The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
When Will Joe Biden Announce He's Running for President?
Vice-President Joe Biden is said to be ready to announce that he will run for president in 2016.
According to a series of sources, starting with Fox News, confidantes of the vice-president said that he would make an official announcement within the next two days and is looking to hire campaign staff.
As The Nation’s Joan Walsh wrote Monday, a string of top-level Washington reporters with sources in the White House, were saying that Biden was unimpressed by the field challenging Hillary Clinton in the first Democratic Party debate (the Washington Post’s Dan Balz); that he would not be “bullied” by the Clinton campaign (CBS); that he stood for Biden “values” as opposed to Clinton values (The New York Times’ Maureen Dowd); and that Biden would make an announcement within days (NBC’s Kristen Welker and CNBC’s John Harwood).
We don’t know yet if these are the final trial balloons, which can burst with “What are you thinking Joe?” pushbacks, or real scoops.
But we know that Biden has run for the presidency twice before, in 1987 and in 2008, where Obama picked him as his running mate. After serving under President Obama for almost seven years, it is not surprising that he has thought considerably about jumping into the ring.
Seeing the presidency from his vantage point, it is likely that he felt more qualified than ever, even if he is getting started late and faces formidable competition from Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. As anyone who has been around presidential campaigns will tell you, it is impossible to shake off the presidential bug once bitten.
But that doesn’t mean it’s a wise, smart or shrewd idea—and that’s especially true for Biden. If he’s getting advice from players who are as far on the inside as the DC journalists who were breaking or leaking this story, that’s not a good sign. After all, the race is one where political outsiders are flourishing. Doesn’t Biden realize that he can only run as the most inside of Washington insiders?
How Biden’s would-be entrance into the race will affect the increasingly tight Democratic contest remains to be seen. Presumably, he has Obama’s backing, which is a big deal, as Obama is still the party leader. Although it is possible that Obama will take a hands-off approach until he has to get involved in order to protect his legacy. Right now, there’s no pressure on Obama to do anything.
How Biden reshuffles Democratic polling numbers is another question. According to a recent survey by Public Policy Polling, Clinton is still the top choice of Democrats nationwide but Biden would have slightly more support that Sanders.
On Oct. 6, PPP included Biden in its questioning and subsequently wrote:
“We also tested a fantasy field in which all of the names that have been thrown out there as possible Clinton challengers in recent months were included. Clinton gets 37 percent to 20 percent for Biden, 19 percent for Sanders, 11 percent for Elizabeth Warren, 4 percent for Al Gore, 2 percent each for Michael Dukakis and John Kerry, and 1 percent for Martin O'Malley. When you throw Warren, Gore, Dukakis, and Kerry into the mix Clinton still holds on to 83 percent of the people who support her in the actual field of candidates, compared to 80 percent for Biden, and 69 percent for Sanders.”
PPP's report continued:
“We also tested Clinton head to head against Biden, Sanders, Gore, Warren, and Kerry. Biden comes the closest—in a head to head against Clinton he trails only 51/38. No one else can come within 20 points of Clinton when it comes to a one on one contest. Sanders trails 54/34, Warren 58/28, Gore 67/22, and Kerry 69/17. That’s not to say Democratic voters don’t like these other faces. Gore has a 62/21 favorability rating, Kerry a 57/20 one, and Warren comes in at 51/18. But for the most part Democrats are content with nominating Clinton next year and aren’t looking for some new face (beyond possibly Biden) to enter the race so they can flock to them.”
The Nation’s Walsh wrote that a Biden candidacy could cut into Sanders’ support among working class whites, as that is his natural base. But even that is not exactly a given in today’s Democratic field.
As she noted, Biden cannot run to the left of Clinton. He was elected and re-elected six times as a U.S. Senator before becoming vice president. His record in the Senate is not as liberal as hers. Biden may go after Clinton for representing Wall Street as New York’s senator, but he has been the credit card industry’s man in the Senate for decades. He helped toughen the laws on bankruptcy, which has been criticized by Elizabeth Warren. In a party where the Black Lives Matter movement counts, he’s been pushing get-tough criminal justice reforms for years—the very drug and sentencing laws that Clinton and Sanders say they would repeal (even as Hillary’s husband, Bill Clinton, signed them; he recently apologized).
It’s also hard to imagine that Biden could come in and raise the requisite campaign cash to compete with Sanders and Hillary, or that he could build an on-the-ground organization that could win in the first four Democratic contests: Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina. In a crowded field, he has to show that he can do well early on and have staying power for a longer haul.
The New York Times just reported that Clinton has spent more early money getting her campaign up and running in more states than anyone else now running, suggesting that was one of her biggest takeaways from losing to Obama in 2008. The Sanders campaign has been following a similar template, trying to get people on the ground in more than the first few states where Sanders is likely to win. Does Biden really have a comparable cache of donors and local activists ready to go?
It is understandable that Biden could not sit still as his last likely shot to run for president slipped by. But sitting feet away from Obama in the White House and thinking that “I could do this job,” and being urged by DC insiders to go for it—especially reporters who love covering chaotic campaigns—is a far cry from being in drafty meeting halls and bland hotel ballrooms across America waiting for crowds to come.
What is Biden really thinking? We’ll soon find out.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
The supply chain that provides medical supplies to the world is favoring the U.S. and Europe, which are outbidding poorer nations for masks, gowns, gloves and ventilators during the coronavirus pandemic, according to NPR.
A garbage yard in Lucknow, India where plastic bottles are dumped before being sent to recycling. Abhimanyu Kumar Sharma / Moment / Getty Images
Scientists have engineered a mutant enzyme that converts 90 percent of plastic bottles back to pristine starting materials that can then be used to produce new high-quality bottles in just hours. The discovery could revolutionize the recycling industry, which currently saves about 30 percent of PET plastics from landfills, reported Science Magazine.
- Scientists Develop 'Infinitely' Recyclable Plastics Replacement ... ›
- Plastics: The History of an Ecological Crisis - EcoWatch ›
- Scientists Find Bacteria That Eats Plastic - EcoWatch ›
Cabin fever is often associated with being cooped up on a rainy weekend or stuck inside during a winter blizzard.
In reality, though, it can actually occur anytime you feel isolated or disconnected from the outside world.
What is cabin fever?<p>In popular expressions, cabin fever is used to explain feeling bored or listless because you've been stuck inside for a few hours or days. But that's not the reality of the symptoms.</p><p>Instead, cabin fever is a series of negative emotions and distressing sensations people may face if they're isolated or feeling cut off from the world.</p><p>These feelings of isolation and loneliness are more likely in times of <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health-news/yes-covid-19-cases-are-rising-why-you-still-need-to-practice-social-distancing" target="_blank">social distancing</a>, self-quarantining during a <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/what-is-a-pandemic" target="_blank">pandemic</a>, or sheltering in place because of severe weather.</p><p>Indeed, cabin fever can lead to a series of symptoms that can be difficult to manage without proper coping techniques.</p><p>Cabin fever isn't a recognized psychological disorder, but that doesn't mean the feelings aren't real. The distress is very real. It can make fulfilling the requirements of everyday life difficult.</p>
What are the symptoms?<p>Symptoms of cabin fever go far beyond feeling bored or "stuck" at home. They're rooted in an intense feeling of isolation and may include:</p><ul><li>restlessness</li><li>decreased motivation</li><li><a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/irritability" target="_blank">irritability</a></li><li>hopelessness</li><li><a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/unable-to-concentrate" target="_blank">difficulty concentrating</a></li><li><a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/irregular-sleep-wake-syndrome" target="_blank">irregular sleep patterns</a>, including sleepiness or sleeplessness</li><li>difficulty waking up</li><li><a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/lethargy" target="_blank">lethargy</a></li><li>distrust of people around you</li><li>lack of patience</li><li>persistent <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/depression/depression-vs-sadness" target="_blank">sadness or depression<br></a></li></ul>
What can help you cope with cabin fever?<p>Because cabin fever isn't a recognized psychological condition, there's no standard "treatment." However, mental health professionals do recognize that the symptoms are very real.</p><p>The coping mechanism that works best for you will have a lot to do with your personal situation and the reason you're secluded in the first place.</p><p>Finding meaningful ways to engage your brain and occupy your time can help alleviate the distress and irritability that cabin fever brings.</p><p>The following ideas are a good place to start.</p>
When to get help<p>Cabin fever is often a fleeting feeling. You may feel irritable or frustrated for a few hours, but having a virtual chat with a friend or finding a task to distract your mind may help erase the frustrations you felt earlier.</p><p>Sometimes, however, the feelings may grow stronger, and no coping mechanisms may be able to successfully help you eliminate your feelings of isolation, sadness, or depression.</p><p>What's more, if your time indoors is prolonged by outside forces, like weather or extended shelter-in-place orders from your local government, feelings of <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/anxiety" target="_blank">anxiety</a> and fear are valid.</p><p>In fact, anxiety may be at the root of some cabin fever symptoms. This may make symptoms worse.</p><p>If you feel that your symptoms are getting worse, consider reaching out to a mental health professional who can help you understand what you're experiencing. Together, you can identify ways to overcome the feelings and anxiety.</p><p>Of course, if you're in isolation or practicing social distancing, you'll need to look for alternative means for seeing a mental health expert.</p><p>Telehealth options may be available to connect you with your therapist if you already have one. If you don't, reach out to your doctor for recommendations about mental health specialists who can connect with you online.</p><p>If you don't want to talk to a therapist, <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/depression/top-iphone-android-apps" target="_blank">smartphone apps for depression</a> may provide a complementary option for addressing your cabin fever symptoms.</p>
The bottom line<p>Isolation isn't a natural state for many people. We are, for the most part, social animals. We enjoy each other's company. That's what can make staying at home for extended periods of time difficult.</p><p>However, whether you're sheltering at home to avoid dangerous weather conditions or heeding the guidelines to help minimize the spread of a disease, staying at home is often an important thing we must do for ourselves and our communities.</p><p>If and when it's necessary, finding ways to engage your brain and occupy your time may help bat back cabin fever and the feelings of isolation and restlessness that often accompany it.</p>
Pope Francis spoke about the novel coronavirus, suggesting that the global pandemic might be one of nature's responses to the man-made climate crisis.