Roger L. Simon

Biden Way Up in CNN Poll, but Will It Last?

Biden Way Up in CNN Poll, but Will It Last?
Democratic presidential candidate Mayor Pete Buttigieg, left, from South Bend, Indiana, and civil rights leader, the Rev. Al Sharpton, center, President of National Action Network, hold a news conference after their lunch meeting at Sylvia's Restaurant in Harlem neighborhood of New York, Monday, April 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, Pool)

With the Kentucky Derby right around the corner, Joe Biden appears to be way up in that other horse race, the Democratic presidential derby. He’s a fat 20 points above Bernie, who seems to be slipping. In fact, we might be able to put a fork in the geriatric socialist. It’s likely voters, even Democrat voters, are having trouble swallowing his declaration that terrorists should have the right to vote, one of the dumber statements made in the history of presidential politics. (What was or is going on in that man’s brain?)

But what about the others? They are so far back and there are so many of them that Joe, despite his also geriatric fumbling, may actually waltz into the nomination. Yes, it’s early and he’s gaffe-prone, blah, blah, blah, but still…

Let’s look at the rest of the pack. Standing out slightly, if we’re to believe CNN (hey, the clock is right once a day, etc.) are Warren and Buttigieg at eight and seven percent respectively. I’m surprised Warren is still holding, but the hitherto unknown Mayor Pete is more interesting and clearly has more potential. He is the “flavor of the month,” as they say in Hollywood. He projects an image of above-the-fray sincerity and calm intelligence — or is trying to. With an impressive academic pedigree, he wants us to believe he is not another unprincipled political hack largely driven by ambition.

That is, of course, hooey.

This does not mean that he is not dangerous. In fact, of all the Democrats, he appears at this juncture to be the only one who could actually beat Trump. But. two recent events underscore that the man is basically an opportunist, in other words, a real politician. And this may make him more of a threat.

The first of these was his nasty and obviously politically-motivated attack on Mike Pence, who, when the VP was Indiana governor, was the mayor’s best friend. Now Mike’s the homophobe of homophobes. Go figure.

Buttigieg’s problem is that the thing that makes him appealing to his core constituency of suburban liberals, being an out gay (of very recent vintage, but nevertheless out) is what makes him dodgy to the Democrats’ other core constituency, blacks, many of whom have an issue with this. So what does a cynical pol do? Mayor Pete has gone to have his candidacy blessed by, you guessed it, the Reverend Al Sharpton. Never mind that the Rev Al is a notorious anti-Semite. That’s a double for Buttigieg these days, making him all the more attractive to the New York Times. (Horrifying, but it’s true.). See what I mean about being a dangerous candidate?

Of the others, the supposedly powerful Kamala Harris is getting surprisingly little traction at five percent, despite having shown some fundraising prowess. (This may be overrated). Maybe it’s just me, but perhaps the public is getting a little weary of pols from feces-ridden California. They should, ahem, clean up their own act first.

In the list of also-rans, Cory Booker seems to have barely made the cut at two percent. (Wonder why?… No, I don’t.).  Other than Warren, none of the women appear to be making much of an impact (except, perhaps, Nikki Haley, who, rumor has it, may actually run with Trump as VP…. count that as an extreme long shot). Shocking in all this is that Eric Swalwell, of all people, has achieved one percent, tying him with New York’s Kirsten Gillibrand. If I were Gillibrand, I’d be reaching for the Xanax on that one.