By now, it’s probably apparent to regular readers that we’re not particularly enamored with the prospect of Biden 2020.
For one thing, this (apparently imminent) announcement has been far too long in the making. I suppose being the front-runner despite having not announced means time is on your side, but at this point, the effort to build suspense borders on the absurd.
More importantly, we already know what a Biden versus Trump race will look and sound like. America got a preview of just how farcical it would be a year ago (almost to the day) courtesy of the following clip from a March 2018 anti-sexual assault rally at the University of Miami:
Trump wasn’t amused and rather than just ignore the slight, he hopped on Twitter to explain how he thinks an imaginary fist fight with Biden would probably go. To wit:
So, if you’re wondering what campaign 2020 will look like in the event Biden is the Democratic nominee and Trump somehow manages to make it through 2019 without getting himself impeached, thrown in prison or committed to an insane asylum, there’s a preview.
And here’s a passage from our coverage of Elizabeth Warren’s 2020 bid that underscores the point:
Biden could probably win, but the campaign would be couched in terms of absurd pretensions to machismo – it would be cartoonish and has the potential to exacerbate the extent to which American politics has descended into farce. Additionally, Biden comes with baggage that’s potentially exploitable although his track record as a public servant isn’t in dispute.
Given that American politics is already the laughing stock of the world, it’s not clear that two septuagenarians arguing with each other about who would win a hypothetical fist fight five decades ago is a desirable state of affairs.
Moreover – and this is something we’ve been pounding the table on for months – Democrats need to embrace their rising stars rather than cling desperately to the past in an effort to blunt Trump’s absurd “they’re all radical socialists” narrative, because the current strategy (which we’ve described as one of “containment”) only serves to bolster that narrative.
Well, in an effort to prove – to quote Axios, who originally reported the story – that he’s “not just another old white guy”, Biden is apparently mulling the possibility of adding Stacey Abrams to his ticket right out of the gate.
The knee-jerk reaction here is to simply say it’s a good idea – kind of like how, when I was at the grocery store the other day, I saw that original Coke now comes in “Orange Vanilla” flavor and my immediate reaction was “Awesome. How could this possibly not be great?”
But unlike Orange Vanilla Coke (which, as it turns out, is every bit as good as I figured it would be), a move by Biden to hitch his cart to Abrams’ wagon upon announcing his candidacy might end up leaving a bitter taste in some folks’ mouths.
Note how we said Biden would be hitching his cart to Abrams’ wagon. That wasn’t a typo. This would amount to Joe trying to capitalize off Stacey’s popularity as opposed to Stacey being “lucky” to be chosen. That, in and of itself, speaks to the notion that it’s time for the “old” (figuratively and especially literally) Democratic guard to pass the torch.
But beyond that – and Axios says Joe’s advisors are acutely aware of this – it would be seen as a gimmick. Here’s The Root with a hilarious take:
Former Vice President Joe Biden is a lot of things but a fool isn’t one of them.
OK, fine a fool is one of them but this next move, if true, is so obviously clout chasing that it’s embarrassing. According to sources very high up in Biden’s business, the BFF to the best president to ever hand dance with his wife in the Oval Office is not only considering a run for the White House but he’s reportedly considering grabbing one of the hottest names in the Democratic Party to be his running mate: Stacey Abrams.
Has anyone talked to Stacey Abrams about this? Has anyone asked this black woman with agency, clout, a hot name and a massive following if she would even like to be his old ass running mate? Has anyone told Biden that black women aren’t his prop for votes? Has anyone told Biden that Stacey Abrams isn’t to be played with? Has anyone checked Biden’s life alert to see if he’s fallen and hit his damn head?
Biden is another old white guy and that’s his fault. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is a old white guy but he’s not another old white guy and he did that with policy and conversations and Killer Mike, before having a Killer Mike was cool.
On top of that, it might well come across as an affront to the other 14-dozen people who are already running. That is, why wouldn’t Biden just consider one of them once he locks up the nomination?
That, in turn, underscores yet another risk inherent in this rumored Abrams gambit: Why is Biden already choosing a running mate? Doesn’t that basically represent him saying, right off the bat, that nobody in the Democratic party has a chance of beating him in the primary? And if so, doesn’t that implicit arrogance virtually guarantee that he will in fact be beaten in the primary?
Yes and yes.
Furthermore, Abrams – who of course delivered the Democratic rebuttal to Trump’s State of the Union – may yet run herself. So who is Joe Biden to effectively tell her “no” by assuming she would play second fiddle?
We’ve said this a thousand times if we’ve said it once: Until he definitively proves he isn’t the guy (by either embarrassing himself or someone else embarrassing him by releasing more hacker chronicles) it needs to be Beto.
Because in addition to Beto being the only candidate with a chance to beat Trump (or at least the only candidate who can beat Trump with a strategy that doesn’t involve challenging a sitting president to travel back in time to see who would win a high school fist fight “behind the gym”), he represents the new blood and the future of the party.
Read more on Beto’s record one-day fundraising haul
Oh, and speaking of “the future of the party”, guess who just landed the cover of TIME magazine…
That, folks, is what “the future” looks like.
And not just the future of the Democratic party – but “the future” more generally, too.