Reminder: Joe Biden campaigned for Michigan Republican ahead of midterms


  • Evan El-Amin /

Joe Biden made it official yesterday: He's running for president.

His announcement also put an end to the speculation about whether he would run as a Democrat or Republican — he's running as a Dem. We are, of course, kidding about that last part. Biden has always been a Democrat, but we made the joke because he campaigned for a Republican in October in Michigan, just ahead of the midterms.

The New York Times reported that Biden was paid $200,000 to speak at a rally in Benton Harbor, and he and the GOP were successful in their efforts, as incumbent Fred Upton edged Democrat Matt Longjohn by four points.

From The New York Times:

Mr. Biden stunned Democrats and elated Republicans by praising Mr. Upton while the lawmaker looked on from the audience. Alluding to Mr. Upton’s support for a landmark medical-research law, Mr. Biden called him a champion in the fight against cancer — and “one of the finest guys I’ve ever worked with.”

Mr. Biden’s remarks, coming amid a wide-ranging discourse on American politics, quickly appeared in Republican advertising. The local Democratic Party pleaded with Mr. Biden to repair what it saw as a damaging error, to no avail. On Nov. 6, Mr. Upton defeated his Democratic challenger by four and a half percentage points.

As Mr. Biden considers a bid for the presidency in 2020, the episode underscores his potential vulnerabilities in a fight for the Democratic nomination and raises questions about his judgment as a party leader. Mr. Biden has attempted to strike a balance since leaving office, presenting himself as a unifying statesman who could unseat President Trump while also working to amass a modest fortune of several million dollars.

But Mr. Biden’s appearance in Michigan plainly set his lucrative personal activities at odds with what some Democrats saw as his duty to the party, linking him with a civic group seen as tilting to the right and undermining Democrats’ effort to defeat Mr. Upton, a powerful lawmaker who in 2017 helped craft a bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

This is also the guy who trashed Anita Hill, didn't give her an apology until it was politically necessary (and she rejected his apology), opposed desegregation, previously wanted to cut Medicare and Social Security, pushed the awful 1994 crime bill that led to a spike in the prison population, and seems intent on working the GOP, even if it'll do everything it can to destroy Dem policies. OK, so maybe there's a case to be made that he should run as a Republican.

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