Joe Biden for president?

He hasn't said he will run in 2020, but he also hasn't said he won't. And if he does, his announcement could be a boost for the Democratic Party, since many feel he's the best option for Democrats if they hope to unseat President Trump.

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The former senator and vice president spoke at the Democratic Convention on Saturday in Grand Forks and it occurred to us - as it has to many before us - that his appearance may just be a mile marker on the road to a presidential run in two years.

He gave a long speech on behalf of Sen. Heidi Heitkamp and on behalf of Democratic ideals in general.

At times, it sounded quite presidential; at other times, not so much. For those in the crowd hoping to catch a whiff of presidential interest deep within the speech, the hot-and-cold tone was perplexing.

Often, Biden's address was quiet and reserved - almost a soliloquy - as he spoke about character and courage. His voice dropped to almost a whisper, causing some in attendance to lean in to better hear him speak.

But about 25 minutes into the speech, Biden sprung to life and energized the partisan crowd with a sound clip that could be the basis for a TV commercial.

"There's an awful lot of people out there who somehow, and I don't know why, lost faith in what the American people can do. The middle class is not a number," he said as his voice began a steady crescendo and the audience began to cheer. "It's a value set. It's about being able to own your own home and not having to rent it. It's about being able to send your kid to a park or playground and know they'll come home safely. It's about being able to send them to a local school where if they do well and they want to go beyond school, they can get to college. And if they get to college, they can figure out how to get from there. It's about being able to take care of parents who are in need, and hoping your children will never have to take care of you. That's middle class. That's who we are. That's what built this country. ... And guess what: The middle class is shrinking because of Republican policies."

Biden is too busy, perhaps, for a man who wishes to stay on the sidelines. In recent weeks, he has campaigned twice in Pennsylvania, once in Montana and then over the weekend in Grand Forks.

Biden's schedule might just be for the good of the party as Democrats gear up for 2018 congressional and statewide races. But it also is likely Biden is gauging interest and considering a run himself. Some feel that at 75 he's too old. Of course, that's just four years older than President Trump, so they both get the same menu discount at Perkins.

Various national news organizations have reported that Biden has said he is keeping his options open. Saturday at the Alerus Center, it seemed that's definitely the case.