The Unbearable Lightness of Biden

Andrew Donaldson

Born and raised in West Virginia, Andrew has since lived and traveled around the world several times over. Though frequently writing about politics out of a sense of duty and love of country, most of the time he would prefer discussions on history, culture, occasionally nerding on aviation, and his amateur foodie tendencies. He can usually be found misspelling/misusing words on Twitter @four4thefire and his writing website Yonder and Home. Andrew is the host of Heard Tell podcast.

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32 Responses

  1. DensityDuck says:

    “Many would rightly see the addition of Stacey Abrams not as a positive, but Biden trying to use a young rising progressive star as an inoculation shot against “old white guy” criticisms. ”

    Which was exactly what McCain did by picking Palin, and it…did not work.Report

  2. Philip H says:

    The Democrats already have too many people in the race. The next generation of democratic Senate leaders is setting themselves up for a fall by all running for president at the same time. As republicans proved however, running a ton of folks is how you get a winning candidate with pluralities and not outright majorities in primaries. Of course, that could be how Pete Buttegieg gets the nod, but I digress.

    Joe Biden was a decent Senator, but really never presidential material. He got elevated to that level because his folksiness was an attempt to recreate a throwback to Bill Clinton’s style. And he did an amiable job as VP to Obama. But he needs to step aside and let the younger generation have a shot. He’s not my choice and I don’t think he’d beat Trump.Report

    • Morat20 in reply to Philip H says:

      “The next generation of democratic Senate leaders is setting themselves up for a fall by all running for president at the same time”

      Nah, the first primaries will start knocking them over like bowling pins. Heck, I wouldn’t be surprised if a good quarter drop out before the first primary.

      The Democrat’s proportional delegate system will help. They do proportional delegate allotment, not winner take all. Which means if you have a solid 30% of the vote, you…get 30% of the delegates. There’s a slight bonus if you have a majority, but not a huge one.Report

      • North in reply to Morat20 says:

        I agree with you and Phil both. Biden is simply not appropriate for this cycle, especially considering how many solid alternatives we have, and I’m not particularly concerned about the number of candidates running. They’ll winnow down fast enough. I don’t think the Dems have the rules or the wealthy sugar daddie/mommie constituency that the right has to sustain a long term fractured field.Report

  3. Stillwater says:

    I think you’re right on … well … just about everything in this post. Offering VP to Abrams reaks of cyniycism; the idea that he’s the safe pick is the “play to not lose” philosophy which many Dem voters but especially progressives detest in the Dem party; his track record on policy is open to wide criticism within and outside of the Dem party; and his gaffe-proneness indicates (to me) that he doesn’t have the steely discipline to stay on point under siege by Trump. He’ll crack, early and often.

    Maybe a shorter way to say it this: interest in Biden’s candidacy is directly proportional to those people’s fear that the Dems are going to lose. He’s a “play to not lose” candidate, and I don’t think that philosophy is going to beat Trump and the GOP.

    On the ironic other hand, I think if somehow the party and base got behind Abrams she’d get the job done pretty handily. Assuming she’s milkshake free.Report

    • Stillwater in reply to Stillwater says:

      I’ll post this here, cuz it seems relevant to the problems national Dem has pulling their heads out of their *****.

      NEW: @DCCC makes moves to block primary challenges against Dem incumbents. Per new hiring standards DCCC won’t contract with or recommend to House campaign any political firm that works against a sitting member.

      In my mind, it’s stuff like this, more than (eg) college social justicers demanding reparations, that make people turn away from the Democratic party.Report

      • Jesse in reply to Stillwater says:

        As a left-wing, but partisan Democrat who has defended the institutions of the DNC for being dumb, not corrupt, this is the first action taken by them that makes me feel sympathy for the “they’re going to screw Bernie” types.Report

      • Mr.Joe in reply to Stillwater says:

        WOW! There is still no shortage of butthurt over Bernie ’16. Now, they institute a policy seeming to say “no more AOCs”. Maybe this is some 7 dimensional chess thing, but it looks like they are actively trying to depress their base.Report

        • Dark Matter in reply to Mr.Joe says:

          They’re trying to prevent another peasant’s revolution. The kind which got us Trump.

          Our political servants really want to be our political masters.Report

  4. Saul Degraw says:

    I’m going to vote enthusiastically for whomever has a D next to their name in 2020 because the Republicans and Trump have proven themselves to be loathsome beyond belief.I’m also a partisan D.

    That being said, Biden is not my first choice for the Presidency.

    At this stage, most polls are based on name recognition and Biden has that in droves. He can also rest on warm and sunny feelings of the Obama years because Democrats loathe Trump and miss Obama strongly. The best Biden primary campaign would all be about how great Obama was especially compared to the loathsome Trump.*

    That being said, even without his other issues, I think he is too old.

    *Since I’m also a cynic, I wonder how many people confuse the Onion’s Joe Biden with the real Joe Biden. It is saying a lot though that Biden was at least able to say he found the Onion versions of himself funny in public. Can you imagine any GOP politician doing that?Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      In the short term, I’m going to need you to push for a Yang/Buttigieg ticket.Report

      • Mr.Joe in reply to Jaybird says:

        Yang = UBI Guy

        What is Buttigieg’s deal? Nothing of significance on his campaign website. So far all I got to hold him in my head is calling him “Baby Beto”. You know.. cuz he looks like a Baby Beto.Report

        • pillsy in reply to Mr.Joe says:

          He’s the Mayor of South Bend Indiana.

          He’s a surprisingly eloquent politician, and really has a habit of nailing questions he gets from the press and would-be supporters, which are all qualities that Dems tend to find really appealing.

          Yang is a total crank, but a lot of his crank ideas overlap with my crank ideas so I don’t hold them against him. He’s also trolling around Kekistan for votes, which I find unsavory, but he’s doing it by promising to mail NEETs monthly checks, which is at least honest (and good public policy!)Report

        • Saul Degraw in reply to Mr.Joe says:

          Buttigieg is the first openly gay candidate for President. He currently gets a lot of love for being the anti-Trump (he allegedly learned Norwegian to read more of a particular author). He is also young (only 36). The other thing I remember is that he is open to the idea of Court Packing.

          He has no chance in hell but I feel sorry for him because being from Indiana means that he doesn’t have much of a political future beyond maybe a Congressional seat if he is lucky. The same is true for Beto. Running for President is his most likely move.Report

          • pillsy in reply to Saul Degraw says:

            My guess is he’s running for VP.

            He’s young, charismatic, has a limited political future if he chooses to go a conventional route, and would be much better VP from Indiana than either of the last two.Report

  5. Mr.Joe says:

    That being said, Biden is not my first choice for the Presidency.

    Biden v. Trump is my first choice for an entertaining election season.Report

  6. Aaron David says:

    Abrams seems sharp, she’s young and if, if Georgia is trending her way, she would be wise to go for the Senate seat that is coming up. Get some time up top, then after a term or two run for Gov. before going in for the white house.

    And that would show everyone that the D’s are serious about running a gov’t.Report

  7. pillsy says:

    I think you’re probably right about Joe Biden.

    But if you are right about Joe Biden, it won’t really matter. He’ll flame out quickly and leave a bunch of other guys whose names begin with B to fight it out with Harris, Warren, and the rest.

    If you’re not, if he actually makes it and pulls across the finish line, well, that will be a whole different kettle of fish.Report

    • Brent F in reply to pillsy says:

      The best argument for Biden is that he polls best against Trump right now, so has an argument for being the surest bet in a race you desperately want to win. That’s a pretty good reason to support him all things considered, even if it’s not a satisfactory one to the very politically involved who want someone closer to their ideological preferences.

      If that holds up into the campaign season he’s got a legit argument for being a front runner. If it doesn’t, then he has much less to recommend him and stronger candidates should push him aside. This is entire purpose for having a primary campaign in the first place, to see who is catching the public’s imagination at this point in time and not just choose from a stack of resumes.Report

  8. Mike Schilling says:

    He is in every way preferable to Trump.

    Admittedly, if you dug a hole 100 miles deep and dropped a bar into it, this one would be lower.Report

  9. Marchmaine says:

    What? No idle speculation thread about the Mueller report?Report

  10. Zac Black says:

    I will bet good money that if Biden runs, he will be the Jeb Bush of this election cycle.Report

  11. Jaybird says:

    Seriously, Biden should have talked to her *FIRST*.

    Don’t ask Stacey Abrams to settle for second best. On Wednesday, the Georgia Democrat rejected the prospect of running in the primary as Biden’s vice-president. “You don’t run for second place,” she said on The View. “If I’m going to enter a primary, then I’m going to enter a primary. If I don’t enter a primary, my job is to make certain the best Democrat becomes the nominee and, whoever wins the primary, that we make certain that person gets elected in 2020.” As Yahoo News reports, sources close to Biden had floated the idea of announcing Abrams as vice-president if he launched a campaign, though they seemingly did so without input from Abrams herself. Abrams did not reject the notion of becoming a vice-presidential candidate altogether; in the same View appearance, she said that she would be willing to serve as a nominee’s running mate “once a nominee was set.”


  12. Jaybird says:

    From the only trustworthy political commentator on twitter:


    • pillsy in reply to Jaybird says:

      The cultural and political moment we find ourselves in is so weird that I often find myself forgetting the old standards of normalcy, and barely even notice that we have a guy LARPing Richard Nixon on the Interblag, and providing pretty good political commentary while doing so.Report