Joe Biden 1988 presidential campaign
The 1988 presidential campaign of Joe Biden, the Democratic U.S. Senator from Delaware, began in June 1987. He was considered one of the potentially strongest candidates in the field. However, in September 1987, newspaper stories stated he had plagiarized a speech by British politician Neil Kinnock. Biden withdrew from the race later that month.
About Joe Biden 1988 presidential campaign in brief
The 1988 presidential campaign of Joe Biden, the Democratic U.S. Senator from Delaware, began in June 1987. He was considered one of the potentially strongest candidates in the field. However, in September 1987, newspaper stories stated he had plagiarized a speech by British politician Neil Kinnock. Other allegations of past law school plagiarism and exaggerating his academic record soon followed. Biden withdrew from the race later that month. Biden had nurtured dreams of someday running for president going back to his college days. He had considered the notion in 1983, urged on by pollster Pat Caddell, who thought there was space for a young candidate. Biden received considerable attention in the summer of 1986 when he excoriated Secretary of State George Shultz at a Senate hearing because of the Reagan administration’s stance towards South Africa and its system of apartheid. In his speech, Biden said that Americans should rise above the mere accumulation of material things. In language intended to recall John F. Kennedy, he said: “For too long in this society, we have celebrated unrestrained individualism over common community” Biden’s platform included a stance between free trade and opposition to the Reagan Strategic Defense Initiative and support for child welfare, reduction of poverty, and the war against illegal drugs. Biden’s campaign manager was Tim Ridley, his press secretary was Larry Rasky, and his chief-of-staff was Ted Kaufman. Biden also laid out the platform, which he was running on: “Nothing suffocates the promise of America more than unbounded cynicism and indifference to the fire of our society, the indifference to our society’s promise” He was the first African-American senator to run for president, and was the only one to do so in the 1980s and 1990s.
Biden won one vote at the 1984 Democratic National Convention; he was active on the party speaking circuit from 1985 on. The declared absence of Senator Ted Kennedy from the field, to whom Biden was sometimes compared, was also encouraging to a possible Biden candidacy. His fundraising appeal—his USD 1.7 million raised in the first quarter of 1987 was more than any other candidate. By the end of April he had raised USD 2 million, using not just contributions from Delaware but also establishing a base of support among young professionals and Jewish voters in a number of urban- and suburban-oriented states. On the eve of his announcement, Biden had confidence that he could prevail, saying: “I’m going to win this thing. I really am. I just know it, I can feel it in my fingertips” He said: “I’ve got mine so why don’t you get mine?” and “What’s in it for me?… We must re-kindle the kind of idealism in our society that has been missing for too long” Biden was the chair of the Senate Judiciary committee, looming for the Robert Bork confirmation hearings, and it took the urging of his wife Jill Biden to convince him to go forward.