Dr. Jill Biden sounds like she might be ready for a 2020 campaign.
Introducing her husband, former Vice President Joe Biden, at the Human Rights Campaign’s big annual dinner in Washington on Saturday night, the former second lady told a story from her childhood of knocking on the door of a mean boy in the neighborhood, winding up and punching him in the nose.
The crowd of LGBTQ activists and supporters cheered.
“There is nothing that makes either of us more angry than a bully. There’s nothing that’s more unfair or unjust than people using their power to try to make other people feel small, to tell them who they are or what they are capable of, to say their identity doesn’t belong,” she said, explaining why LGBTQ equality is one of the priorities of the Biden Foundation, but with what many in the crowd heard as a not-so-subtle comment President Donald Trump. “There is nothing that makes us want to pick a fight more than that.”
The former vice president is contemplating another White House run, though he’s put off the decision until after what will be a busy two months ahead of midterm campaigning all over the country. The Bidens often talk about themselves as a clan, and certainly act like one, and his wife’s opinion will be crucial as he makes the decision — she was seen by people in touch with her at the time as having reservations about his running in 2016.
The last time Joe Biden appeared at this dinner, though, was in 2015, in one of the few public appearances he made as he was weighing jumping into that race.
Saturday night, he picked up the same thought as his wife to talk about his potential 2020 opponent.
“The president uses the White House as a literal, literal bully pulpit, callously exerting his power over those who have little or none,” the former vice president said.
As then, Joe Biden’s decision to declare his support for gay marriage in 2012 — in turn forcing the hand of then-President Barack Obama and others to do the same — made him a hero at this event and in the wider LGBTQ community.
HRC president Chad Griffin introduced the Bidens as “our friends and champions.”
The former vice president spoke at length about his decision to come out for gay marriage and twice invoked his late son Beau. He repeated a line that’s become his central argument against Trump, arguing that the presidency doesn’t represent the best of what America really is.
But much of the speech was about the greater cause of equality.
“Those who try to excuse this kind of prejudice in the name of culture, I say, ‘Prejudice is prejudice and humanity is humanity — it is a crime,’” Joe Biden said, urging the crowd and anyone else who cares about issues opposed by Trump to stay engaged. “Our work is not yet done by any stretch of the imagination. The stakes are much too high.”