Poor Joe Biden. In addition to determining if he, a 76-year-old man (77 in November), is ready for a run for president in 2020, he must also understand how much he hates.
The former senator and vice president of Delaware, who had a senatorial reputation for being tough but brilliant, was already driven by what he called the "new left" in a speech on the weekend.
"I know I have been criticized by the New Left," Biden said.
Specifically, he recently lost his head when he described his successor, Vice President Mike Pence, as an "honest boy". In fact, it wasn't even the first time he used words to describe the Indian in that way.
But Biden has heard of his indiscretion, of saying something correct about someone most people think is, well, a decent guy.
"You just called the elected anti-LGBT leader in America," he said, "tweeted activist and actress Cynthia Nixon. "Please consider how this falls in the ears of our community".
Biden had a choice. He could defend a man who knows, for what he knows to be accurate, for a man who – like millions of other Americans – maintains traditional Christian views on sexuality. He could even claim that Pence was his friend but that Pence had different opinions about sexuality than he did.
Or it could go along with the New Left, the wing of its party that most of the 2020 democratic presidential candidates are embracing, the wing that puts hatred before politics, the intolerance before of tolerance, the clash before compromise.
"You're right, Cynthia," he said finally. "There is nothing decent in being anti-LGBTQ rights, and this includes the vice president."
But the betrayal must have gnawed Biden, who can remember when compromising with the Republicans on the legislation was the way to get meaningful laws passed in Washington, DC. So he said at the International Fire Brigade Association last week that promoting civilization and consensus is the Delaware way, essentially meaning that it's his way.
"If you notice," he said, "I am criticized for saying something nice about a Republican, people, this is not what we are, we are not dealing with the opposition as the enemy, we could even say a nice word every time a little" Of a Republican when they do something good. "
Poor Joe. On the eve of 2016, he was captured in the same way, but in that case between the challenge of the already declared Hillary Clinton, who was denied the appointment once, and the monitoring of the serious illness, and then of the mourning for his son, Beau, who died in May 2015.
In a memoir "Promise Me, Dad", Biden writes about the indecision of the race that followed him until October of that year, when he finally said he would not have done the race.
However, the former vice president is probably the last of the big names to make a decision on his candidacy for 2020.
On the one hand, Biden sees encouraging polls that show him to lead other far-left candidates. On the other hand, he is also a straight white male at a party who wants more and more everything except what he is. It should trample on women, black candidates and even a candidate who is openly gay to get the nomination and, along the way, say less flattering things than them.
But in today's politically correct society, and despite its weekend proclamation that "I have the most progressive record of someone running", any unpleasant word on its part is bound to be distorted, distorted and turned as coming from an example of male white privilege.
While Biden reflects on his ability to run and hate, let's think of the Republican Senator from Tennessee Lamar Alexander, who year after year seems to be hammering together a bipartisan legislation involving education, health and conservation and manages to hatch his disagreements with the Democrats in terms of work language together to get things done.
And we remember the former Senator Bob Corker, who used to make fun of the editorial committee's meetings with the Times Free Press on the allegedly hateed national publications among the senators of the two sides on various issues. Senators may disagree on politics, he would say, but generally they can go to agreement.
Much of this could have changed with the New Left to which Biden referred. Compromising with President Donald Trump, praising Vice President Pence, putting together agreements with Republicans to help the American people is not the group's style.
So the former vice president, who is also likely to be more realistic, not anxious to jump on the Green New Deal, the salary guarantor of the government and to pack the Supreme Court, will have to decide where, or if, he fits in a race of candidates that only a few years ago would have been known as outliers. And how much he is willing to hate if he does.