In an exchange with reporters outside the Capitol on Monday, Vice President Joe Biden said he wasn’t done with politics just yet.
“I’m going to run in 2020,” Biden said.
Asked what he would be running for, Biden said, “For president, what the hell, man?”
The reporters, clamoring for a story, asked the veep if he was serious.
“Yeah, I am,” he said. “Yeah, I am. We’re going to run again.”
But then, when pressed by the pool to elaborate, Biden seemed to indicate that while he wasn’t serious about announcing his 2020 candidacy, he wasn’t ruling anything out, either.
“I’m not committing not to run,” Biden said. “I learned a long time ago fate has a funny way of intervening.”
Biden gets a lot of credit for being an everyman type of politician, but “I’m not committing not to run” has to be one of the most amazing examples of politician-speak in modern memory. Of course, knowing Joe, this was more about everyday sentence-mangling than political doublespeak.
Biden, who first ran for president in 1988, would be 78 years old by the time he was sworn into office, making him the oldest American president of all time. Even if he stays healthy and energetic for the next four years, the public isn’t going to ignore reality. There are men and women who continue to have immense stamina and mental acuity well into their 80s, but they are the exception. There are many people who were already questioning the candidates’ ages this year. That would be a big obstacle for Biden to overcome.
But we’re bound to see a lot of Democrats start talking openly about the 2020 ticket. This election decimated the party politically, but they are now energized. They have a focus. An enemy. His name is Donald Trump. And the power vacuum at the top of the party will have every politician and liberal celebrity from New York to L.A. (and few points in between) clamoring to be the one to take him out.