During the recent debate between Democratic presidential candidates, they all had a great go at Joe Biden… and, therefore, at Barack Obama. After all, if they are going to criticize Biden’s “record” as vice president, they can’t leave Obama alone.
Sadly for them, however, party officials aren’t quite happy with that. Well, that’s putting it mildly. According to Politico, they’re just about furious:
“Stay away from Barack Obama,” advised Steve Elmendorf, a well-known Democratic lobbyist who worked on John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign.
“I don’t know why you would attack Barack Obama or his record or any part of him when he’s the most popular person in the party,” he added. “And I don’t think it helps for the general election voters, either. I don’t know what they’re thinking.”
So, the candidates are free to go after Biden, but only if they don’t criticize Obama. In any way whatsoever.
Going after the immigration policies of the Obama administration? That’s fine, as long as you put the blame for separating families squarely on Biden’s shoulders. Mentioning Obama in that regard? Off-limits! After all, he is The Great Saint™. Whoever touches him is a heretic and shall be punished — even though he is, of course, the one who built cages to put illegal immigrant children in and who separated families from each other well before Donald Trump ever became president. Biden was co-responsible for those policies, sure, but it’s rather difficult to talk about them without mentioning Obama.
Apparently, that is what the Democratic candidates are supposed to do. It’s laughable, but this is the most important rule the Democratic candidates have to obey. It’s either that or they’ll be taken out by the party leadership.