Dear Joe Biden:You and the Year of the American Woman

You are, today, in a very special position to alter the course of American political life. Your talents have been in evidence during your long career, reaching a high point when they caught the eye of Barack Obama, a good judge of character, who made the excellent choice of picking you as vice president. At a time of historical transition, Obama chose well, you delivered superbly, and the nation felt it could trust democrats to open a new chapter in its history.

Thank you for that.

Surely there were many moments during your tenure as vice president, when Obama sought your advice in complex matters and your wisdom made a difference.

Thank you for being there for all of us.

Personally, I remember one very special instance when you boosted the flagging spirits of all democrats. During the heated campaign for reelection in 2012, after Obama had put in a lackluster performance in the first debate against hard challenging Mitt Romney, you came back with a sterling demonstration of political savvy, debating vigorously and dominating his running mate. It was unforgettable.

Today, as the nation is roiled by the hatred and mismanagement stirred by a short sighted republican president, history has once again put you in a position to have an outsize influence in our national life. Not by you vying for the presidency, but by you helping to shift the attention of America’s electorate to a worthy woman candidate.

I am sure you have thought about this.

Never before, have so many American women been driven by the desire to put themselves in the thick of the nation’s political struggles, to endure whatever comes to those bold enough to make public their political ideas, to those strong enough to bare themselves to public scrutiny.

Never before, have women moved forward so confidently, and say to the nation, ‘we are over half of this land, we have given birth and helped nurture all Americans. We have something to say and we will be heard, for we have the capacity and vision to lead”.  

What we are witnessing is unprecedented. It signals that we are ready to move to another stage in our political development, a stage where American women, long neglected and ignored, must play a central role.

It cannot be otherwise. Like Obama was the personification of a powerful force in our midst, so now is the time for an American woman to lead.

History has set the stage.

How? By our having elected, in 2016, a man who is the antithesis of good sense. A man whose instincts are against the environment, against nurturing alliances with steadfast friends, a man who has failed miserably to invest generously in Americans, so we can move confidently into the future.

With that contrast, it should be clear that 2020 ought to be the year of the American Woman.

There are, in the present field of candidates, highly capable women running for president and you, Joe, are in the enviable position of being the force that influences events decisively.

Imagine you saying to the nation that it is time for Americans to elect a woman. The force that your words carry would have a profound effect on the electorate. You would help narrow down the choices so that our energies can be better spent. The allocation of campaign funds would become more efficient, which we need because wealthy Republicans, aiming for preferential tax treatment from our president, will give lavishly to reelect him.

So now is the time, Joe, for you to bow out of the race. Now that you are on top, now that you are leading in the polls. Paradoxically, this is the best of times.

On close scrutiny, you have lost some of your former sharpness. The temptation, of course, is to deny it, to go on and on, to pretend that it is not happening.

The grueling contest for the nomination and later the race to election day will, however, be unforgiving, further exposing some of the apparent deficits. But it doesn’t have to be that way. You have made a place for yourself in our political history. Those of us who appreciate your years of service would prefer not to see you stumble. Those of us who know of your invaluable contributions would prefer not to see you leave the race because your performance has lost its luster and you no longer lead the field.

So this is the time, Joe. Right now.

I do not think that this suggestion of mine will ever come from any of the talented women candidates now vying for the nomination. Their pride wouldn’t allow it. They would rather battle it out with you. And it could be that one of them will defeat you in the contest. But even if you should be the one to capture the nomination and go on to beat Trump, I do not think that you will have the profound impact on our nation that a woman president will.

This is their time, Joe, right now. Their golden moment, and you can help make it happen.

I urge you to consider moving from leading presidential candidate to leading force in helping usher in a new era in American politics and you will shine with lasting light.

You, Joe Biden, gallant knight of a thousand political battles, can make 2020 the Year of the American Woman and help open the next chapter in our political history.


Oscar Valdes

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