Former US Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday formally joined the crowded Democratic presidential contest, betting that his working-class appeal and ties to Barack Obama‘s presidency will help him overcome questions about his place in today’s increasingly liberal Democratic Party.
He made his announcement in a video posted on Twitter.
The core values of this nation… our standing in the world… our very democracy…everything that has made America — America –is at stake. That’s why today I’m announcing my candidacy for President of the United States. #Joe2020 https://t.co/jzaQbyTEz3
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) April 25, 2019
Biden’s Thursday’s announcement marks the unofficial end of the chaotic early phase of the 2020 presidential season.
The field now features at least 20 Democrats jockeying for the chance to take on President Donald Trump next year. Several lesser-known candidates may still join the race, reports AP.
Biden, a 76-year-old lifelong politician, becomes an instant front-runner alongside Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who is leading many polls and has proved to be a successful fundraiser.
Among Democrats, Biden has unmatched international and legislative experience, and he is among the best-known faces in U.S. politics.
But the anti-establishment wave that swept Trump into office has not been kind to either party’s statesmen. Biden’s team worries about his fundraising ability and his tendency to commit gaffes. His centrist approach in a party moving left on major policy debates raises questions about his appeal.
Four years Trump’s senior, Biden would be the oldest person ever elected president should he win. Yet his allies believe the skeptics will ultimately warm to his strong connections to the Obama years.
Biden has said he would campaign as an “Obama-Biden Democrat,” who is as pragmatic as he is progressive. He’s aiming to be a conduit between working-class white voters and the younger, more diverse voters who backed Obama in historic numbers.
The Republican Party wasted no time seeking to undercut Biden’s record, releasing a video on Wednesday questioning economic growth under Obama and Biden while resurrecting conservative arguments against Obama’s health care law and a failed investment in green energy company Solyndra.
The video ends with the words, “Joe Biden: Backwards, not forwards.”