Early in the morning on Holy Thursday Joe Biden announced his decision to run for President of our country.
He did not surprise anyone. People have been saying for days, if not months, that he would do it.
But the announcement brought joy to those who know him.
And many know him, since Uncle Joe, as his supporters call him, has served as U.S. Senator and Vice President. In fact, he entered politics on a national scene in 1972!
Biden is not the only Democrat who has ambitions of replacing Donald Trump in the White House. There are 20 – so far – who have announced their candidacy to be the presidential nominee of the Democratic Party.
But he has the most popularity, so far, with Sanders running second. As someone rightly said, at least everyone knows how Biden’s name is spelled.
That Biden has the skills to assume the country’s presidency, few would doubt.
And he certainly represents another face of America than Trump’s.
A country that respects its history, that is supporting controlled migration, cultural diversity and economic convergence rather than the increasing inequality that we are witnessing today.
So, in this respect, few can question his qualifications for office. This does not necessarily mean that he will waltz into the White House on a red carpet. Both his Democratic rivals and, most importantly, Trump, stand in the way, if he secures his party’s nomination.
However, the main skepticism about his candidacy concerns his age.
Biden is 76 years old and will be 78 in 2020 if elected. At the end of his first term he would be 82. Isn’t he old? He is, and it is an issue that must be discussed. He should publish his health records to demonstrate that he will be able to withstand the immense pressures of the presidency at that age.
By the way, Trump is 72 years old and Sanders, the most serious, at the moment, of his Democratic opponents, is 77.
In spite of this, I am of the opinion that in politics the ideal age has been shifting from older to younger. Neither extreme is good. I’m not saying that youth is not often an asset. It is, providing an abundance of the energy and endurance required on the campaign trail and in governing.
But it is a mistake – a big mistake in my opinion – to underestimate the value of experience.
The accumulated problem-solving knowledge and temperament. The dull awareness of the mission of humanity.
So I would say that a balance is needed between age and youth – the choice of a Vice Presidential running mate will have heightened importance.
Finally, we all know that Biden is one of the most faithful friends of the Greek-American community – over a long period of time.
We ought to also take that into account.