Leslie Marshall: Biden vs. Trump for 2020 – Here's why I still want former Veep to be Dem's choice

As the presidential primary and caucus season draws near, growing numbers of my fellow Democrats are choosing who they support as our party’s nominee to face President Trump in November. My choice is former Vice President Joe Biden. It always has been and always will be. Let me share four reasons why.

He has crossover appeal

According to a Gallup poll in September, 31 percent of Americans identify as Democrats and 29 percent identify as Republicans. But the biggest chunk of our population – 38 percent – identifies as independents.


This makes it clear that no candidate can be elected president without the votes of a substantial number of independents. And the ability to pick up some voters from the other political party is important as well.

Biden is liked and respected by many independents and some Republican voters around the country. He is looked on favorably by members of Congress and influential people in the public policy field. His long record of achievements and experience is impressive even to many who disagree with his stand on some issues.

While Trump’s frequent hate-filled tweets, name-calling and insults make it hard for him to work with Democrats, Biden has shown a willingness and effectiveness when working with Republicans to enact legislation to improve the lives of Americans,

Many Americans would welcome the return to normal presidential behavior that Biden would bring to the White House as a replacement for the craziness and unpredictably of Trump’s reality TV presidency.

And while Trump opts for confrontation with Democrats and anyone else who disagrees with him, Biden is a master of the art of compromise and cooperation.

Many Americans would welcome the return to normal presidential behavior that Biden would bring to the White House as a replacement for the craziness and unpredictably of Trump’s reality TV presidency.

Biden even spoke recently of being open to selecting a Republican as his vice-presidential running mate. That would certainly appeal to independents and Republicans.

He’s a moderate

Democratic candidates on the far left get the most media attention for their calls for radical change. But most Democrats and other voters are moderates – neither socialists nor on the far right. The same is true for Biden.


When Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., proudly proclaims he’s a socialist and joins Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., in calling for trillions of dollars in new government spending and new taxes, many voters outside the left-wing of the Democratic Party are alarmed. They want government evolution, not revolution.

It’s the difference between doing some remodeling of your house versus bulldozing the structure and building an entirely new and far more expensive home on the vacant lot.

Polls show that many independent and Republican voters who are turned off by Trump’s behavior and some of his policies would are open to voting for Biden – but not for any other Democrat.

He has blue-collar and battleground state appeal

In the 2016 presidential race, Hillary Clinton lost the key battleground states of Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan. Though she tried mightily, she was unable to win over some blue-collar voters, who instead cast ballots for Trump.

Biden speaks to the blue-collar crowd perhaps better than any of the Democrats vying for the presidency. I recently witnessed this when I moderated a Teamsters Democratic forum in Iowa.

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Biden connected with blue-collar voters at the forum like no one I had ever seen. The native of Scranton, Pa., can get Pennsylvania back in the Democratic column and has a strong chance of winning in Michigan. Wisconsin will be close, but I believe Biden could carry it if he is the Democratic nominee.

Biden could also wage competitive campaigns against Trump this year in the battleground states of Arizona, Florida, Maine, Minnesota, New Hampshire, North Carolina and Ohio – along with Nebraska's 2nd Congressional District.

Biden will draw voters in these and other states because of his popularity with blue-collar, Latino and African-American voters. I don’t see any other Democratic candidate pulling as many votes from these key groups.

Ability to beat Trump

When Biden started his "No Malarkey" tour in Iowa, many laughed. But it's Biden who has the last laugh, because the tour helped him fundraise and increased his poll numbers – and not just in Iowa.

Biden’s “no malarkey” and “no BS” attitude – along with his shoot-from-the-hip style – are similar to Trump’s. This puts the former vice president in a good position to beat the current president at this own game.

The bottom line is that Biden has the best chance to send Trump packing to his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida for a permanent vacation – the key goal for Democrats. The former vice president has the experience, personality and ability to give back what Trump dishes out on social media, at a rally and on a debate stage.


And if elected, Biden would make a great president. Unlike Trump, Biden reads briefings, studies issues, picks experienced advisers and listens to them, and thinks about the effects of what he says and what he does. Biden has spent most of his life as an elected federal official – he knows the ins and outs of government better than most anyone and is focused on public service above all else.

Now, let the voting begin.