Biden is leading the polls. But his other presidential bids were disasters.Breaking News
tags: political history, presidential history, Joe Biden, 2020 Election
“Today, I announce my candidacy for president of the United States of America,” said Joseph R. Biden Jr., the 44-year-old junior senator from Delaware, standing before the Wilmington train station in June 1987. The Democrat called for generational change and urged voters to reject the status quo established by President Ronald Reagan and Vice President George H.W. Bush.
Now 76, Biden is the same age Reagan was in that summer of 1987.
Today, it is Biden’s generation that’s being asked to step aside. But on Thursday, he announced a third campaign for the Democratic nomination for president.
“The most eloquent case against his current candidacy came from his own mouth in 1987,” said Paul Taylor, a former reporter who covered the campaign for The Washington Post.
Here’s a look at how Biden’s first two campaigns went. (Hint: not well.)
1987: Soaring oratory and plagiarism
With the end of the Reagan era just around the corner, Bush was already the GOP’s presumptive nominee. Sen. Gary Hart, a Colorado Democrat, was an exciting, young reform candidate who was hoping to become his party’s choice after narrowly losing in 1984. Then reports emerged that Hart was having a sexual relationship outside of his marriage. His campaign burned up like a meteor in the atmosphere, leaving no clear front-runner. That gave Biden a clearer opening.
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