By Michael Sainato

Former Vice President Joe Biden told the TODAY show on November 13 that he hasn’t ruled out running for President in 2020, inciting further speculation that he will be touted as the Democratic Party’s best hope against Donald Trump next presidential election. “No, I’m not closing the door. I’ve been around too long, and I’m a great respecter of fate, but who knows what the situation is going to be a year-and-a-half from now,” Biden said.

Biden’s appearance was to promote his new book, “Promise Me, Dad: A Year of Hope, Hardship, and Purpose.” His book tour has earned him substantial media coverage, where his rhetoric is elevating him to a leadership role in the Trump Resistance. The Democratic Party is desperate for leadership, widely considering Bernie Sanders an outsider causing trouble within the party’s ranks.

Rather than focusing on developing a policy based message to resonate with voters or working to develop a more diverse pool of candidates, many establishment Democrats are pushing for a Biden 2020 run to recycle the former Vice President into a contemporary voice for the party. In September 2017, Politico reported that Biden is positioning himself as the anti-Bernie, the establishment’s most viable antidote to populism. Biden wrote in a September 2017 blog post, “some want to single out big corporations for all the blame. … But consumers, workers, and leaders have the power to hold every corporation to a higher standard, not simply cast business as the enemy.”

During an October 2017 rally in Alabama for Democratic Senate Candidate Doug Jones, Biden took a shot at Bernie Sanders;  “Guys, the wealthy are as patriotic as the poor. I know Bernie doesn’t like me saying that, but they are.”

This rhetoric is signaling to the Democratic Party’s wealthy donors that Biden will defend their authority over the party. Bernie Sanders popular criticisms toward the wealthy for subverting democracy by pouring millions of dollars into the political system and broadening income and wealth inequality through corporate monopolization and anti-labor union measures present a major problem for party elites. These insiders are desperate to find a voice to stave off Sanders’ rhetoric and popularity, in favor of a Democrat who would rather partner with their power instead of challenging it on behalf of working people.

Biden’s philosophy of anti-populism is predicated on the notion that progressive populism can’t win elections, especially Bernie Sanders if he runs against Trump. According to Politico, Biden believes he is the only person who can defeat Trump in 2020. “If someone emerges that the former VP believes can beat [Trump], I think he is at peace with that,” said one Biden-friendly donor told Politico. “On the other hand, if that person doesn’t exist or doesn’t run, you can expect Joe Biden to take a very serious look.”

A recent Zogby Poll put Sanders above both Biden and Trump. But Democratic donors are hoping that Biden can deliver in alleviating the pressure Bernie Sanders and his supporters are placing on the Democratic Party to pull it further left.

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