Former Vice President Joe Biden used a 90-minute stopover Saturday night at the Paramount Theater in Denver to say there was cause to be upbeat, but he wasn’t hinting at a possible run for the presidency, which is what pretty much everyone in attendance hoped he meant.
“There is overwhelming reason to be optimistic,” Biden said at the finale of his American Promise Tour event promoting his book, Promise Me, Dad. He had finished taking a few soft shots at the current administration in Washington, D.C. — “It bothers me when people say they will make America great again. It’s already great.” — and the conversation often touched on his time as the nation’s second-in-command.
The crowd hoped he’d say he wanted to be president — or at least hint at it — after stepping away from a logical shot last election cycle following the death of his son, Joseph “Beau” Biden III, from brain cancer, a tragedy that broke the elder statesman’s drive for the nation’s highest office. He didn’t appease the crowd. Instead, he used the stage to impress on the roughly 1,800 people who paid to see him that Washington doesn’t work so well anymore, but there was reason to look forward to the future.
“Our politics is so course, so debasing,” he said. “Politically, we don’t know each other anymore.”
Though Biden frequently spoke of his son, who had been Delaware’s attorney general until five months before his death in May 2015, he also talked of managing the grief surrounding that death, his time as vice president and of his work with former President Barack Obama.
Though not billed as a political speech, it carried a few overtones of politics and, though Biden has not hinted of any interest in running for the White House, offered a chance to lay out how he understands Washington, foreign affairs and the delicacy a president must have for all of that.
“Big nations can’t bluff,” he mused, with a slight reference to the ongoing nuclear tensions with North Korea. “If you do, it costs you.”
With a lone “Run, Joe!” belted from someone in the audience, Biden made clear his desire for the Donald Trump administration to succeed.
“I’ve tried to give the new administration a chance to get its footing,” he said. “We want it to succeed. Why wouldn’t we?”
The book tour, which could easily double as a popularity assessment for any future campaign, touches seven cities in as many states over the next two weeks....Read more