When it comes to presidential politics, it only takes a few months after an election for those opposed to the new commander-in-chief to start looking ahead four years. With the election of Donald Trump as president in Nov. 2016, that looking ahead intensified, with many wondering whether former candidates may choose to run again in 2020. That speculation has now turned to former Vice President Joe Biden, whose upcoming New Hampshire speech, scheduled for April 30, could hint at a presidential run in the future.
Biden's "will-he-or-won't-he" dance is very well-documented. Despite announcing in 2015 that he wouldn't be running in 2016 due to the death of his son Beau months prior, he said multiple times that he regretted not running for president — most recently at a late March 2017 speech at Colgate University in New York:
Do I regret not being president? Yes. Do I regret not running for president, in light of everything that was going on in my life at the time? No.
His speech at the New Hampshire Democratic Party's fundraising dinner on April 30 will take place just over a month after voicing his regret to the audience at Colgate, and will add fuel to the Biden 2020 fire that inspired so many before and after the election.
Biden's distaste for Trump is almost as well-documented as his flirting with the idea of a presidential run. During his speech at Colgate in March, he used harsh words and reportedly raised his voice in discussing the type of man he believes Trump to be:
The attempt to delegitimize the press — "fake news" — is the first act of any political scoundrel. We are uniquely a product of our political constitution.
If and when Biden decides to run, it will almost certainly be fueled by the same anti-Trump and progressive fervor that has seen so many millennials planning on running for political office in 2018.
Given the typical timeline for announcing candidacies, it's very unlikely that Biden would come straight out with his plans to run three-and-a-half years before the election. That said, we are in a unique political situation with Trump, and it's safe to predict that all bets are off about what kind of news we'll get about the presidency between now and 2020.
As with Bernie Sanders supporters, those looking ahead to 2020 must temper their desire to see a familiar face atop the Democratic ticket with the recognition that their hypothetical candidate may simply be too old to run by then. Biden is now 74, and will be just shy of 78 by the time the election rolls around.