A Democratic presidential primary race that has appeared to have just about everything just got a headliner.
Former Vice President Joe Biden, who has represented Delaware on stages around the world, finally made an official announcement that he will be running for president—again.
Biden made the announcement Thursday via a video on Facebook and Twitter and framed the race as a referendum on the United States’ global reputation.
“The core values of this nation, our standing in the world, our very democracy, everything that has made America, America, is at stake,” Biden said in the video. “That’s why today I’m announcing my candidacy for President of the United States.”
This is the 76-year-old Biden’s third try for the Democratic nomination, and he enters the crowded race as an immediate favorite in the party’s attempt to unseat Donald Trump.
Many polls have Biden as the choice to pick up the nomination, but it’s early in the campaign cycle. The Iowa Caucuses won’t take place until February 3, and the New Hampshire primary will be held eight days later.
Biden’s resume is indeed impressive, thanks to his eight years as VP during the Obama administration and six terms as one of Delaware’s U.S. senators. However, his previous presidential candidacies have been marred by accusations of plagiarism and some speechifying missteps that, while largely innocent in motive, cast him as somewhat insensitive at times. His position regarding Anita Hill, who in 1991 accused Supreme Court justice nominee Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment, has recently been called into question, as well. Plus, Biden’s touchy-feely tendencies with women have made him the subject of memes, jokes, “Saturday Night Live” sketches and accusations that he is out of touch in the #MeToo world.
But for many, that’s part of Biden’s charm. He’s like that somewhat eccentric uncle who just happens to have chaired the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Others wonder whether he will stumble again on the trail and provide more fodder for his critics, while making himself vulnerable to challenges from the many other Democratic candidates and perhaps eventually Trump.
Biden’s announcement has already received attention from the president via Twitter.
Welcome to the race Sleepy Joe. I only hope you have the intelligence, long in doubt, to wage a successful primary campaign. It will be nasty – you will be dealing with people who truly have some very sick & demented ideas. But if you make it, I will see you at the Starting Gate!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 25, 2019
No matter what happens, Biden joins the race in a strong position to raise funds and run a successful campaign. If he can channel his experience, competence and success—while doing nothing else meme-worthy—he just might end up in a general election fight with Trump come next summer.