The argument can be made that Joe Biden’s biggest strength is his record and that his biggest weakness is also his record.
Biden has nearly 50 years in politics, dwarfing most of the other democrats in the 2020 presidential campaign.
But democratic political consultant Porter McNeil says that comes with some downsides.
“When you’re in public life that long, you’re going to have issues that you’re going to have to defend. It’s easier, in a sense, to be brand-new without a record. Then, you can define yourself exactly how you want to define yourself,” McNeil says.
One of those issues is Biden’s support for the Hyde Amendment, which blocks clinics from using Medicaid funding for abortions.
Now, Biden says he wants to repeal the ban.
“Part of that is because the Supreme Court has changed, there are more threats to women’s reproductive rights in states like Alabama. It’s a different political landscape that causes more of a sense of urgency,”McNeil says.
He says while some might applaud that shift, others might see it as a political about-face.
“It’s difficult for some people to change their position without looking like a flip-flopper,” McNeil says.
“Because you have to do it with authenticity and not look too political,” he says.
Biden’s record also makes him a target of the other democratic candidates.
Right now, McNeil says Biden has stayed above the personal jabs but that might change once they go head to head on stage together.
“Some may choose to bring up those issues, and so how you handle the debates,” McNeil says.
Those first debates are coming on June 26th and 27th, with 10 candidates on each night.
That means three candidates will be left off the stage.
The second round is in July.
Things get tougher after that.
The Democratic National Committee raised the donor threshold to qualify for the third and fourth round of debates.
Some candidates aren’t happy about that change.