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Former U.S. Vice president Joe Biden speaks at the International Association of Fire Fighters legislative conference March 12, 2019 in Washington, DC.
Former Vice President Joe Biden is guaranteed to shake up an already crowded field of Democratic presidential primary contenders that includes at least half a dozen senators and a host of other viable candidates.
Biden, 76, starts out the race to take on President Donald Trump as the favorite among Democratic voters, consistently taking the top spot in early polling.
Biden, the former chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and vice president under President Barack Obama, enters the fray with a half-century of experience in government — a far longer record than many of those he will be competing against.
His experience, name recognition and connections on the national stage are likely to boost his ability to organize on the ground, a key hurdle in the crowded field. But his moderate public positioning, forged in the decades before the Democratic Party moved decisively left, is expected to face fresh scrutiny by an energized progressive base.
The former vice president also enters the race after several women have come forward alleging that Biden has touched them in ways that made them feel uncomfortable. In response, Biden pledged to be “more mindful and respectful of people’s personal space,” though he also later joked about the accusations.