Biden's long-anticipated entry into the jam-packed 2020 Democratic field was announced in a video released early Thursday morning. The campaign video focused on the racial violence in Charlottesville, Va. in 2017, and what he called the battle to stand up for the "core values" of the country.
First elected to the U.S. Senate at 29 in 1972, Biden has argued that his decades of experience crafting American policy have made him "the most qualified person in the country to be president."
But his long career has also left a paper trail of votes and statements from other political eras that his political opponents are sure to weaponize against him.
The release last week of special counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible obstruction of justice by President Donald Trump has unleashed the president's fury.
The result is an escalating assertion of the presidency as the dominant branch of government in a war over the balance of power.
"The Russians came up against a group of people who were not intelligence savvy and who were predisposed not to listen to the intelligence and counterintelligence community," said Luis Rueda, who spent 27 years as a CIA operations officer.
And Trump's continued unwillingness to call out Russian election interference makes it easier for Russia to succeed in influencing the 2020 election, former senior intelligence officials tell NBC News.