From the editorial pages of the Goldsboro News-Argus

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Sunday, February 18, 2018

Roll call: Early, yes, but those eager to test the presidential waters wade out

Whattaya know, Joe?

It seems a certain former vice president is itching for another shot at the big chair. Reports this weekend were that Joe Biden, who has run twice before, is openly contemplating a presidential bid in 2020.

Biden, famously or infamously depending on your voter registration card, opted not to run this last time around, all but ceding the Democratic nomination to Hillary Clinton. And the rest -- unless your name is Robert Mueller -- is history.

What an interesting time in American politics. Each major party is searching for a way to unify its core. The Democrats have no clear leadership and the GOP seems, at least in part, torn between factions that will support the president and others that can't, won't or will only if it suits their own purpose.

Each time it seems an issue is polarizing enough that it ought to galvanize one or both parties, it doesn't. Repeal and replace, when is the last time we heard that phrase? Weeks or months feel like eons under the current administration. DACA? Perhaps it should, but it hasn't. Republicans don't agree across the board on a solution, and the Democrats are happy just to be in the room while it's being discussed. But that deference does little to impress that party's base.

There is no war, no act of terrorism, no "we've got to have it" issue one party can pull away from the other to secure either the midterms or the next presidential election cycle.

It is going to come down to leadership -- and showmanship. The midterms will be won and lost on Trump, either the candidate supporting the president or opposing him will carry the day respective to the district or state he or she is running in.

But 2020, especially now with Mitt Romney and possibly Joe Biden in the mix -- maybe Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren tests the waters? -- is going to be one of the most interesting presidential races in history. Not compared to the last one, but because of it.

But we won't have to wait long, folks. Subtly or not so subtly, the race has already begun.

Published in Editorials on February 18, 2018 9:40 PM