I Was Montana State Director of Obama/Biden 2012 and Helped Elect Joe Biden Vice-President, Twice, He Shouldn’t Run For President A Third Time in 2020

Joe Biden speaks at the 2018 Montana Democratic Party Mansfield-Metcalf dinner

Joe Biden ran for President in 1988, and lost. Joe Biden ran for President in 2008, and lost. Joe Biden does not need to be in the field in 2020. The 2020 field is full of brilliant, diverse, talented people. Let it go, Joe.

This should not be construed as an endorsement of any candidate nor should it be seen as an attack. It’s merely my opinion. I plan to vote for the Democratic nominee for President. Period.

I helped elect Barack Obama president, twice, I joined the Obama campaign the day he announced on February 10th, 2007 and was state director of Students for Barack Obama by March 1st, 2007. In 2007 and 2008 I traveled the country for then Senator Obama, ending up in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin in the general election. I worked 114 days in a row a minimum of 16 hours a day in the general election in 2008. It nearly killed me and we did the impossible, we elected Barack Obama President and Joe Biden as his running mate.

Barack Obama and I on April 5th, 2008 before I introduced him in Missoula, Montana

On April 4th, 2011 I was named state director of Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign in Montana. I fought for Joe Biden and Barack Obama for many years. We had many victories. The time has come to call an end to this though.

Joe Biden ran for President in 1988 and lost. Joe Biden ran for President in 2008 and lost. Joe Biden does not need to be in the field in 2020. The 2020 field is full of brilliant, diverse, talented people. Let it go, Joe.

Millions of us came together behind Barack Obama in 2008 to make a movement to end interventionist wars in Iraq, bring healthcare to millions and fight for student loan reform.

The Obama moment is over, Secretary Clinton almost rode the policies of Obama’s administration to victory, but those policies while well-intentioned, obviously left something wanting in many parts of America that Donald Trump’s demagoguery was able to exploit. Another run with the same failed strategy is no path to victory in 2020 for Joe Biden as he now says he’ll run on Obama’s legacy as his heir apparent.

Joe Biden is no heir to Obama’s legacy, he was along for the ride and was helpful in certain areas like the renewal of the New START nuclear weapons reduction treaty in 2010, but Biden was a running mate, not a co-owner of the Obama movement, nor has his career been defined by the eight years Obama and Biden occupied the White House.

Senator Biden’s policy legacy lives on every day and many Americans are impacted by it and it creates many opportunities for President Trump to exploit in a general election.

Biden’s yes vote on the Iraq war will make a compelling argument to many Americans for President Trump’s re-election.

Biden’s yes vote on NAFTA will make a compelling argument to many Americans for President Trump’s re-election.

Biden’s flip-flops on many other issues will make a compelling argument to many Americans for President Trump’s re-election.

Let’s not make the same mistakes we made in 2016, let’s evolve as a party in a new direction and start winning elections again.

To that let’s let Joe Biden’s own words speak for themselves on the issues.

Joe Biden once said about abortion:

When former Vice President Joe Biden was a freshman senator he said in a 1974 interview with Washingtonian that he believed the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade ruling clearing the way for legal first-trimester abortions “went too far,” and that he didn’t “think that a woman has the sole right to say what should happen to her body.”

But he doesn’t believe that today, I’m certain of it.

I’m fairly certain Joe Biden is obsessed with Donald Trump the man, not Donald Trump the greater problem in our society:

Joe Biden once said:

“We have predators on our streets that society has in fact, in part because of its neglect, created…they are beyond the pale many of those people, beyond the pale. And it’s a sad commentary on society. We have no choice but to take them out of society….a cadre of young people, tens of thousands of them, born out of wedlock, without parents, without supervision, without any structure, without any conscience developing because they literally … because they literally have not been socialized, they literally have not had an opportunity….we should focus on them now….if we don’t, they will, or a portion of them, will become the predators 15 years from now.”

I know today he probably believes in real criminal justice reform.

Joe Biden said some concerning things about Barack Obama on the 2008 campaign, even messing up so much as to be frozen out by Barack Obama for weeks in October 2008. He was a great guy to meet at the labor day parade that year in Pittsburgh though.

From a review of the book Game Change:

In other revelations from the 2008 presidential campaign, the book also exposes tension between then-candidate Barack Obama and running mate Joe Biden for comments the vice presidential candidate made at a campaign fundraiser.

“Biden had been hanging around with reporters running his mouth about how he was more qualified to be president than Barack Obama,” Halperin said.

Obama apparently made his feelings known.

“‘How many times is Biden going to say something stupid?” Obama reportedly said after Biden said that it would not be “six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy.”

Staffers said Obama’s response was as angry as they had ever seen him, according to the book.

“There was always a big concern that Biden would talk too much, say the wrong things,” Heilemann said today. “And as soon as that happened, that was the moment they cut back Biden’s access to the press.”

Vice President Biden’s office has criticized Halperin and Heilemann for not checking directly with them to verify accounts described in the book. But the authors said the facts are indisputable.

“We talked with plenty of people around Joe Biden about the facts of the book,” Halperin said. “Those facts, those stories, are accurate. They [Biden’s office] didn’t challenge anything specifically.

And then you get his Delaware troubles:

Biden is a conventional, corporate centrist Democrat. He is from the Great Banking State of Delaware, after all. A 2008 Pro Publica report detailed just how cozy Biden’s relationship has been with the credit card industry — including the fact that the financial services company MBNA was Biden’s single largest contributor for 20 years, and Biden supported credit card industry-friendly bills that  include a 2005 legislation to make it harder for consumers to get bankruptcy protection. He also voted against legislation to require credit card companies to warn consumers about the consequences of paying only the minimum amount due on their credit cards each month.

I really don’t mean to pile on, so I won’t go on. Just felt some things needed to be said as so many others have started the waterfall of information we all need to consider in the 2020 Presidential primaries and I hope Joe Biden reconsiders and sits out a third try at President.


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Nathan Kosted


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  • Thank you for this thoughtful critique, and thank you so much for running the best grassroots presidential campaign Montana has ever seen in 2008. I believe we have several excellent candidates in the field, that Bullock needs to get real and take out Daines, and that Montana dems should be looking for the candidate who will run a grassroots campaign in every state, rather than write Montana off as HC did in 2016. (To see why this matters, compare results for statewide offices in Montana for 2008 and 2016. )

  • I appreciate your commentary, very thoughtful and informative. I am not on board with Joe Biden running for President. I think it is time for him to step aside. We have some really good options and need to focus on choosing the best candidate for 2020.
    I agree with John Gatchell, too.
    Thank you Nathan.

    • I disagree with the writer who is “not on board with Biden (even) running”. I’m on board with everyone running. It’s great to get a look at all the diverse Dems that have announced for the presidency. It’s great to know that we have a strong cadre of leaders from across the county bringing their ideas to the discussion. Each of them will have important roles to play if we are going to tackle the existential threats to our country and the world. To say the least, the Democratic debates are going to be interesting. When the dust settles, I hope we do have the best candidate for 2020. Two principles will guide my final choice: 1) Experience matters, and 2) the best candidate is the one who can beat Trump. Let’s let the process play out and the best person win.

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