- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 6, 2016

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Democrats have a real leadership crisis — so much so that Vice President Joe Biden won’t rule out a presidential run come 2020.

“I am going to run in 2020,” Mr. Biden told a group of reporters in the Capitol, Monday, when asked about his political future, according to The Hill. “What the hell man, anyway.”

Asked if he was serious, Mr. Biden said he’s “not committed” to running.

Mr. Biden will be 78 years old in 2020.

It’s crazy to start thinking about the 2020 presidential contest when this year’s election has just concluded, but Democrats have a lot to be worried about. Mr. Biden was likely joking when he said he was considering a run — but in saying it, he’s admitting a hard truth — that there is no next in line in the Democratic Party, no firm future direction.

The House of Representatives re-elected Nancy Pelosi as minority leader, doubling down on the party’s losing coastal elitist strategy. Under both her and President Obama’s helm, Democrats have lost 12 governorships, 14 U.S. Senate seats, 69 House seats and 910 legislative seats.

Of the 700 counties Mr. Obama won twice while running for president, Donald Trump flipped nearly a third, mostly in rural, Rust Belt states.

Mr. Biden knows this — and he knows his appeal is to the white, working-class citizens — a segment no one in the Democratic Party currently represents.

Mrs. Pelosi represents the liberal interests of California, and Rep. Keith Ellison — who is expected to run to become the chairman of the Democratic National Committee — is a progressive liberal from Minnesota, who has stoked backlash among his own party for making anti-Semitic remarks. Mr. Ellison is the first Muslim elected to the House.

The progressive wing of the Democratic Party deepens with Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Vermont’s Bernard Sanders. Mrs. Warren is 67, and Mr. Sanders is 75.

Mr. Biden could separate himself from this crowd by appealing to the working-class crowds Mr. Trump won in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan and Iowa. Mr. Biden was dispatched as a blue-collar surrogate for Hillary Clinton in the Rust Belt this year.

Plus, he wants to run — he’s always wanted to run.

If it weren’t for the tragic death of his son Beau last year, the entire trajectory of the 2016 campaign could’ve turned out differently.

Asked by The Associated Press in January if he regretted his decision, Mr. Biden replied: “I regret it every day.”

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