Election 2020 Chapter 2: The Big Dog Emerges Thanks To A Big Choke

Luis A. Mendez

Luis A. Mendez

Former Political Hack Turned Author And Commentator Of All Things Cinema.

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  1. Avatar Jaybird
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    says:

    Biden, in recent weeks, has communicated poorly.

    One of the big things I noticed in the last days of Obama’s presidency, but before the election, was that Obama seemed to disappear. It was all about Trump vs. Clinton. Obama was a non-entity. If something happened, they wanted to ask Trump about it and they wanted to ask Clinton about it.

    Maybe that’ll happen to Biden by July or August.Report

    • Avatar North in reply to Jaybird
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      says:

      Only in recent weeks?Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to North
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        says:

        He seems to have done a great job of skating on people remembering cantankerous Biden from the Obama years to get through the primary but now would probably be a great time to thunder against Trump or thunder that we have to all work together to flip this corona, Jack, but vote for *ME* come November but he’s not really thundering.

        You saw this story, right?

        “The most important thing — and I’ve actually talked to Barack about this — the most important thing is that there has to be someone who, the day after they’re picked, is prepared to be president of the United States of America if something happened,” Biden said.

        The day after they’re picked.

        I saw a number of jokes that say “BY GOD THAT’S HILLARY’S MUSIC” and the like but I’m mostly focused on the whole… Biden is communicating that he can’t/won’t do the job.

        Tie that into his missteps recently and how his energy seems to have transformed…

        I dunno.

        I dunno.Report

        • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Jaybird
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          says:

          I just had a really weird idea where Biden picks Clinton as his vice-President, he wins, he immediately resigns due to mental-health issues, and Hillary Clinton finally, finally becomes President like she always wanted, and her first act is to bomb the absolute shit out of Damascus…Report

          • Avatar Jaybird in reply to DensityDuck
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            says:

            And then we could read Vox thinkpieces about how, if the Coronavirus originated in Syria, this would be an appropriate response to countries that engaged in biological warfare against the rest of the world.Report

          • Avatar North in reply to DensityDuck
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            says:

            HRC? There’s, what, no constituency in the party right now that’d pull for her to be nominated. Her former strongholds would rather she go for Warren and the realists want a win and are well aware that nominating HRC as veep would endanger that.
            I’m doubtful she’ll even get to speak at the convention (if there is one) let along be considered for the nomination.Report

        • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Jaybird
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          says:

          The day after they’re picked.

          I also remember Hillary Clinton’s “3 AM phone call” ad…

          Report

        • Avatar North in reply to Jaybird
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          says:

          I’ve followed the race and Biden closely myself. I don’t see his energy level, engagement or other behavior changing a lot from the time when you were in “Yeah Biden’s their best chance to win” mode vs now when you’re in your current “They were fools not to choose Bernie” mode.

          I agree, he’s elderly, he’s far from the most vigorous candidate and he has his Biden gaffes ™ still regularly occurring. I wish he was younger and not so Biden-ish but here we are. I still think, out of the options the politics, demographics and voting dynamics presented them with the Primary voters made the correct decision.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird in reply to North
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            says:

            I don’t see his energy level, engagement or other behavior changing a lot from the time when you were in “Yeah Biden’s their best chance to win” mode vs now when you’re in your current “They were fools not to choose Bernie” mode.

            At that point, I’d say that he was skating on his cantankerous memories.

            Remember “this is a big friggin’ deal”? That was a Classic Joe moment. Hell, even Corn Pop (A LIFETIME AGO) was more of a Classic Joe moment. (It was a true story, which makes how Biden non-fans in the media covered it kind of shameful.)

            So… yeah. This is different than that. He’s not particularly cantankerous.

            How many speeches of him have you seen in the last, oh, week? (Or even speeches of his that you’ve heard of and thought “He’s already got my vote, no need to waste time”?)Report

            • Avatar North in reply to Jaybird
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              says:

              Biden has dropped off a lot in speeches, showings and appearances, obviously. The primary is pretty much sewed up and the virus has basically shut down campaigning. Right now he’s switched to presidential “fireside chats” as Jennifer Rubin calls them. Basically trying to run a shadow Presidency to give voters an idea of how this’d be if Biden was in charge. It’s definitely lower energy but I do think it’s a good contrast with Trump.

              I mean, I do not want to go on record as saying “there’s nothing wrong with Biden, he’s a shoo in to win”. I really wish he hadn’t run at all. But between him and Bernie I’m glad Biden won and I think he’s the better bet. I don’t see the Biden quality being any different now than it was for all of 2019 or 2020.Report

  2. Avatar DensityDuck
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    says:

    one mention in this whole piece of Buttigieg and Klobuchar, both together in the same sentence, with no mention of how it took them five days of soul-searching to decide to drop out and endorse Biden, both at the same time, in a perfect time to give him a huge free pop of “support is swinging to BIDEN” the day before a primary.

    Like…everyone bitches about Trump’s Masterful Media Manipulation, but here’s some genuine bullshit in the Democratic primary elections and everyone pulls a face and is all “wulll, uh guess Bunnie just cuddn’t build uh COH-UH-LISH’N”…Report

    • Avatar Aaron David in reply to DensityDuck
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      says:

      Though it is kinda funny (ha-ha, not wierd) that Elizebeth Warren, Super Genius! couldn’t even manage to pull that off. What a maroon.Report

    • Avatar North in reply to DensityDuck
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      says:

      Yeah it’s like you never heard of “The Party Decides”. Sure Amy and Pete acted in the interests of the party and no doubt some influential actors from the party leaned on them. That is because the Democratic Party is still capable of those decisions and both Amy and Pete recognized that what was good for the party also happened to be good for them.

      But you seem to be implying this is in any way nefarious whereas it isn’t even remotely that. It’s not bullshit or some evil conspiracy; it’s just a living, breathing, political entity and community looking out for its interests unlike what happened when Trump burrowed into the animated carcass of the GOP in 2015.Report

      • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to North
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        says:

        “Yeah it’s like you never heard of “The Party Decides”.”

        I love, love, love, love, love how you’re presenting this as though it’s a good thing we should all be happy about.

        It’s like the cartoon with the frisbee dog, where the dog says “please vote”, and the voters say “for who we choose?” and the angry dog says “no choose, only vote”Report

        • Avatar North in reply to DensityDuck
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          says:

          Well Democrats and the vast majority of Democratic voters should be, and are, happy about what happened. Obviously very far left voters and right wingers wouldn’t be pleased about what happened, the former because they didn’t get to hijack a major party and the latter because their job in November got a LOT harder.

          And the voters chose, repeatedly. It’s not like Amy and Pete were doing well with the voters and then inexplicably dropped out: they were resoundingly rejected in South Carolina and were looking at no greater odds of success on Super Tuesday. The only thing their presence threatened to do was muddle the outcome.

          The people chose, the people voted, then the party stepped in and clarified the choices and the people resoundingly endorsed that clarification and chose again.

          Like I said before, it was a living, breathing political community making up its mind. It was a healthy thing. As a non-Berniac Democrat myself I am, of course, happy it happened.Report

          • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to North
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            says:

            “the vast majority of Democratic voters ”

            The vast majority of Democratic voters picked somebody other than Biden, but, y’know.

            And besides, didn’t you just tell me it didn’t matter what the voters wanted? Or is that only true when they didn’t get what they wanted.

            “It’s not like Amy and Pete were doing well with the voters and then inexplicably dropped out…”

            Never said they were, dogg, but dropping out the day before the primary instead of the day after–and very publicly Picking A Side in doing it–is different from looking at the results on the night-of and calling it quits.

            “The people chose, the people voted, then the party stepped in and clarified the choices…”

            ehhehe

            clarified the choices?

            Be honest with me, here, you actually understand how anti-democratic this sounds and you’re saying it on purpose to be edgy, right? Like, you’re not so dumb as to think “The Party Decides” and “clarified the choices” are not exactly what Vladimir Putin would say about an election?Report

            • Avatar North in reply to DensityDuck
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              says:

              The vast majority of Democratic voters picked somebody other than Biden, but, y’know.

              In Iowa and New Hampshire, sure, and to a lesser degree in Nevada. Not in South Carolina. So which mass of voters are we talkin’ about? And isn’t it an awful lot of base stealing to turn “not Biden” into “Yes Bernie”. Even in Iowa, NH and Nevada the masses of voters chose “not Bernie” just as much as they chose “not Biden”. So what?

              I don’t recall saying that is doesn’t matter what the voters wanted. They got to register their choices repeatedly.

              I’m being totally honest here. You realize we’re talking about a primary here right? This isn’t the general election that is constitutionally guaranteed by our Republic; it’s an internal-to-the-Democratic-Party-of-America contest. Squalling that that party is taking an interest in who is going to be chosen as its standard bearer in November is undemocratic is pretty weak tea, that’s how living political parties work (and, frankly, this is close to a high water mark in historical terms of political parties choosing their nominees impartially and democratically). The founders weren’t exactly fans but the logistical fact is parties can organize and coordinate voters more effectively than no parties.

              And yeah, Pete and Amy made a BIG difference by dropping out before the major primary night and endorsing Biden. Sure did. They shot Bloomberg and Bernie right in the balls by doing so, they raised their personal statue with the party and its voters and they helped the collective party unite around a candidate. It was good for them, it was good for the party and, judging by how the voters turned out in record numbers and flocked to Biden, it seems to have been good with the voters too. So make your case- where’s the nefariousness? Is it nefarious to refuse to walk off a cliff?Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to North
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                says:

                “isn’t it an awful lot of base stealing to turn “not Biden” into “Yes Bernie”.”

                You’re the one claiming that an Overwhelming Majority Of Democratic Voters picked Biden, and that’s, um, not true, not even a little bit. Yeah, that doesn’t mean they were Yes Bernie, but I didn’t say that, now, did I?

                “Pete and Amy made a BIG difference by dropping out before the major primary night and endorsing Biden. Sure did. They shot Bloomberg and Bernie right in the balls by doing so…”

                so

                dude

                you keep saying stuff like this and your energy is “ha HA, you are WRONG DensityDuck, you are TOTALLY WRONG” but…you’re…agreeing with me…?

                “This isn’t the general election that is constitutionally guaranteed by our Republic; it’s an internal-to-the-Democratic-Party-of-America contest.”

                lol, now we’ve moved to “well what does the thing you’re on about really MEAN anyway, I mean it doesn’t really MEAN ANYTHING when you get down to it” stage of a shitty arguer’s shitty argument falling to bits. And we’re done.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to DensityDuck
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                says:

                Sure the overwhelming majority of voters chose Biden. On Super Tuesday they had Bernie, Bloomberg Warren and Biden to choose from and they chose Biden, overwhelmingly.
                But, of course, you think that contest was rigged somehow by political actors and the party following their interests so we can go to before Super Tuesday when voters had all the candidates to choose from and they chose… uh… Biden… overwhelmingly… he doubled Bernie’s total.
                So it is true that Biden whupped Bernie in votes. Frankly the only way you can claim otherwise is if you restrict the contest to Iowa, New Hampshire and marginally Nevada. Why they count more or something is beyond me. You haven’t explained that.

                So… dude.. yeah, you keep suggesting that what went down in the primary was nefarious or malevolent but you never made your case. Some establishment center left candidates bowed out sacrificing their short term personal ambitions for the good of their ideals and their party rather than continuing to run and boosting a candidate who was far to the left of their ideals and was running against their entire party to boot. The horror! The malice!

                Your actual language in your initial post was saying there was something improper about Amy and Pete dropping out and that the media etc were wrong to point out that Bernie fishing sucked at coalition building. You’ve had every opportunity to lay out your case but all you’ve done is flounce indignantly about how it’s undemocratic and autocratic for a political party to decide who its nominee is and otherwise you’ve said nothing. I can’t make your case for ya buddy but I’ll save you some energy reader batteries and just say it flat out: You have presented no arguments so you’re wrong, sorry. It’s not particularily funny tho.

                Bernie had every chance to win the nomination, he had money, time, tons of free media and every opportunity to convince the party he could win this thing. Instead he just did his angry old man routine again and then the Democratic Party, being a sane, sensible, functioning (and yes also somewhat corporate, hoary and cynical) vast group of people that it is united against him and handed him the L. There’s no mysterious scheming or evil media conspiracy behind it. Bernie just wasn’t good enough and the Democratic Party is not decayed and moribund enough for his schtick to take it over. As for the democracy bit, if you don’t know the difference between a national election and a political party primary and then I’m down with being done, thanks for playing!Report

        • Avatar James K in reply to DensityDuck
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          says:

          It is a good thing we should all be happy about (except maybe Trump and Putin). In a civilised country Sanders would never have been allowed to run for the Democratic nomination in the first place.

          The the Democratic Party was able to suppress Sanders so effectively has massively increased my estimation of their competence. If only the Republicans had been able to eliminate their opportunistic parasite as effectively.Report

  3. Avatar JS
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    says:

    You could sum up the failures of Sanders campaign thusly: “Having lost in 2016, Sanders ran the exact same campaign in 2020 with worse results.”

    I cannot speak to whether that is a fault of Sanders, or a fault in who he hires for campaign advisers, but I simply cannot fathom losing a campaign and then not spending any time in the intervening four years at least planning on how to shore up your weak points and address the failures in your previous campaign.

    Yet, as best I can tell, that’s exactly what Sanders did. The justification appeared to be Trump’s 2016 win, where a solid 30% base carried him to victory. However, that comparison is incredibly flawed just by dint of the GOP using ‘winner-take-all’ primaries, and of course it relies on nobody dropping out and endorsing — which indeed was an issue in the 2016 GOP campaign, but any casual glance at the history of primaries in either party would quickly realize that almost always multi-candidate fields end up with the bulk of them dropping and endorsing by ST or so, as money and prospects run out.

    Biden was not my preferred candidate, but Sanders — in the end — didn’t just make costly mistakes. He made the same costly mistakes as he made in 2016. That’s…just inexcusable.Report

    • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to JS
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      says:

      “You could sum up the failures of Sanders campaign thusly: “Having lost in 2016, Sanders ran the exact same campaign in 2020 with worse results.””

      And we’ll say the same thing about Biden in November, but I’m sure we’ll hear that Sanders would have lost even worse.Report

      • Avatar North in reply to DensityDuck
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        says:

        It’s possibly, who the fish knows, but having utterly and massively failed to conjure his promised legions of engaged Bernie former non-voters any Bernie supporters have a tough incline to traverse to claim that Bernie is the more viable candidate at this stage or even in hindsight. Bernie couldn’t even persuade us moderate leftists or turn out his supporters (if they exist) at the level he needed to win the primary (and that was with the right actively cheering him on and forbearing on any negative campaigning against him). On what basis can anyone believably claim he’d do better in the general?Report

        • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to North
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          says:

          ” having utterly and massively failed to conjure his promised legions of engaged Bernie former non-voters”

          you don’t get time off from work to go vote in a Primary, broReport

          • Avatar North in reply to DensityDuck
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            says:

            No one does. *shrug*Report

            • Avatar JS in reply to North
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              says:

              Yeah, that’s such a weird complaint. “Oh, man, I had to schedule voting around work/school/kids”.

              Yeah, so did I. So did…everyone not retired.

              And I heard people make this complaint in states with 10+ days of early voting. I heard it from people in states with same-day registration and days of early voting.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to JS
                Ignored
                says:

                “Yeah, so did I. So did…everyone not retired.”

                ok boomer

                I mean, I’ll take this one as a W, because you’re agreeing (admitting) that Sanders voters couldn’t get to the polls due to the obligations of having an actual life. (Another example of me saying something, you saying “yeah, that’s right!” and then high-fiving yourself like you’d got one on me.)

                PS “Oh, man, I had to schedule voting around work/school/kids” welcome to the Republican Party sir, your complimentary racism is on the table to the left.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to DensityDuck
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                says:

                Uh huh, so Bernie’s legions couldn’t make the primary so the Dems should have somehow handed the primary to Bernie anyhow because then his imaginary legions would have gotten the time off work to go the the general. You’ve got to be joking DD.Report

              • Avatar JS in reply to North
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                says:

                He clearly is. Or he thinks the only two generations are “millennial” and “boomer”.

                either way, his response clearly indicated he was either joking or illiterate.

                After all, my point there’s a whole generation and a half that works, has kids, and votes at a higher rate. And that election day is often “election week or two”, so the “Millennials are discriminated against because we work” is bullshit.

                The vast bulk of voters work. And turn out at higher rates.

                The “ok boomer” bit was hilarious. It’s clear he was dying to use it, but to see him deploy it against Gen X and do it incorrectly to boot….

                delightful.Report

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