Former Vice President Joe Biden is reportedly expected to jump into the 2020 Democrat presidential primary next week ― but some in the Democrat elder’s orbit are worrying that his campaign-in-waiting is already in disarray.
“I’ve never seen anything so half-assed,” one unnamed former Biden aide told TIME. “They’re improvising and doing last-minute planning. The guy has been running for President since 1987 and can’t figure the basics out, like where to stand on his first day? This should make everyone very nervous.”
“The guy’s best day is the day he announces,” another source, described as a Biden “insider,” told the magazine. “Everything after that gets worse.”
One of the most recognizable names in American politics, Biden served as Barack Obama’s two-term vice president after nearly four decades as a Delaware senator.
With a record in elected office that stretches half a century, Biden faces multiple challenges.
Last month he struggled to respond to claims he touched 2014 Nevada lieutenant governor nominee Lucy Flores’ shoulders and kissed the back of her head before a campaign event. A few other women have made similar claims, though none has alleged sexual misconduct.
His first White House bid in 1988 ended after a plagiarism scandal. And in recent weeks, he was repeatedly forced to explain his 1991 decision, as Senate Judiciary Committee chairman, to allow Anita Hill to face questions about her allegations of sexual harassment against Clarence Thomas, then a nominee for the Supreme Court. Biden has since apologized for his role in the hearing. But in the #MeToo era, it’s another example of why critics believe he may struggle to catch on with the Democratic primary voters of 2020.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.