Joe Biden Announces Bid for the Democratic Nomination

Former Vice President Joseph Biden announced on Thursday his decision to seek the Democratic nomination in the 2020 presidential election.

Biden released a nearly four-minute-long video which called on voters to defeat President Donald Trump in the upcoming election. The 76-year-old, who joins nearly two dozen Democrats in the presidential race, cast the election as a critical “battle for the soul of the nation.”

The video kicks off discussing the importance of Charlottesville, Virginia, the home of founding father Thomas Jefferson and site of the deadly 2017 Unite the Right Rally.

In August 2017, Klansmen, white supremacists, and neo-Nazis descended on the city in a frightening, tiki torch-filled march and were met by counter-protesters. The violent rally ended when white supremacist James Alex Fields Jr. rammed his vehicle into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing one. He was found guilty of first-degree murder by a state jury in December 2018, NBC News reported. Shortly after the rally, President Trump claimed that there were “very fine people on both sides.” This comment spurred Biden to run for president. “I knew the threat to our nation was unlike any I’d ever seen in my lifetime,” Biden said in the video.

Biden warned against Trump’s reelection. “He will forever and fundamentally alter the character of this nation, who we are, and I cannot stand by and watch that happen.”

During a fundraising event in Philadelphia on Thursday, Biden continued to denounce the president’s response to the Charlottesville march, The New York Times reported. He also attacked Trump for his “embrace of dictators and oligarchs” and his repeated attacks on the courts, the press and Congress. Biden, who joins 20 other Democrats in the race for the White House, is already considered a frontrunner. In a recent poll released by Morning Consult, Biden leads Democratic primary voters by six percentage points, with the support of 30 percent of respondents. He is followed by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt), with 24 percent, and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, with 9 percent.

Despite leading in the polls, Biden’s bit was not well received by all, particularly women of color. Many Democrats are hoping that the party will be represented by a nominee who reflects the country’s growing diversity, not an older white man. During the She the People forum, the first presidential forum focused on women of color, organizer Roxy D. Hall Williamson appeared frustrated by the thought of Biden’s campaign announcement.

“I know that we have been cultured to feel that only the white man can save us,” Williamson said on Wednesday, according to the Associated Press (AP). “I just don’t feel like Biden is our answer.”

Of the 21 Democrats running for the White House, only six are people of color. Two are women of color: California Senator Kamala Harris and Pamela Rocker, a transgender Black woman and resident of Cheviot, Ohio. It remains unclear whether former Georgia mayoral candidate Stacey Abrams will add her name to the ring.

LaTosha Brown, the co-founder of Black Voters Matter, told the AP she was initially for Biden entering the race but has since changed her mind. “I’m over white men running the country,” Brown said. “I don’t know if him getting in changes the field. He has name recognition, but his strength is also his weakness.” Brown added, “To ignite the kind of base that needs to be ignited to beat Trump, I’m not sure he moves them.”

About the Author

Nicole Rojas is a breaking news writer for The North Star. She has published in various venues, including Newsweek, GlobalPost, IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly, and the Long Island Post. Nicole graduated from Boston University in 2012 with a degree in print journalism. She is an avid world traveler who recently explored Asia and Australia.