pcloudy.png
Tuesday June 25th, 2019 1:54PM

Dem in limbo as Biden's 2020 decision 'a few weeks' away

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

WASHINGTON (AP) — The political world may have to wait yet another "few weeks" to learn whether one of the biggest names in Democratic politics is running for president.

With frustration mounting about his indecision, former Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday teased out themes for a possible presidential candidacy and railed against President Donald Trump as he faced a cheering crowd of firefighters gathered in Washington. After they chanted, "Run, Joe, run!" the 76-year-old Democrat told them to save their energy because "I may need it in a few weeks."

"Be careful what you wish for," Biden added.

And with that, the Democratic presidential primary is effectively in a state of suspended animation. More than a dozen Democrats have already launched formal 2020 presidential campaigns. Biden, who is his party's best-known and best-connected presidential prospect, is not among them. Neither is former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke, another Democratic heavyweight who plans to visit Iowa this weekend in the strongest sign yet that he may soon join the 2020 Democratic field.

In a new ad running on social media Tuesday, O'Rourke indicated he's already "made a decision about how I think we can best continue the work we started" and encouraged supporters to sign up for campaign updates.

But until both men make their decisions public, many prospective staffers, donors, and activists are in limbo waiting for the biggest remaining questions about the 2020 field to be answered.

Biden's delay, in particular, has frustrated some Democratic officials — and even some of his own advisers, who expected him to declare his intentions in January. His team has been working to line up support with prospective staff on the ground in early primary states and former colleagues on Capitol Hill should he decide to run.

Not knowing for sure what he'll decide, Biden's associates have made no formal job offers or outlined a timeline for his decision for potential allies as they work to lay the groundwork for a 2020 campaign. As of Tuesday afternoon, his advisers had not yet gotten a greenlight from Biden that he's in, but they expected a decision was days away.

As they wait, some are losing patience.

New Hampshire state Rep. Wendy Thomas said she "adores Joe" and has known him for years. But she doesn't think Biden running for president would be the right move.

"I love him. I think he needs to step aside, and we need to get a younger perspective and youthful energy," Thomas said in a recent interview.

Yet there was new evidence on Tuesday that at least one major group of working-class voters was willing to wait. The International Association of Fire Fighters is "all in" for Biden should he run, said the union's general president, Harold A. Schaitberger.

Biden has working-class credibility and hails from Scranton, Pennsylvania. But there's an open question as to how much he could win back blue-collar voters who abandoned the Democratic Party for Trump, particularly in the upper Midwest.

Schaitberger acknowledged that many of his union members voted for Trump in 2016. But he argued that Biden is better positioned to win in the Midwest than other Democrats in the primary.

"You win the presidency with an electoral (college) victory," Schaitberger said. "It doesn't matter if you get 6 million more votes in California, and 2 million more votes in New Jersey, and a million and a half more in Massachusetts."

Biden's speech, which lasted about 30 minutes, was directed toward working-class voters as he presented a vision of America that he repeatedly contrasted with the politics — and president — of the moment.

"We can't be divided by race, religion, by tribe. We're defined by those enduring principles in the Constitution, even though we don't necessarily all know them," Biden said. "In America, everybody gets a shot."

Repeatedly, though, he tore into Republicans — and Trump — as supporting policies that favor the wealthy to the detriment of the middle and working classes. And he criticized Trump, who he said didn't understand the country's founding ideals "at all."

Frequently, Biden returned to themes that were geared toward the working-class voters whom he has criticized Democrats for ignoring.

"I'm a union guy. Labor makes a gigantic difference," he said, questioning those who opposed collective bargaining rights by asking: "Who the hell are these guys?"

He singled out the Republican-championed tax cut signed into law by Trump, arguing that Republicans want to pay for it with devastating cuts to the social safety net.

"I'll never understand people who fight you on the basics, like safety, fair play, health care," Biden said.

While he may be popular among working-class men, it's unclear how well Biden would be received by the energized coalition of women and minorities that helped send the most diverse class in history to Congress in last fall's midterm elections.

Toni Van Pelt, the president of the National Organization for Women, said Democrats should nominate a woman to go up against Trump in 2020.

Biden may have "grown into becoming a feminist," she said, but "he was raised with the privilege of being a white man."

"There will probably be a group of people who feel only an old white man may be capable of running the country," Van Pelt said. "I don't believe it."

___

Peoples reported from Concord, N.H. Associated Press writer Hunter Woodall in Manchester, N.H., contributed to this report.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Elections, General Election News, General Presidential Election News
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Gene-edited food quietly arrives in restaurant cooking oil
A Midwestern restaurant is using cooking oil made from soybeans gene edited to be healthier and longer lasting
4:46PM ( 9 minutes ago )
Dem in limbo as Biden's 2020 decision 'a few weeks' away
Democrats in limbo as Biden's 2020 decision 'a few weeks' away
4:46PM ( 10 minutes ago )
Trump's national monument changes return to spotlight
Trump's national monument changes return to spotlight 18 months after most recommendations made
4:45PM ( 10 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
TV stars and coaches charged in college bribery scheme
Hollywood actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin have been charged along with nearly 50 other people in what prosecutors say was a scheme in which wealthy parents paid bribes to get their children into some of the nation's most elite colleges
4:14PM ( 41 minutes ago )
Confederate statue removed from historic N Carolina court
A North Carolina city has taken away the base and column that supported a Confederate statue as it finishes up removal of the monument
4:06PM ( 49 minutes ago )
Push for broader LGBT rights slowed by lack of GOP support
Congress will soon consider a comprehensive LGBT nondiscrimination bill, but it could well be doomed by lack of Republican support
4:06PM ( 49 minutes ago )
AP National News
Indian Ocean exploration makes historic undersea broadcast
Historic live broadcast made by Indian Ocean exploration mission of scientific work underway
2:34PM ( 2 hours ago )
More Boeings grounded amid global probe into Ethiopia crash
More Boeing planes grounded, barred amid global investigation into Ethiopia Airlines crash
1:59PM ( 2 hours ago )
At age 30, World Wide Web is 'not the web we wanted'
At the ripe old age of 30 and with half the globe using it, the World Wide Web is facing growing pains with issues like hate speech, privacy concerns and state-sponsored hacking, its creator says.
1:23PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Online National News
Bernie Sanders makes top Iowa, New Hampshire hires for 2020
Sen. Bernie Sanders has hired four key Iowa staffers and three veterans in New Hampshire, building out a team of old and new staff as he makes his second bid for president
2:59PM ( 1 hour ago )
Algerians keep up pressure after president's half-concession
Algerian students protested against President Abdelaziz Bouteflika's decision to delay presidential elections indefinitely
2:16PM ( 2 hours ago )
'Run Joe Run' signs greet Biden at firefighters' speech
Former Vice President Joe Biden is criticizing President Donald Trump's leadership and questioning Republican's commitment to middle class America, teasing out themes of a possible 2020 presidential run
1:42PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Elections
A sleepy Iowa state Senate race is becoming all about 2020
Sleepy state Senate race is first Iowa electoral test for Democratic presidential hopefuls
12:22AM ( 16 hours ago )
The Latest: Hospital groups protest cuts in Trump budget
Hospital groups are objecting strongly to hundreds of billions of dollars in proposed Medicare and Medicaid payment cuts in President Donald Trump's budget
9:41PM ( 19 hours ago )
Beto O'Rourke plans first Iowa visit amid 2020 speculation
Former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke planning first Iowa visit as he mulls a presidential bid
9:41PM ( 19 hours ago )
General Election News
The Latest: US pulling out last of Caracas embassy staff
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the United States is withdrawing the last of its staff from its embassy in Venezuela, citing the deteriorating situation
3:32AM ( 13 hours ago )
The Latest: Frail leader shown on TV, Algerians celebrate
Algerian state news agency APS says President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has named the interior minister in his government as the new prime minister
6:18PM ( 22 hours ago )
Algeria's Bouteflika abandons bid for 5th term, delays vote
Algerian's president bows to unprecedented public protests and abandons bid for fifth term after 20 years in power, but postpones April election
3:44PM ( 1 day ago )
General Presidential Election News
Gene-edited food quietly arrives in restaurant cooking oil
A Midwestern restaurant is using cooking oil made from soybeans gene edited to be healthier and longer lasting
4:46PM ( 10 minutes ago )
Trump's national monument changes return to spotlight
Trump's national monument changes return to spotlight 18 months after most recommendations made
4:45PM ( 10 minutes ago )
Chief: Probe finds racially divided Detroit police precinct
Detroit's police chief says the department has fired a second white officer in an internal investigation that found racial insensitivity in the precinct where he worked
4:44PM ( 11 minutes ago )
May Day: UK Parliament rejects prime minister's Brexit deal
Britain's Parliament has delivered a crushing defeat to Prime Minister Theresa May's European Union divorce deal plunging the Brexit process into chaos just 17 days before the U.K. is due to leave the bloc
4:42PM ( 13 minutes ago )
Smollett team: Court cameras would show state's flimsy case
A lawyer for Jussie Smollett says she would welcome cameras in the courtroom during the "Empire" actor's trial on charges accusing him of lying to police about being the victim of a racist and homophobic attack
4:36PM ( 19 minutes ago )