With the 2018 midterms finally over and the beginning of 2019 at least somewhat visible on the horizon, it's finally acceptable to dive headfirst into 2020 speculation. The 2020 presidential election is, after all, less than two years away. But could Joe Biden and Beto O'Rourke be 2020 running mates? The idea of a Biden-O'Rourke ticket is reportedly already being tossed around.
For Aaliyah, age was "nothing but a number." But for former Vice President Biden, age could be a potentially serious roadblock should he choose to pursue a path back to the White House. According to the Associated Press, Biden has recently been conferring with his inner circle about whether his age — the former VP is 76 now and would be 78 at the time of his swearing in if elected in 2020 — might pose a problem should he launch a bid for the White House.
The news outlet notes that, if elected, Biden would be the oldest person to have become president of the United States. But some of Biden's advisers have reportedly floated the idea of teaming the former vice president up with a much younger running mate, namely 46-year-old Rep. Beto O'Rourke of Texas.
And maybe the idea isn't completely far fetched. According to Real Clear Politics' A.B. Stoddard, a Biden-O'Rourke ticket is Democrats' "strongest chance at victory" in 2020.
"Biden's appeal as a quasi-incumbent is his ability to slide into office with an experienced staff, ready to reset relationships with allies around the world he already has relationships with, and prepared for the challenges from adversaries like the supreme leader in Iran, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Kim Jung Un in North Korea," Stoddard noted. But already in his late 70s, it's unlikely that Biden would seek a second presidential term if elected. And, according to Stoddard, that's where O'Rourke comes in.
Stoddard argues that O'Rourke, who generated significant voter enthusiasm during the midterms despite narrowly losing to Republican incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz, could boost the Democratic Party's appeal in 2020 and then set himself up for a 2024 presidential bid after essentially being "trained" by Biden.
Further fueling speculation of a Biden-O'Rourke ticket is the fact that both men recently topped an Iowa voter poll aimed at gauging support for potential Democratic 2020 candidates. According to CNN, 32 percent of likely Iowa caucusgoers said Biden would be their first choice for Democrat's 2020 ticket. Nineteen percent said they'd pick Sen. Bernie Sanders and 11 percent said they'd support O'Rourke first.
Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris were reported to have the support of 8 and 5 percent of respondents, respectively, with the remaining 15 potential candidates listed in the poll garnering less than 5 percent of caucusgoers' support. What's more, the poll found that the majority of likely Iowa caucusgoers preferred a "seasoned hand" — 49 percent — over a "newcomer" — 36 percent — for the Democratic 2020 ticket.
Although Biden has said he's not officially made up his mind about whether he'll run against President Donald Trump, he touted himself as "the most qualified person in the country to be president" while speaking in Montana earlier this month, according to The Washington Post.
"The issues we face as a country today are the issues that have been in my wheelhouse, that I've worked on my whole life," Biden said.