Joe Biden chats to Oprah about running in 2020
Joe Biden’s been constantly asked whether he’s considered running for president in 2020. One person who could get that answer out in a perfect soundbite? Oprah Winfrey, of course.
The former U.S. Vice President sat down for a chat with my personal presidential preference, Winfrey, to discuss the possibility of a presidential campaign, the tragic loss of his family, and his new memoir, Promise Me, Dad: A Year of Hope, Hardship, and Purpose.
During the “SuperSoul Sunday” session, set in a rather pleasant woodland situation, Biden told the media mogul that he wasn’t planning on running in 2020.
“No, not yet. And I say that “not yet” because look, I’m a great respecter of fate. I don’t plan on running,” he said.
“Here’s my problem: You know, I learned how to become one of the most popular elected officials in the United States. Announce you’re not running for president — it’s amazing, boom! Things go, you know, it really gets good.”
“But I’m asked to speak a lot in political fore, and I’m doing it not nearly as often as I’m asked because every time I’m asked, they translate it and ‘I’m running for president.’”
“I promise you, I’m not doing anything to organise running, but I’m going to go out there and continue to do what I’ve done since I was 26 years old: holler.”
So, while we’re on the presidential campaign, elephant in the room: does Biden think he could have beaten Hillary Clinton for nomination? “Yes, but it would have been an incredibly difficult race, and I have nothing but friendship for Hillary” he told Winfrey, who immediately notes the speculation surrounding Biden’s potential candidacy, that he “wouldn’t want to take on the Clinton factor.”
Biden acknowledges said speculation, including the idea that he “wouldn’t want to be the guy denying a woman that opportunity.” But Biden clarified his real reason for not running as being related to his son, Beau Biden, a former Delaware attorney general who died at 45 from brain cancer in May 2015.
“It was real simple. My son was dying. I couldn’t tell anybody. The only person I could confide in was Barack — he’s the only one who had to know.
“Do I regret not being president? Yeah, I do. But I made the right decision for my family.”
“[Beau] would have killed me, if I announced that I wasn’t running because of my son, because he wanted me to run.” Biden says that his family urged him to run, eventually, but he didn’t, because his grief was so significant “that I didn’t think I could do the job that I would have to do.”
Biden’s quite candid about his choice, but still tells Winfrey that he would have like to have commandeered the White House in the top spot.
“Do I regret not being president? Yeah, I do. But I made the right decision for my family, I believe, at that time. And I thought that we had a really, incredibly qualified candidate to be president.”
I can see an incredibly qualified candidate to be president sitting on the opposite couch, tbh.