The Unbearable Lightness and Reality of Being Joe Biden

Promoted from the diaries by streiff. Promotion does not imply endorsement.

Joe Biden-Caricature by DonkeyHotey, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0/Original

Joe Biden is the presumptive front runner for the Democrat nomination to take on President Trump in November 2020.  As such, assuming he wins that coveted nomination, the election of 2020 will be 2016 deja vu all over again a choice between two objectionable candidates whom voters view the least objectionable.  In 2016, there were just enough voters spread across three states who viewed Trump less objectionable than Hillary Clinton.  With Biden on the ticket, will the results be a replay of 2016?

Biden entered the race in April with one thing to his advantage- electability.  Polls have shown Biden defeating Trump in key swing states and states that Trump won in 2016.  These same polls, however, showed Hillary Clinton winning those states, so take polling data (especially this far out) for what it is worth.  But before Democrats get their hopes up in this area, that same polling data looks like it is a bet on his chances against Trump more than a liking for Biden.  His post-announcement numbers have dropped from a high of 39% to 29% today, on average.

Regardless of those numbers showing Biden in the lead, approximately 30% approval means 70% like the opposition.  It takes either Sanders or Warren to drop out of the race to illustrate Biden’s precarious situation.  Sanders and Warren are flip sides of the same socialist coin.  Does anyone believe that if Sanders, for instance, was to drop out tomorrow his supporters would migrate in massive numbers to Biden?

Thanks to the new face of the Democrat Party, the country sits in three general categories.  The first are Democrats who view Trump as an existential threat to their designs for the country.  The second is Republicans who viscerally oppose any Democrat whatsoever.  The remaining group just does not like anyone.  Hence, the race comes down to two disliked geriatrics with the outcome of a crapshoot.

Before Biden can get to that point, however, he has to make it by opponents in his own party.  Elizabeth Warren clearly wants to be the nominee, but she does not want to be the frontrunner.  This election is not one about a battle for the soul of the country as Biden has claimed.  It is a battle for the soul of the Democrats.  Right now there are questions whether Biden can do the distance.

Already there are rumors out of the Biden camp urging the candidate to cut back on appearances.  They are now speaking in tones lowering expectations in Iowa and New Hampshire.  Liberal propaganda outlets like the New York Times and Washington Post have offered up negative front-page stories on Biden.  David Axelrod has piled on saying: “It is one thing to have a well-earned rep for goofy, harmless gaffes.  It’s another if you seriously distort your own record. [He] is in danger of creating a more damaging meme.”

Others have noted that Biden is not inspiring.  His supporters claim he does not have to be since Trump is the inspiration for a vote for Biden.  His entire campaign is NOT based on the fact he has the best policies or that he is the most enthusiastic, but that he has the greatest chance of beating Trump in 2020.  He is building a campaign to appeal to skittish Democrat voters afraid the others will scare off those Midwestern middle-class voters that voted for Trump in 2016.  As one Democrat strategist said when you see 30% support for Biden in the polls that is 30% support for the idea that Biden can beat Trump.  The whole campaign rests on the concept of electability.

But there are warning signs here.  The election will come down again to that third camp of independent voters who will likely not really have any love for either candidate.  Overall, Biden may hold the advantage in hypothetical polls nationally and in key states.  When you look within the numbers, there are problems for Biden.  Both Trump and Biden’s favorability ratings among independents, according to a poll by The Economist, are upside down.  With Trump, they are 41-48, or negative seven.  With Biden, they are 28-47, or negative 19.  Among the class of voters who will decide the election, Biden has a long way to go.

Here is the dilemma for Biden.  His main opposition is Warren at this point and she is deftly moving up on him by running from the Left.  This creates its own problems for the Democrats.  Those other top tier candidates in the mix, mainly Sanders and Warren, are more anti-American than Biden.  Without him at the top, they become more pronounced.  Yet Biden is burdened by the fact that he too must now move left also thus explaining his apparent flip-flops which drew the criticism from Axelrod.  Besides the gaffes, he is now rewriting his 46-year long history in the public eye.  Further, his two previous runs for president showed he could not woo the more independent Democrat voters in primaries.  This may explain his downplaying of early primary states.

Instead, they may be putting forth a candidate who mistakes a mass shooting in El Paso for Houston, who thinks he is in Vermont when really in New Hampshire and who concocts tear-jerking stories about visits to Afghanistan that are simply false.  In The Hill, former Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell informs us that only the pundits really care about these Biden gaffes.  Maybe so now, but is Rendell that obtuse that he does not think Trump will use them to his advantage come to a general election?  Biden’s diarrhea of the mouth is not his biggest problem.  A man with 46 years of political experience as a Senator, Vice President and twice a presidential candidate has a thick resume to provide the fodder for attack.  And he has a long way to go before he sells himself to the Democrat voters in primaries before he even gets to the general election.

Most disturbing for Biden is the story he tells surrounding the circumstances of his first wife’s tragic death in an auto accident.  According to him, she was killed by a man who allegedly “drank his lunch,” that is, killed by a drunk driver.  A simple Google search indicates it is untrue and actually borders on slander.  Almost immediately, alcohol had been ruled out as a cause for the accident yet Biden on at least two occasions after that accident made claims that the other driver was drunk.  Why would a man so brazenly change the facts involving the death of his own wife?

The answer is simple: Joe Biden is a politician who will say and do anything to advance his career.  Voters may dislike liars and they may think that in 2020 it will be the choice between two liars, but there is one thing that independent voters dislike more than liars and that may be career politicians who lie for political gain.

Biden has been characterized as a gaffe machine, “embellisher,” “liar,” and plagiarizer and all of those things have some truth to them.  He also apparently was not that great of a law student if stories about his school days at Syracuse Law School are to be believed.  He failed an introductory course in legal procedures after exclusively using a single Fordham Law Review article while citing it only once.  He took the course over, passed, and the failing grade was expunged from his academic record.

So it is not only a conundrum Biden has fallen into but also the entire Democrat Party.  Who, other than Biden, is a viable candidate against Trump in 2020?  All they are left with are a bunch of America-hating socialists whose ideas are so radical they will turn off those independent voters.

Trump may be many things and not all of them good.  But for all his faults, the one thing he is not is Joe Biden.  That may very well be the difference come 2020.