Former Vice President Joe Biden's entry into the Democratic primary seemed quite likely after reports emerged that he'd been spotted with a film crew at his childhood Pennsylvania home. Then another 'secret' campaign ad shoot leaked, resulting in some Veep-style dysfunction. Yet another major clue emerged when former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe announced his decision to forego a 2020 run, in which he would have competed in the 'Biden lane.' Passing up the race was a strong indicator that McAuiffe, a former DNC chairman, had spoken with Biden and begged off for strategic reasons. Then a pair of reports dropped, starting with The Atlantic, confirming that Uncle Joe is getting in -- and soon:
Joe Biden is running. The former vice president will make his candidacy official with a video announcement next Wednesday, according to people familiar with the discussions who have been told about them by top aides. Seriously, he’s actually made a decision. It’s taken two years of back-and-forth, it’ll be his third (or, depending on how you count, seventh) try for the White House, and many people thought he wouldn’t do it, but the biggest factor reshaping the 2020 Democratic-primary field is locking into place...He wants this. He really wants this. He’s wanted this since he was first elected to the Senate, in 1972, and he’s decided that he isn’t too old, isn’t too out of sync with the current energy in the Democratic Party, and certainly wasn’t going to be chased out by the women who accused him of making them feel uncomfortable or demeaned because of how he’d touched them. Biden’s campaign will, at its core, argue that the response to Donald Trump requires an experienced, calm hand to help America take a deep breath and figure out a way to get back on track.
If this report is accurate, that announcement video would drop tomorrow. We've also learned that Biden has started lining up what he hopes will be some decent fundraising totals to look strong out of the gate -- and that he's staffing up with a small army of Obama alumni:
Scoop: Biden has hired over a dozen senior advisors from the Obama administration for his 2020 campaign. Many of them worked for team Clinton in ‘16 while others were key players in the 2018 congressional midterm elections. https://t.co/njKpc71Kr8— Brian Schwartz (@schwartzbCNBC) April 19, 2019
Former Vice President Joe Biden and his team have hired over a dozen senior advisors from President Barack Obama’s administration for his upcoming 2020 campaign for president, CNBC has learned. Many of these people didn’t work within Biden’s office throughout Obama’s tenure as president, but they have extensive campaign experience ranging from political consulting to communications, according to sources with direct knowledge of the matter...Numerous former Obama White House advisors who have been brought on to work with Biden’s team, have yet to hear where the campaign will be headquartered. But they expect it will be either in Delaware or Pennsylvania. Biden was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania and as a Senator, represented the First State for over three decades.
Biden will enter the contest as the national frontrunner, according to extremely early polling, with Bernie Sanders running a close second. Speaking of Bernie, surging candidate Pete Buttigieg -- the Mayor of South Bend, Indiana -- raised some eyebrows over the weekend by suggesting that the Vermont Socialist's base and the president's MAGA base are motivated by similar loathing of the system. The knives on the Bernie Left are unsheathed:
In an attack on Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg compared him to Donald Trump. A better comparison would have been looking in a mirror.— Walker Bragman (@WalkerBragman) April 21, 2019
Both Buttigieg and Trump cut their teeth gentrifying cities at the expense of low income minority communities. pic.twitter.com/6c2Y0uPWtP
Pete Buttigieg is officially over. He just blamed Trump AND Bernie voters for the problems we currently face. pic.twitter.com/Yd1n56ZtaL— citizen uprising (@cit_uprising) April 21, 2019
There's some truth to what Mayor Pete is saying, of course, as many Sanders fans have noted in the past. But campaign season is officially underway, so fulminating umbrage is inevitable. Parting thought: The various attempts to keep Biden out of the race have apparently failed. Who becomes his first major rival to throw a hard roundhouse at him?