Biden begins 2020 campaign with calls for a return to “centrism”

Former Vice President Joe Biden is opening up the 2020 campaign with a bold pitch: Don’t bet against the reinvention in American politics.

Trump isn’t the first president to have changed political rules and introduced a new element of unpredictability, of course. But the way in which he has divided Americans — using bad information — has been remarkable and has left America more anxious than ever about the prospects of his re-election.

So Biden — who had already positioned himself to be the Democratic heir apparent — now sees a chance to reset the political momentum. The tactic: a shakeup in policymaking that he says was missing for so long. He begins by noting that the Democrats he describes as “old news” were a practical-minded mainstream political party only years ago.

They “are experiencing as much as any generation has experienced in our history as the center (of American politics) shifting to the extremes on either end of the political spectrum,” Biden said. “And this is a real opportunity.”

If they were to move to the “center,” Biden said, Democrats could play a big role in ushering the nation through some of the largest changes in American politics in recent years.

They would “define what American dreams are,” he said. And they would be ready to answer the question: “Who are we as a people?”

Biden set the tone for his speech by calling for a new “politics of decency,” suggesting that voters should abandon a politics that has been characterised by name-calling and “get to know our neighbors better.”

He was reprising a speech he gave in Cleveland just after the 2016 presidential election.

This Saturday, Biden spoke at the Iowa Writers Workshop, where he hinted at his early exploratory committee. He also joked, during his speech at the Iowa Writers Workshop, that he had yet to hire anyone for any of the gigs he has already committed to and asked his audience for help finding his next “best staffers.”

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