videos, Biden nuzzles the wives and young daughters of lawmakers while stroking their arms and hair. Many of the girls and women in the “Creepy Uncle Joe” videos are clearly uncomfortable with his advances.
Many pundits also believe Biden is over the hill.
Biden would be 78 and the oldest person ever elected president, should he run and succeed in 2020, though his brother doesn’t think it’s an issue.
“Joe has openly acknowledged that age is a factor,” Frank Biden told the Post. “People have every right to ask these questions. They want a commander in chief who’s vibrant, who’s vital, who is going to be able to serve without any kind of impingement. And without question, Joe will be able to fit that bill.”
Frank Biden said his brother is in peak physical form.
“I laugh, I mean, the most laughable thing to me because I’m an exercise nut, and I look at this president, who is obese and probably couldn’t walk 18 holes of golf, is compared to Joe in some way, shape or form,” he said. “Joe works out four days a week. He’s in better shape than he was when he was 65.”
While most Democrats expected to run in 2020 are much younger, they’re also more progressive and less able to win over voters in the middle, Frank said.
Leading Democrats are lurching left, he said, but not Joe Biden, and that could be the difference.
“The decision the party has to make is almost an existential one … Are we going to go with someone that everyone implicitly trusts, has confidence in, and no one doubts Joe’s ability to do the job?” he said.
“Who do you think the disaffected Republicans and the disaffected Democrats that we need to win over to win Pennsylvania, to win Michigan, to win Wisconsin, to win Ohio, to win Florida – as a strictly Machiavellian question, who is best positioned to win those folks back?”