Joe Biden
Biden promises needed change. The alternative could be perilous for our democracy. — Tampa Bay Times
A clear choice for president: The Times Editorial Board recommendation
Joe Biden should be our next president. A battered and divided country must hit the reset button. The nation needs a leader who can pull us back together, who wants to pull us back together. Sure, disagree on policies and debate the issues. But a president should not routinely sow discord. Self-promotion should not be his best skill. Our allies should not wince when the president speaks. The less fortunate should feel they are a part of us, not castoffs on a cruel game show. Biden promises needed change. The alternative could be perilous for our democracy.

Biden knows tragedy, and he’s at his best when talking about moving beyond it. He lost a wife and infant daughter to a car accident and an adult son to a brain tumor. He speaks of pain and healing and recovery — with authority and empathy. He comforts military families, knowing how it feels to send a son into a combat zone. He still believes in the legislative process, even when it’s divisive and bogged down. He hasn’t lost his faith in the system and looks for ways to bring sides together. Biden is not afraid of the hard work involved in finding common ground. To him, compromise isn’t a dirty word, but he’s also known to fight hard for what he believes, like when he championed the Violence Against Women Act in the 1990s.

... Biden’s adversaries try to paint him as beholden to liberal extremists, but the record exposes that tired political tactic. He has worked with Republicans on foreign policy and criminal justice. He has backed protesters' right to protest, but condemned looting and violence. He’s a centrist, willing to push big ideas, but also capable of keeping his own party’s left wing in check.

Biden’s sensible, pragmatic approach to leadership will help the country combat the coronavirus. He has vowed to be transparent about who’s contracting the disease and how often. He’ll trust the experts and the scientists as we push for a vaccine. He won’t rush the recovery to score political points. To protect himself and those around him, he’ll wear a mask, setting an example of good judgment.

... Biden would be better than Trump on so many other issues. He would appoint judges more likely to protect same-sex marriage and a woman’s control over her own body. He would push for higher taxes on the very wealthy — something most Americans support — to bolster programs like Social Security. He recognizes the tensions created by the enormous gap between the wealthy and the poor, while his opponent happily gives tax breaks to the rich.

Trump is angry, divisive, entitled. Biden is open, empathetic, caring. He would return decency and decorum to the presidency, a welcome example at home and abroad. Biden wouldn’t be beholden — or bewitched — by thugs like Kim Jong Un in North Korea or Vladimir Putin in Russia, and he would rebuild relationships with allies that share American values and interests.

... Trump loves to bluster, hates to plan, revels in chaos and lacks concern for anyone but himself. He is hurting America.

Over a long career and the gantlet of a presidential campaign, Biden outmatches his opponent at every turn. He’s a decent man and a leader who can help heal the country and put it back on course to meet the pressing challenges of our times. America needs a new president. The Tampa Bay Times Editorial Board strongly recommends Democrat Joe Biden.