Decoding Joe Biden’s 2020 ambitions

Joe Biden has a job: to raise money for the Democratic Party, push President Obama’s policies, and be positive for a campaign that has not, until now, been focused on him. This week’s delay…

Decoding Joe Biden's 2020 ambitions

Joe Biden has a job: to raise money for the Democratic Party, push President Obama’s policies, and be positive for a campaign that has not, until now, been focused on him.

This week’s delay on a vote on the infrastructure bill testifies to his tough job, forcing him to talk about his legacy without a serious opponent on the radar.

Joe Biden’s Agenda Uncertain After Progressives Force Delay on Infrastructure Vote

It’s not just his legacy at stake. The House vote on the bill offers a peek into the priorities of some of the 2016 hopefuls. Biden has not yet set his plans for the 2016 election. But beyond his ambition to one day fill the chair in the Oval Office, he is a political commodity, and Democrats are still divided on how to better utilize him.

The administration is focused on tax reform and infrastructure, but progressives like Representative Raul Grijalva of Arizona and Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont have made clear that the Democrats should move more aggressively against the same-sex marriage ruling of 2010 and the Affordable Care Act. And Senator Elizabeth Warren is out front on calls for a new, tougher financial regulation.

With Biden, it’s important to remember that he is the Democratic Party’s finest counselor, and a team of bankers helped raise hundreds of millions of dollars for Barack Obama’s campaigns. He is also wealthy, born into privilege but gained his reputation with campaigns that mobilized blue-collar workers. So he is uniquely positioned to be a tough advocate for progressive causes, even if he sees himself as a compromiser.

And Biden has said he wants to see his economic plan approved before the next election. That’s another reason to assume a Biden run, because this plan was the last major piece he worked on with Democrats in the run-up to the last election.

It’s not an area where the public disagrees with the President — 78% say we need more funding for roads and bridges — and 57% think we need to hire more federal workers. But the public believes Democrats are using the wrong strategy. And Biden’s time in office exposes a glaring potential Achilles heel: the failure to deliver significant change on poverty in a country with the world’s highest rates of income inequality.

For even if Democrats choose to follow a cautious Clinton or a less-vocal Sanders, there’s still Biden.

Joe Biden’s Agenda Uncertain After Progressives Force Delay on Infrastructure Vote

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