And the Democratic Party frontrunner for president in 2020 is...uh-oh

As unpopular as Donald Trump is, as much as he's hated by Democrats, and as much as he is a target of the media, the president may well win a second term in 2020.

Why?  Polls show that the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination for president in 2020 is former vice president Joe Biden.

Biden has been running for president since at least 1988.  He will be a few days short of 78 years old on election day in 2020.  That he is the frontrunner says a lot about the Democratic Party, even in the age of Trump.


What Biden should be asking is whether the party wants him, and not just whether he should seize his last chance.

His advanced age – Biden would be 78 years old at the time of his swearing-in – isn't the main obstacle.  While Biden's age would be a nonstarter in most presidential elections, if he continues to appear hale and hearty it would not be an insurmountable problem against Donald Trump, who would be 74 himself in 2020.

Trump would also provide cover for another often-discussed Biden drawback: the overly familiar mannerisms that seem terribly out of place in the #MeToo era.  Next to Trump's "Access Hollywood" tapes and the litany of sexual misconduct charges levied against the president, Biden's hands-iness barely registers.

The bigger issue is whether there's a place for him atop the Democratic Party that's taking shape after the ruinous 2016 election cycle.  This new iteration is unsentimental and unforgiving, and Biden has more than a few conspicuous Senate votes that demand a reckoning in the Trump-era Democratic Party.

The growing strength of the Sanders-Warren wing of the party may be an illusion, or it may be real.  As the primary season for Democrats moves on, we will get a much better picture of the influence of the radicals on the party, as there are several dozen Bernie Sanders acolytes running in open districts and in districts where GOP incumbents are vulnerable.

It is entirely possible that the influence of the radicals will be much greater when 2020 rolls around, making a Biden run seem quaint.  But, as the article mentions, he has several big advantages that cannot be dismissed, especially if, as expected, the primary field is crowded with a dozen or more candidates.

Having former president Obama in your corner would also be a big plus, although Obama has made no comments about whether he would support his former vice president.

A party that touts its appeal to youth may end up running at least three septuagenarians for president.

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