Courtesy of West Point – The U.S. Military Academy/
United States / Politics

The Happy-Medium Candidate

When the going gets tough, the tough get going. Or at least get going-ish?

In light of the most unusual and, frankly, disturbing series of events that have transpired since the 2016 election of Donald Trump, Joe Biden has come to be revered by Democrats as the only candidate with the background and bravado to unseat the incumbent president. Electing another older, white, Christian, male as President of the United States may seem like it could be considered a step in the wrong direction, especially by those who remember Biden’s gaffe-ridden past and several “awkward” encounters with women. But for those who are shocked daily by our current President’s tweets and gaffes, someone like Biden could be a happy medium. The “Happy-Medium” candidate could be Biden’s m.o., especially in such a polarized political environment. He appeals to the more conservative Democrats, but also has a cool factor (as the aviator-wearing, ice cream-loving, bromantic Joe) that speaks to younger cohorts of voters. Maybe he could act as a unifying candidate to bring politics back to normalcy before the United States is ready for real and necessary change.

But nothing is for certain. Joe Biden is infamous for flirting with presidential bids. He ran unsuccessfully in 1988 and 2008, and his most recent potential bid was none other than the controversial 2016 race. Biden’s most recent attempt at the presidency never came to fruition because of his first son’s tragic death in May 2015. Before his son got sick, Biden was fully prepared to take on the Republicans and opposing Democrats. However, Beau’s diagnosis caused uncertainty, especially regarding whether to launch a full-blown presidential campaign. In many of the interviews for “Promise Me, Dad”, his new memoir about the loss of his son and his decision not to run in 2016, the former V.P. makes especially clear the one thing Beau (an aspiring politician himself) asked of his father: run for President. But Biden did not follow up on his 2016 presidential bid, opting against getting involved in the scrutinizing media storm and brutal schedule, both unfortunate and inevitable consequences of running for the highest office.

But there is still hope for those who believe the jovial and candid Biden can unite our country. The Pennsylvania-native still thinks he has a shot, and vehemently believes he is the best-suited candidate for the job. Although he would be the oldest president ever to be sworn in (at 79 years old on inauguration day in 2021), he seems more confident than ever about rebuilding a now-polarized America. In a recent interview with Vanity Fair, Joe Biden’s wife, Jill, made clear where he is headed next. Talking about the couple’s next steps, as well as Beau’s thoughts on the presidency, she said, “He wouldn’t want us to grieve forever, although you do. So, moving forward, what would Beau want Joe to do? You can probably answer that question.”

This statement is vague but affirmative—Beau would have wanted Joe to run. The Biden family and their representatives have made no official statement regarding the 2020 election, but there is speculation that the book tour to promote “Promise Me, Dad” is a test-run of Biden’s stamina for a potential bid. There is no doubt President Trump lit a fire under Joe Biden. He has been incredibly outspoken about the current American leader, harshly criticizing his persona as detrimental to the country’s democratic institutions and integrity. Only time will tell if a seasoned and relatively moderate candidate like Biden will be the cure to our country’s current state of political discord and disarray.