After months of deliberation, former Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday announced his decision to run for president for a third time, answering one of the biggest outstanding questions about the makeup of the 2020 race.
The announcement came in a campaign video released Thursday morning.
Later today, Biden will attend a fundraiser in Philadelphia, Pa. On Monday, he will hold his first official event in Pittsburgh, Pa. followed by a swing through early voting states like Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina in the coming weeks.
Biden, 76, enters the crowded Democratic primary field of 20 candidates as the presumptive front-runner sitting atop the most recent polls. But his more than four-decades-long career is set to undergo an unprecedented level of scrutiny as he seeks to win the Democratic nomination to take on President Donald Trump in a general election.
Biden, a centrist Democrat who often touts his relationships with those across the aisle, also will grapple with a Democratic Party that is increasingly feeling a pull from the left with a number of progressive candidates, like Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, in the 2020 race.
“I’m told I get criticized by the new left,” Biden said at an event in Delaware last month. “I have the most progressive record of anybody running for the United … anybody who would run.”
Trump has described a general election match-up against the former vice president as a “dream,” while some Republicans cast Biden, who has crafted a political brand aimed at appealing to working-class voters, as the most feared potential Democratic opponent for the President.
In recent weeks, Biden indicated he was close to mounting a 2020 campaign after gaining approval from his family to run for president for a third time. But he also acknowledged there were a number of other hurdles he still needed to work through, including fundraising, digital strategy, assembling a diverse campaign team and ensuring there is an appeal for a Biden run.