John and Paul have already noted the travails of Joe Biden, trying to figure out a path to the Democratic nomination in the era of both the #MeToo movement and the postmodern, identity politics disposition of the Democratic base. Supposedly Trump doesn’t have one of his handy nicknames ready for Biden yet. I’ve always like “Slow Joe,” but “Creepy Joe Biden” seems to be the flavor of the moment. But I think “Fake Ol’ Joe Biden” could be the most devastating. Can you just imagine the dirty tricks that Roger Stone will set in motion if Biden is the nominee? I can see “Creeps/Sex Offenders for Joe Biden” rallies outside his campaign appearances.
John Kraushaar of the National Journal reminds us of what a really bad politician Biden is:
Biden’s stature as the experienced hand, uniquely capable of unifying a broad Democratic coalition, will be threatened if he decides he needs to go on an apology tour for his past sins against progressive orthodoxy. Already, his long-ago opposition to busing, nuanced views on abortion rights, support for Bill Clinton’s bipartisan crime bill, and treatment of Anita Hill during the Clarence Thomas hearings are being unearthed to raise questions about his standing in a fast-evolving Democratic Party.
If Biden can’t defend his record over age-old subjects, which took place before many millennials were even born, he’s badly misreading his moment. Biden needs to run a campaign focused on his vision for the future, and can’t afford to apologize for every moment he ran afoul of the most uncompromising voices in the party.
My sense is that Biden is the Ed Muskie of this election cycle—the early front runner because of name recognition and general stature, but doomed to fade once the campaign starts in earnest. At this point in 1971, Muskie was leading in Nixon in some head-to-head polls ahead of the 1972 election. But then Muskie exposed himself as the prototype of the snowflake generation, and his campaign went kaput. He would likely have faded anyway, as the Democratic Party base in 1972 wanted someone much more fully anti-war and anti-American than Muskie (or Hubert Humphrey), and coughed up the hairball of George McGovern.
From Biden’s ham-handedness, you’d almost expect him to go full John Howard Griffin/Black Like Me on us, and get melanin injections so he can run as a “person of color.” Why not? Biden seems nearly incapable of an original thought of his own, so why not borrow someone else’s ethnicity if it works?
And more than his long-ago views that are now unacceptable to the Democratic base (and which only serve to remind people that Slow Joe is old), I wonder what the millennial voters will think they when learn of Biden’s long-ago plagiarism, which was really egregious:
I wouldn’t be surprised if Biden decides not to run after all.