One of the scenarios that is being discussed, regarding the Democratic Party and the Presidential Election of 2020, is that former Vice President Joe Biden and former Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke might be the ticket to victory.
Biden remains in the lead in many public opinion polls, and has long been admired and loved by many Americans, including this blogger. Of course, in a career of 44 years in government, some of his initiatives, including a tough crime bill, making it more difficult to declare bankruptcy, and his conduct of the Clarence Thomas-Anita Hill Supreme Court hearings, undermine his appeal to many. Also, his tendency to talk too much, and in an embarrassing manner, also is not appealing to many.
On the other hand, his 36 years in the Senate, including chairmanship of the Senate Judiciary Committee and Senate Foreign Relations Committee has made highly respected by many legal authorities and foreign policy specialists, as well as the leadership of many foreign nations.
Beto O’Rourke ran a very close race in Texas against Senator Ted Cruz, and has a very appealing personality, and has the added edge of looking as if he is related to the former Attorney General and US Senator Robert F. Kennedy, with whom he shares the same first and middle name. Even though he is not a Kennedy, he reminds many of the former Presidential contender who was assassinated in 1968.
However, O’Rourke has some youthful arrests that could dog him, and is seen by many as too moderate a Democrat, although one must realize he is from El Paso, Texas, not exactly a site of overly progressive heritage. Many might say he is a “Blue Dog” Democrat in his six years career in the House of Representatives, now ended.
So for Progressives who like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden and Beto O’Rourke seem too moderate and centrist, and it all comes down to whether a Sanders or a Warren could actually carry the nation, and make up for the shortcomings of Hillary Clinton in the Midwest and among white working class voters.
Biden being 78 at the time of the next inauguration is definitely a problem, but O’Rourke would be 48. It all comes down to selection of a running mate who Joe Biden would be compatible with, which in Joe’s case is not a big problem, because he gets along well with most people he has associated with, and has a record of “crossing the aisle” and working with Republicans, many of whom admire and praise him, even if they disagree on the issues.