Op-Ed: My Concerns with Biden’s Candidacy


Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia commons.

Kolja Westhues, Journalist

A few days after Super Tuesday, Joe Biden is leading in the 2020 Democratic Party presidential primaries. As a supporter of Bernie Sanders, I am disappointed in this turn of events, as Sanders seemed to have a significant lead until recently.

Biden won Super Tuesday for a few main reasons: his name recognition, a series of important endorsements nights before the Super Tuesday, and a wave of momentum from his win in South Carolina. This has been supported by exit polls conducted on Super Tuesday, which show about 40 percent of Joe Biden voters were late deciders.

I believe many of these reasons are because Biden’s voters were blind to his major problems as a candidate, and chose the wrong reasons to support him. 

Biden’s support in a socially progressive ideology began recently, which is suspicious. As recently as the 1990s, Biden was a staunch opponent of certain healthcare distribution methods. Additionally, he was not a supporter of gay marriage until the 2000s and even voted for the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996.

Biden also voted for the Iraq War in 2002, an objectively bad idea that led the United States into two decades of direct military involvement in Iraq. There were a few in Congress who voted against the war, notably Senator Bernie Sanders.

I take issue with Biden’s view on the future of the country. He is a centrist who believes in a return to the status quo. Centrism is a big part of what led to Trump being elected. This is because centrism—and neoliberalism—leads to little progress. Centrism also leads to extreme responses from the political right, as shown by President Barack Obama’s presidency being followed by Donald Trump’s.

An interesting observation I have made is that Biden shares commonalities with Hillary Clinton. They both have questionable histories and mask themselves as progressive. For example, they were both were against gay marriage in the 1990s and 2000s and were both strong advocates for the Iraq War.

Additionally, both of their campaigns suffer from a lack of vibrant support, something typical of centrists. To defeat Donald Trump and his impassioned fan base, the Democratic party will need the biggest voter turnout in history. I do not believe that Joe Biden has this kind of support.

However, Sanders does. This has become clear on social media, where he has a large amount of vocal support on platforms such as Twitter. Major polls have Sanders beating Trump by quite a large margin.

Aside from Biden’s changing and dangerous political opinions, he is also a poor choice for the Democratic nomination. His ability to be a competent public persona has diminished over the years.

Biden used to be a renowned and compelling public speaker, but he has clearly lost this ability in the 2020 campaign. 

One example of this is in a video of Biden speaking where he makes a statement that no one has any idea what he is talking about: “And by the way you know I sit on the stand, and to get hot I got hairy legs that.. that turn um blonde in the sun, and the kids used to come up and reach in the pool and rub my leg down so it was (indecipherable) and watch the hair come back up again, and look at it. So I learned about roaches, and I learned about kids jumping on my lap, and I love kids jumping on my lap.”


Over the summer, Biden also showed cognitive decline.

“We have this notion that somehow if you’re poor, poor kids are just as talented and just as bright as white kids,” he told the press. 

Biden realized his snafu moments later and tried to recover, but that did not change what he had said. He shows an inability to formulate coherent statements on the fly, which is essential to debating.

This is a huge problem in a potential general election against Trump, a solid debater who works well with crowds and is quick on his feet. I am not confident that Biden could compete with Trump in a debate, a fact that could lead to an easy reelection for Trump.

When it gets down to it, Biden has little chance at beating our current president. The only candidate who has a chance at defeating Trump is Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. In my opinion, a vote against Sanders is, in the long run, a vote for Trump.