Comeback of a Lifetime: Biden Pretty Much Wraps It Up
Joe Biden, gaffe machine extraordinaire, doesn’t really have any business being considered for the highest office in the land.
Even if you close your eyes to the encroaching senility, the hair-trigger temper, and the utter lack of meaningful accomplishments, you’re still left with a singularly uninspiring candidate. He has no real base of enthusiasm behind him, he’s not an effective public speaker, and he certainly has nothing to offer the progressive wing of the Democratic Party. In today’s polarized political landscape, he’ll undoubtedly get somewhere around 50% of the vote in November, but it’s hard to imagine how he’ll correct Hillary Clinton’s errors and wind up beating Trump.
Nonetheless, he’s the golden child right now. As Biden himself acknowledged on Tuesday night: “Just a few weeks ago, many of the pundits had declared this candidacy dead. Now we’re very much alive.”
Indeed, this has been the political comeback of a lifetime. After losing in four straight states, Biden scored a huge win in South Carolina on the wings of African-American voters. He used that momentum to clear the field of his “moderate” rivals, setting the stage for a Super Tuesday blowout that sent the Bernie Sanders revolución reeling. And then this week, Biden took Michigan (and several other states), leaving Bernie with a razor-thin path to the nomination.
It’s too early to call Biden the presumptive nominee, perhaps, but it would take a miracle for Bernie to turn this ship around.
Some of Biden’s supporters are hoping that the DNC takes a firm hand in preventing that miracle. In remarks on Tuesday, Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC), himself instrumental in helping the former vice president snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, said he was nervous about what might happen if the Biden/Sanders contest continued into the summer.
“I think when the night is over, Joe Biden will be the prohibitive favorite to win the Democratic nomination, and quite frankly, if the night ends the way it has begun, I think it is time for us to shut this primary down, it is time for us to cancel the rest of these debates — because you don’t do anything but get yourself in trouble if you continue in this contest when it’s obvious that the numbers will not shake out for you,” Clyburn said.
Clyburn, of course, has seen what all the rest of us have seen: A candidate who is better seen than heard. The more time Biden spends in front of the microphones and cameras, the greater the chances are that he’ll demonstrate to voters exactly how unfit he is for the job he’s pursuing. Every encounter with a voter is a disaster waiting to happen (as we saw just this week).
But Sanders doesn’t have a reputation of knowing when to quit, and in any case, the Democrats can’t just keep Biden locked up in a hermetically-sealed chamber until the election in November. If the wheels are going to come off, they’re going to come off.
And boy do they look wobbly.