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Karl W. Smith

Joe Biden’s Proud Bipartisanship Is Not What the U.S. Needs

Only a truly partisan candidate can begin the process of bridging the nation’s political divide.

Not his moment.

Not his moment.

Photographer: Michelle Gustafson/Bloomberg

Now that Joe Biden is officially running for president, one crucial aspect of his pitch to voters is clear: He represents a return to the feel-good bipartisanship of an earlier era. He himself, if not (yet?) his presidential candidacy, has been endorsed by the McCain family, and he has frequently praised Republicans.

Unfortunately, this appeal is doomed to fail. Yes, Biden inspires respect across the aisle and is well-liked generally; he really does seem like the kind of person who could bring the country together. Because of America’s unique constitutional and political arrangements, however, a Biden campaign and presidency is more likely to drive the country further apart.