“I hope it’s Biden. When I say something that you might think is a gaffe, it’s on purpose. It’s not a gaffe. When Biden says something dumb, it’s because he’s dumb.” – President Donald Trump
“Look at what’s happened with Putin. While he — while Putin is trying to undo our elections, he is undoing elections in Europe…You think that would have happened on my watch or Barack’s watch? You can’t answer that, but I promise you it wouldn’t have, and it didn’t.” – Joe Biden
There are over twenty Democrat candidates seeking top billing on the ticket for the 2020 Presidential election. The early leader out of the gate is former Vice President Joe Biden. Perhaps it is a nostalgic connection to the more idealistic days of Obama for Democrats. Perhaps it is the anxiety of Trump seeking to undo the damage that Obama has wrought on the country and the perception that Biden can stem the bleeding. Whatever the reason, Biden is the familiar face that initially had Democrats seeing a ray of hope for 2020.
But nostalgia only lasts so long and has little staying power for the needs of the present. Just days after the first debates, the weaknesses in Biden’s candidacy, and indeed in Biden himself, are becoming self-evident and his lead is slipping. An initial 42% share in the Real Clear Politics poll just after his entry into the race has dropped precipitously to 26%. Meanwhile, Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren are rising and the radical left talking points are being pushed to center stage.
Biden looks insincere and disingenuous as he tries to reinvent his character as a true and devoted Progressive in an attempt to appeal to the new movers and shakers that are usurping the Democrat Party platform. For example, his announcement that he was reversing his lifelong position on the Hyde Amendment, now emoting that federal dollars should be used to fund abortion, just looked artificial and uncomfortable. Biden’s past is fraught with land mines that his opponents can throw him onto once the field narrows to a few serious contenders.
In reality, Biden is an old school Democrat with out-of-place views on race, gender, and segregation. He has a long-standing record and past associations not in tune with the “new” Democrat expectations. His gaffes on Obama being “clean and articulate” or “going into a 7-11 and hearing an Indian accent” only serve to illustrate his old school roots and out-of-touch appearances. His comment on Putin and meddling that would “not have happened” on his or Obama’s watch is laughable. Any Russian meddling in the 2016 election actually did happen on their watch, a fact the media and most Democrats conveniently forget or deny. Safe to say accurate rhetorical eloquence is not his forte.
The truth for Biden, poll numbers or not, is harsh in the glare of the new, extreme left Democrat Party. When it comes to electability, Biden is too old, too male, too white, too dim and too out of touch for the new standard-bearers. It is not a stretch to prognosticate he will not survive the primaries. The shame of it all is he is one of the more competitive candidates in the field versus Trump, personal foibles notwithstanding. There are still more moderate Democrats in the country than the screaming leftists now occupying elite positions. Furthermore, Biden would certainly capture more of the Independent vote than say Sanders, Booker or Harris.
The rapid decline of Biden’s candidacy is one more illustration of the devastation that such a hard swing to the left will bring to Democrats. It is almost counterintuitive to declare Biden a voice of reason in the midst of increasingly radical ideas. But that is the sad reality as we approach 2020. To say that Biden’s history and comparative moderation will doom him in the 2020 race merely accentuates the divided and difficult internal issues the Democrat Party now faces.