With Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders now out of the running for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination, Joe Biden will almost certainly face Donald Trump in November — but that begs the question of whether he even has a shot a victory.
A charitable interpretation of the situation is that Biden is a senile old man who should be enjoying life in retirement, not running for president. While his insistence on running doesn’t make him a bad person, it does raise questions about his true electoral prospects. According to Eddie Scarry at the Washington Examiner, even Biden himself probably doesn’t believe he’s running a campaign that can actually win.
Scarry: Biden anticipates defeat
Biden’s Super Tuesday comeback left many supporters of Sanders — and Donald Trump — claiming that the Democratic establishment had somehow rigged the contest in favor of a distinctly unfit candidate. In mix up after mix up, Biden left the nation, and many in his party, shocked and frustrated that someone so obviously unprepared for the presidency was on his way to challenging Trump.
Things haven’t gotten much better since the coronavirus came to dominate the national discourse. The veteran Democrat is as out to lunch as ever, and his campaign has struggled to keep the momentum going while the virus keeps Americans trapped in their homes. As Biden dodders on about what he would have done in response to the pandemic, serious questions have been raised about the former vice president’s ability to win.
Not even Biden himself seems to think he prevail, according to Scarry. In another uninspired moment, the former vice president described a phone call he had this week with President Trump about coronavirus in characteristically rambling generalities.
“I called the White House, sure enough, the president wanted to talk,” Biden said, according to Scarry. “We had a good conversation. I laid out what I thought he should be doing. I laid out four or five specific points that I thought were necessary, and I indicated that it’s about taking responsibility and being commander in chief, taking on responsibility. He asked me whether or not we would not discuss the detail of what we talked about, just say that we had a good conversation. He was very gracious in his conversation.”
Kid glove treatment
For those who have been following Biden’s campaign, this formulaic gibberish is nothing new. In any given interview, Biden can be found spewing the same confused jumble of platitudes, anti-Trump talking points, and sunny bromides about America’s “values.” The only thing that’s missing is substance.
So far, Biden has been very lucky in that the media establishment has treated him with kid gloves. If they went after the Democrat half as hard as they have hammered Trump for giving people “false hope” against the coronavirus, he’d be toast. But they won’t go there, obviously, since Biden is ultimately one of them. He’s the puppet of the Democratic Party elites.
Scarry is right about one thing: Biden is unfit for office, and his cognitive problems are going to receive more and more attention. But Trump would be wrong to rest on his laurels. Complacency — or call it cowardice — is what destroyed Sanders. The so-called “revolutionary” was too timid to break the Democratic party’s silent compact about Biden’s faults and say what everyone was thinking.
As of Wednesday morning, Sanders is old news. How will Donald Trump handle “Sleepy Joe?” The president gave everyone a clue on Tuesday.
“Can’t see AOC plus 3 supporting Sleepy Joe Biden!” Trump tweeted Tuesday. According to The Hill, Trump also made overtures to Sanders supporters, many of whom share views with the Trump base on trade and globalization, and declared that a coup against Sanders by the Democratic National Committee was successful. “This ended just like the Democrats & the DNC wanted, same as the Crooked Hillary fiasco. The Bernie people should come to the Republican Party, TRADE!”
The primary season is now effectively over, and when Donald Trump gets on the debate stage with Biden, it’s going to be brutal.