Former Vice President Joe Biden may be the shakiest frontrunner in the recent history of presidential politics. Despite being perched atop the primary polls since entering the race, it always feels as if he is soon to be kicked off of that perch.
After getting knocked about in the first debate by Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Biden has maintained a lead in most polls but has slipped in almost all of them. Oddly, the one he’s been strongest in was done by Fox News.
Biden is by far the most experienced politician in the 2020 Democratic field. In most professions that is an advantage. In politics, it can really be a negative. The Beltway is where intellectual originality goes to die. Biden first got to D.C. when grown men were wearing brightly colored bell-bottoms. The originality portion of his brain atrophied long ago.
Crazy Joe the Wonder Veep’s experience could have been a wellspring of ideas for what he would be like as president. Instead — as Business Insider notes — he is merely repeating Hillary Clinton’s one-note epic failure message from 2016:
In a crowded field of almost two dozen contenders, Biden has claimed the mantle as its most anti-Trump candidate. And he’s made rejection of the 45th president the core part of his campaign message. At the same time, he’s cast himself as a pragmatic politician who would restore bipartisanship in Washington and as the likeliest one to beat Trump in the 2020 election.
The Biden campaign’s laser-like focus on Trump resembles the Hillary Clinton campaign in 2016, which also tried portraying Trump as a singular threat to the nation’s fundamental values.
We all know how the “I’m not Trump” mantra worked out for Granny Maojackets.
On election night 2016, I was part of a live broadcast (from a bar—I love radio) on KABC in Los Angeles. When the prevailing mood was still that Hillary would win, one of the hosts asked me what could possibly make her lose. I mentioned the “I’m not Trump” theme of her campaign and said that the American people like to vote for a positive message rather than a negative one.
A Democratic operative who had worked for Hillary when she was first lady was also on the panel and she agreed with me.
I’d written before about my misgivings with GOP presidential candidates who offered nothing more than “I’m not the other guy” on their ways to spectacular defeats.
Even when the Biden campaign does take a stab at putting out a policy idea, it comes off as more stale than bread that’s been left on the counter after one returns from a three-week vacation:
Every statement from Team Biden reads/sounds like they got it from a book titled “Democrat-y Stuff to Say” https://t.co/yH07CXPxSJ
— SFK (@stephenkruiser) July 25, 2019
Business Insider notes a few other similarities between Hillary 2016 and Biden 2020 but leaves out the most important one: the smug sense of entitlement.
Just like Hillary in 2016, Joe Biden isn’t compelled to offer a clear, fresh vision to the electorate because he feels that he is owed the presidency.
He isn’t, but let’s not tell him that just yet.