In a field as crowded as the one the Democrats are dealing with in their efforts to defeat President Trump in 2020, candidates who largely agree on policy need to figure out ways to stand apart from their opponents.
Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) has been following up his okay-ish first debate performance by taking aim at Joe Biden, who is still the frontrunner, despite a mostly awful first debate.
On Friday Booker hit Biden for some comments he made while attempting to position himself as a great white champion for African Americans.
Booker kept up the pressure during a Sunday appearance on “Meet the Press”:
Sen. Booker questions whether former VP Biden could be a uniter on race if he wins the Democratic presidential nomination, saying he has an “inability to talk candidly about the mistakes he made.” https://t.co/KBHxFeXZ0P
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) June 30, 2019
Booker is playing to an obvious position of strength here. He needs something to get some traction.
Biden is vulnerable and the wise candidates will smell the blood in the water and attack. He’s not vulnerable simply because he had a rough debate. As I said on Twitter the other day, he hasn’t had to run a meaningful race since Nixon was president. He was essentially penciled in to his Delaware Senate seat after his first term, then he rode Barack Obama’s coattails.
Crazy Joe the Wonder Veep is yet another Democrat who believes that he is entitled to the presidency. The Democratic faithful are about to wake up to the fact that he isn’t battle tested or very quick on his feet.
Booker is trying to knock him out with a race card.
Booker, who has been one of Biden’s most outspoken critics in the Democratic field in recent days, pointed to a handful of examples — Biden’s opposition to federally-mandated busing as a tool of desegregation in the 1970s, recent comments about his working relationship with senators who supported segregation, and his defense of the 1994 crime bill — to argue that the former vice president “is not doing a good job of bringing folks together.”
“Whoever our nominee is going to be, whoever our next president is going to be, really needs to be someone who can talk openly and honestly about race,” Booker said during an appearance on “Meet the Press.”
“I’m not sure if Joe Biden is up to that task given the way the last three weeks have played out.”
Booker is one of those candidates who just keep hanging around long after you think he’s been knocked out of a fight. Positioning himself as the most vocal Biden attacker is a wise move. It gives him some press and keeps attacks from other candidates away from him for a while.
Biden is going to keep stepping in messes of his own creation. It’s his brand. It may not be long before all of the other candidates set their sites squarely on him.