Opinion: Hillary needs to worry more about being Bern’d rather than the man Biden his time

Ashley Atherton

If I could talk to Hillary Clinton and her campaign right now, I would say two things. First, I have a lot of respect for the former Secretary of State. She is an extremely accomplished and intelligent woman. But second, and more importantly, I would give her one piece of advice: don’t worry about Vice President Joe Biden joining the race. Instead, worry more about another candidate in the race: Bernie Sanders.

Many of the latest national polls, which include each candidate on the Democratic debate stage and the vice president, indicate that Clinton is at the top followed by Sanders and then Biden. There’s only one problem with these polls: the vice president isn’t actually in the race for the White House. So why is he in the polls? Because many people believe he may enter the race. Many people want him to enter the race and most of them think he can overtake the former Secretary of State. Much of this speculation is also due to the fact that Biden’s late son, Beau Biden, always wanted his father to run for president.

What’s the problem with any of these statements? I like Vice President Biden and my heart goes out to him right now. But all of this is mere speculation, nothing more. A presidential bid from Biden is not yet set in stone. Many sources have discussed the VP’s possible presidential campaign, and Biden has talked with Democratic strategists in primary states like New Hampshire and South Carolina. But this is all still speculation, and the vice president is running out of time to announce and to campaign.

This brings me to Clinton and Sanders. Polls that only highlight Clinton and Biden indicate that Biden is either very close to Clinton or will fare better than her.

Recently, though, Bernie Sanders has crept up on Clinton in the polls. He is gaining ground on Clinton and has been doing so steadily for months now. Sanders is a good debater, good with the people, draws crowds in primary states in the thousands and was debating and campaigning during the Democratic debate. His stance on important issues to millennials such as college affordability, which is arguably the most important issue to the youngest voters, has won him support.

Clinton should be worried about Sanders taking her votes and popularity away because he is doing so slowly but surely. In some recent polls, he is continuing to do so with millennials who have helped candidates win elections such as the President Obama winning in 2008. Sanders is doing the same thing and appealing to minorities and young voters. He was charismatic and essentially “spoke” to many young and undecided voters I have had the chance to talk to in the days after the debate.

None of this is to say that Clinton did poorly or Biden would not be a strong competitor against both Democratic front runners if he runs. But I do strongly believe that Sanders is more competition than the Clinton Campaign ever thought he would be. He proved his presidential potential to the American electorate at the debate.  

Ashley Atherton is an opinion writer for The Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].