As the Democratic party faithful waited with baited breath, Vice President Biden announced on Wednesday that he would not seek a nomination to run for president giving an incredible boost to frontrunner Hillary Clinton. His decision also made it clear that Hillary is now in a real race against one man, Senator Bernie Sanders—who is waging a challenge from her left.
Biden ended months of speculation with his direct acknowledgment that “the window on mounting a realistic campaign for president” has closed for him, as he and his family have worked through their grief over his oldest son Beau Biden, who died of brain cancer in May.
On Wednesday, the vice president left a lot of Americans trying to figure out who they should support for the Democratic nomination. But, that answer is simple, Hillary Clinton.
Now is time for Democrats, foreseeing nothing coming out the Benghazi Select Committee Report or the FBI probe into her email server, to embrace Clinton and mold her into the candidate they want her to be.
Hillary Clinton cannot win this election without African-Americans, Latinos, and working families turning out to vote for her in record numbers. That means it is time for these voting blocs to ask the hard questions and make the hard demands of the former Secretary of State and First Lady.
If African-Americans want Clinton to have a comprehensive #BlackLivesMatter agenda, now is the time to push her on it. It has to be more than just a meeting or a couple feel good quotes; it means showing up at every campaign stop, every roundtable, and every debate until Hillary releases a platform that speaks to the concerns that Black men and boys face each and every day.
If voters want Clinton to push forward policies that uplift working families and end the reign of terror that Wall Street has had in America, then they must push her. It begins with urging her to make the reinstatement of Glass-Steagall (a financial regulation that separated commercial and investment banking, but was repealed under the leadership President Bill Clinton and Sen. Phil Gramm in 1999) her top priority if elected. It also means forcing her to leave the bubble that has become her campaign to see the real America that is missing from the headlines. That means places like Flint, Mich., Scranton, Penn., East St. Louis, Ill., the lower ninth ward of New Orleans, and East of the River in Washington.
What made Biden so attractive was his ability to connect with and understand the struggles of real people. That is because not too long ago, the vice president was one of these Americans whose family fell on hard times and moved to Wilmington, Del., on the faith that they would find work, hope, and their shot at the American Dream.
But now that Biden is out, Democrats have to work with the lady that they have got and make her the candidate and advocate they need her to be. That won’t be an easy task, but it is possible.
In 2008, after her Iowa Caucus defeat, Hillary Clinton stopped at a coffee shop in Portsmouth, N.H., and was asked, “How do you get out the door every morning? I mean as a woman, I know how hard it is to get out of the house and get ready. Who does your hair?” After cracking a couple jokes. Hillary paused. Her eyes grew red. The coffee shop grew silent, and the world heard, “I just don’t want to see us fall backward as a nation,” Clinton began, as her voice faded down to a mere whimper, her eye full of tears. “I mean, this is very personal for me. Not just political. It’s about our country. It’s about our kids’ future. It’s about all of us together. Some of us put ourselves out there and do this against some difficult odds.”
That exchange was from a woman who got it, who felt the pain of a nation, a woman that was willing to burn the midnight oil to bring America back again.
In 2008, it was Barack Obama that brought out that passion. In 2016, it will be up to voters, activists, and advocates to bring out that passion.
So as Biden exits stage left, and the spotlight goes up on Hilary Clinton, it is time for Democrats to get behind her and make her stronger by opening her eyes to the struggles that are being faced by working families and by pushing her to create policies that will help ensure that everyone gets to pursue that American Dream.
Richard Fowler’s YouTube and radio show can be heard in more than 9.1 million homes. He frequently appears on Fox News, MSNBC, and C-SPAN. Follow him on Twitter @Richardafowler.