David Leonhardt of the New York Times, says this about Joe Biden: “As happened with McCain in 2008, a large share of primary voters this year weren’t wowed by any of the candidates. They instead were waiting for one to emerge — especially one who seemed likely to beat President Trump. I don’t think it was inevitable that Biden would be that candidate, especially after his weak start. But after Sherrod Brown and Mitch Landrieu didn’t run, after Michael Bloomberg entered the race late, after Cory Booker and Kamala Harris dropped out and after every other candidate failed to appeal to black voters, Biden was the one left standing. Many voters have found their way back to him.” He might not have been the most able candidate from the beginning, but with Bernie failing to really catalyze a winning combination of huge voter turnout, minority support, and suburban appeal, Biden is the man African-American, older, and many Hispanic voters are choosing to accomplish the most important goal conceivable: send Donald Trump back to his gilded towers of dark magic and usher in an era that is both progressive and harkens back to the largely-successful Obama years. Biden’s coup on “Super Tuesday” was reminiscent of the mythical boxer and “comeback kid”, Rocky Balboa. Here is a brief synopsis of the virtue and character that many see in Biden’s glorious victory.
African-Americans have been trying my patience. Well, at least those over age 40.
What I mean is, I was an avid Bernie supporter back during his ill-fated run against the Titan of the Establishment, Hillary Clinton. Black voters absolutely crushed him in South Carolina, where I lived. I was crestfallen.
Fast-forward almost four years, and they did it again. Again, supporting Bernie, this time I am in North Carolina, black voters handed Bernie his walking papers. They came out in force for Biden. Big time. That plus the enthusiastic turnout for Biden in the Virginia suburbs, Mike Bloomberg’s zeppelin imitation, and Steyer/Klobuchar/Buttigieg dropping and endorsing were hugely significant for Biden. Clearly, African-Americans want the moderate, predictable, amiable thing that Joe is selling. They bought it hook, line, and sinker. They appreciate him supporting and sticking by Obama, who is a near-legend in the black community. As well, Congressman Jim Clyburn, “Mr. Establishment in South Carolina”, held everyone in rapt attention – especially blacks – as he acted as “kingmaker” and annointed Biden the one to trust to go up against Trump. “He knows us,” Clyburn declared.
Endlessly middle-of-the-road thinker Thomas L. Friedman has this to say: “If your party doesn’t have an awesome presidential candidate — and the Democrats don’t in this election — then your party better have an awesome coalition. That means a party that is united as much as possible — from left to center to right — so it can bolster the nominee against what will be a vicious, united and well-funded Trump/G.O.P. campaign. It’s going to take a village to defeat Trump.”
Also at the Times, Frank Bruni crafted this snippet as part of a smart mea culpa about not seeing Joe’s amazing comeback coming:
“I never learn. None of us pundits do. In my newsletter three weeks ago , I asked: “What in God’s name happened to Joe Biden?” I was referring to his miserable showings in the Iowa caucuses and then the New Hampshire primary, and I was sounding the death knell for his presidential candidacy. I didn’t go as far as to say that he was done. But I sure as hell implied it, and I brimmed confidently with reasons that he couldn’t go the distance and get the Democratic nomination: He was too unsteady. Too old. Too yesterday. How could someone so oriented toward the past sufficiently inspire Americans who were looking to the future? Well, Biden inspired or at least appealed to enough voters yesterday to stage one of the most extraordinary political comebacks I’ve ever witnessed. On Super Tuesday he emphatically halted Bernie Sanders’s momentum and remade the Democratic primary into a two-man race: Biden versus Sanders.”
Friedman speaks to a very salient issue in this election, though, when he writes this in the New York Times: “Because Bernie has to lose the nomination to a moderate Democrat, but he has to lose fair and square. The nomination can’t be stolen from him. He and his supporters are too important to a winning Democratic coalition in November. They need to be on the team.” I am willing to support Biden because I think he has heart and he is a decent person for electability and governing potential, and I felt morally free to do so because I see aggressive coalition-building and politicking on Biden’s part, but I don’t see him or the Democratic National Committee cheating per se. That is something that I would imagine 40% of Bernie supporters could not abide. I hope the Party learned the lesson of the 2016 debacle and acts with honor, prescience, and decency.
I really like Bernie, but backing a winner is more important to me — and 60-70% of voters — than all else. I would vote for Biden’s dead cat before I would cast a vote for Donald Trump. These last four years have been miserable for liberals, those who appreciate Americans institutions and American values, and definitely for Jews and blacks and gays and Hispanics. Pretty much for everyone who wasn’t in Trump’s inner circle, or the white collar criminals whom he pardoned. Oh and Putin was obviously very happy with how the last four years turned out.
Joe owes Elizabeth Warren a big thank-you as well, since she was instrumental in castrating Mike Bloomberg on national television for all to see.
Nicholas D. Kristof, the veteran journalist, says this on the topic:
“Bernie Sanders is authentic and does have grand plans, and I’m closer to some of Sanders’s positions than Biden’s. …Like many voters, I don’t love Joe Biden. He’s plodding, uncharismatic and lacks grand plans for change. But if I don’t love him, I do like him. He’s one of the most decent people in politics, even quietly giving out his cellphone number to people who have suffered great loss and telling them to call him. Most of all, I think he is now the best chance to oust President Trump and help elect a Democratic Senate.”
We need someone like Joe Biden at this time. Friedman sums it up cogently:
“So many people voted for Trump the last time because they wanted a disrupter who would shake things up. Well, he’s sure done that, running through multiple chiefs of staff and secretaries of defense and directors of national intelligence, not to mention four secretaries of homeland security and five national security advisers, not to mention reckless attempts to slash the budget of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, not to mention constantly denouncing the professional ‘deep state’ civil servants whom we need now more than ever to protect our laws. This [Coronavirus] epidemic is going to remind people how dangerous it is to have a disrupter with no ethics and no discipline. It is going to remind people that the G.O.P. laugh line — I’m from the government and I’m here to help! — and other efforts to trash and weaken the federal state are not at all funny.”
Trump is clearly afraid of Joe Biden. Perhaps he should be. He tarnished his name with his ignominious claims during his IMPEACHMENT FOR TRYING TO CHEAT AGAINST JOE BIDEN, and yet Biden has been hoisted up onto the shoulders of the downtrodden liberals, minorities, and institutionalists of this besieged country.
As Mona Charen indicated, “Expecting to see a lot of breaking news about Burisma, Ukraine, and Hunter Biden in the next few days.” I say we ignore and reject that as mere skullduggery on behalf of a moral weasel who is afraid of losing power. We the People should carry Joe Biden our our collective and figurative shoulders all the way to victory. I don’t think America can take another four years of Trump, I really don’t. We have sustained great damage to our economic strength, our morale, our institutions, our world standing, our cultural prowess in the world, and our self-respect. Aside from the 20-25% of Americans who buy into Trump’s flim-flam artistry, even now, Americans are sick and tired of the non-stop chicanery, Machiavellianism, and rogue acts. We are waist-deep in a swamp — one that was supposed to have been drained!
Biden or the Coronavirus are going to take down the would-be Emperor, and I intend to wait with baited breath to see Trump rue the day he tried to bribe and extort a foreign power to do what his Attorney General wouldn’t: knock Joe Biden out of contention by investigating him for trumped-up charges (obviously a pun is intended).
Thomas Friedman counsels: “Yes, the Democratic candidate should run on improving Obamacare, promoting common-sense gun-control laws and funding more affordable housing and education. But the overarching message has to be unity — unity in the party and unity for the country.”
I’m for that! I’m very intent on removing the parasite that currently occupies the Oval Office, and I’m not sacrificing my ideals to do it; my ideals are roughtly isomorphic with Bernie Sanders’ ideals, but Biden is better-positioned to rally the troops and win the day. Hopefully, Bernie will pull Biden a bit to the left, and keep him honest, and then accept he has been beaten fair and square. He will do the country a great service, like he did in 2016, if he campaigns for Biden and endorses him. Indeed, we need unity of the center-left, and we need unity of the country.
I think Joe’s background shows some foolish decisions, pandering to Big Money, and buffoonery. However, he also seems pretty decent, up-front, impassioned, and still is in touch with his early “working-class values”. He made a number of mistakes, but he seems far less odious than many others — Senators or otherwise. I like him less than Sanders but envision him having an easier time getting elected and governing. His running mate will obviously be of the highest importance. Here is a quote I particularly like: “For too long in this society, we have celebrated unrestrained individualism over common community. For too long as a nation, we have been lulled by the anthem of self-interest. For a decade, led by Ronald Reagan, self-aggrandizement has been the full-throated cry of this society: ‘I’ve got mine, so why don’t you get yours’ and, ‘What’s in it for me?'” He also saw the potential of Barack Obama from the get-go; he took him under his wing in the Senate, and that says something. Here is one comment he made in 2007 about Obama: “You got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that’s a storybook, man!”
This is a time of breathtaking change and instability, and he could be a calming and normalizing influence after all the heartache and indigestion we suffered through during Trump’s first term. Hopefully, the Coronavirus proves too resistant a foe for Donald Trump to run his usual brand of bullshittery on, and Joe bests him 60% to 40% in the popular vote. That, to me, would be a storybook, man!
Finally, let me note that I am not supporting Biden if he sits by and allows DNC skullduggery to rig the election for him. It’s a tightrope walk for me and many others, mentally and emotionally: we are willing to support Biden even though we see Bernie as more trustworthy and wiser, but not if doing so means that we sell Bernie out to big money and power politics. Biden will need Bernie’s support to succeed at the Convention if Biden doesn’t obtain 50.01% of the delegates, and he will need Bernie supporters to come out in droves to support him in a general election. Thus, as always, Mr. Biden, character counts. Ω
I will end with a long-winded but touching and enlightening paean I heard commentator Morning Joe anchor and former Republican Congressman, Joe Scarborough, and Boston Globe columnist Mike Barnacle, offer this morning about Joe Biden. This conversation touts his character, his decency, his empathy, and his staying power — all things that should be an antidote to Donald Trump in November.
Mike, you’ve known Joe for a long time and I’ve known him for quite some time as well. Anytime we’re together, there’s never any silence: it’s all talking, laughing, joking. But, when he came on [the “Morning Joe” television] set in New Hampshire, the morning of the primary, when his political obituaries were already being written, it was striking that for the first time I’ve ever seen, we exchanged a few pleasantries, and then he just sat down, and we said nothing. For, what do you say at a man’s political wake? That was, after all, what people were calling [the Democratic primary contest in] New Hampshire.Now, here we find ourselves — as you saw last night — of one more example of Joe Biden getting knocked down, pulling himself back up to his feet, and fighting back like hell. It’s an extraordinary trait — not just politically — but personally. And this man has done it more in his lifetime than any other politician I have ever known.
You just summed up his life. Yes, indeed, people were writing him off. But Joe is Joe; he does get up off the mat; he has done it repeatedly throughout his life. And again, harkening back to South Carolina, I think one of the biggest things that people who were on the fence about Joe saw — given his losses in Iowa and New Hampshire — quite emotionally and on television — which is like a “national MRI — they saw humanity. It has been missing in the Oval Office since January 20th, 2017. They saw empathy. They saw a person whom they remembered they liked, and whom they believed in. …Politics is a “people business” at its root, and I think you saw hundreds and thousands of people coming out, coast to coast, Republicans and Democrats, and one thing ruled above all: they are not willing to roll the dice on the future of this country by wasting a vote. They want to win; they want someone who can beat Donald Trump, and I think they feel strongly now that in Joe Biden they have that candidate.