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Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

With signs pointing increasingly to a 2020 presidential run by former Vice President Joe Biden, here's the case he'd make, based on our conversations with current and former advisers:

  1. The great white (voter) hope: I can bring back the rural, white, mostly male voters who sealed the presidency for Donald Trump. Think Wisconsin. 
  2. I'm liberal — just not that liberal. And too liberal won’t win.
  3. Been there, done that: In this dangerous chaotic world, we need a steady hand — not someone who's playing or practicing president.
  4. Remember last year when I said: "If we were in high school, I’d take him behind the gym and beat the hell out of him." Well, game on: Trump won’t intimidate or bully me.
  5. If you're looking for a rising star, there's a low-risk place on the ticket — next to me.

What Biden is thinking, according to friends: I have never been more confident of anything in my life that I can beat Trump, and beat him convincingly. And after all, isn't that what 2020 is all about?

  • I can recapture the party from the socialist left. Primary voters want to win, not just make a point.

Truth bomb: Biden's biggest fear is clearly that the Democratic Party isn't what it was even two years ago — that the politics, ideology and energy might have zipped by him.

  • If so, he'd be a three-time loser at presidential races.

Go deeper:

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Go deeper

Updated 6 mins ago - World

In photos: Pope Francis spreads message of peace on first trip to Iraq

Iraqis dressed in traditional outfits greet Pope Francis upon his arrival at Erbil airport, in the capital of the northern Iraqi Kurdish autonomous region, on March 7. Photo: Safin Hamed/AFP via Getty Images

Pope Francis was on Sunday visiting northern areas of Iraq once held by Islamic State militants.

Why it matters: This is the first-ever papal trip to Iraq.

Cuomo faces fresh misconduct allegations from former aides

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo during a February press conference in New York City. Photo: Seth Wenig/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

The office of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) was on Saturday facing fresh accusations of misconduct against his staff, including further allegations of inappropriate behavior against two more women. His office denies the claims.

Driving the news: The Washington Post reported Cuomo allegedly embraced an aide when he led the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and that two male staffers who worked for him in the governor's office accused him of routinely berating them "with explicit language."

In photos: Protesters rally for George Floyd ahead of Derek Chauvin's trial

Chaz Neal, a Redwing community activist, outside the Minnesota Governor's residence during a protest in support of George Floyd in St.Paul, Minnesota, on March 6. Photo: Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images

Dozens of protesters were rallying outside the Minnesota governor's mansion in St Paul Saturday, urging justice for George Floyd ahead of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin's trial over the 46-year-old's death.

The big picture: Chauvin faces charges for second-degree murder and manslaughter over Floyd's death last May, which ignited massive nationwide and global protests against racism and for police reform. His trial is due to start this Monday, with jury selection procedures.