It’s Wednesday afternoon as I finish writing this article. Last night’s results are still coming in but it has become apparent that Joe Biden will be the Democratic nominee in 2020. Let’s explore.
When the final results are all in Biden will have a lead in the delegate count in the neighborhood of 150. With the forthcoming map and proportional awarding of delegates this appears to be an insurmountable lead. He will most likely enter the convention with the 1,991 delegates needed for a first ballot victory and if not certainly with a sizeable lead. Despite complaints from Bernie Sanders the rules would then be followed and 500+ super delegates, the vast majority of whom will support Biden, come into play.
Early Wednesday afternoon Sanders announced that he will stay in the race making Sunday’s debate the political equivalent of football’s Hail Mary pass for him. If he does not get a “touchdown” staying past Tuesday’s primaries is unlikely. Sanders can effectively mail it in between Sunday’s debate and Tuesday’s voting unless he scores a knockout punch on Sunday. Unless he has miraculously turned it around by then the only honorable and smart thing to do is suspend his campaign. I do believe Sanders is serious about his agenda. (He is the only two time recipient of tellthetruthonthem.com’s Progressive of the Year award.) Sanders will no doubt want to skew the platform a bit more to the progressive side. In order for him to do so he must retain credibility. Starting a food fight in the Party and getting his behind handed to him in the process will not strengthen his hand.
The superordinate goal for the Democrats is to defeat Trump and save America in the process. In order to do that the Democrats will need Sanders’ supporters to show up at the polls and vote for Biden. Staying home or casting a “protest vote” for Tulsi Gabbard (who will play the 2016 role of Jill Stein) is effectively a vote for Trump.
Sanders keeps talking about a huge youth vote that he has yet to produce. Here is the reality: for generations young people simple do not vote in sufficient numbers; seniors vote. Sanders other turnout problem is with African-Americans who are the demographic most likely to vote Democratic (historically around 90%). While this demographic often needs a little extra motivating to get it to show up (especially in mid-term elections) the benefit more than justifies the cost.
While I agree that the future of the Democratic Party may look a lot more like Sanders’ supporters than Biden’s the 2020 election is in the present and it must be won.
Turning to Biden I must admit that with the benefit of hindsight and if I had superpowers Biden would have been the nominee in 2008, served two term and been succeeded by Barack Obama in 2017. That is fantasy; not reality. I vividly remember the 2008 debates where Biden bested Hillary Clinton, John Edwards and Obama (three pretty good debaters). The reality is that Joe is no longer as skilled a debater as he was in 2008. He has lost a “split second of a step”. Here is the reality of today: Biden is much better than the alternative of Donald Trump! I still think he can shut down Trump with a sincere “That’s malarkey” comment that will resonate with many voters watching on TV.
Before I conclude I’ll leave with three thoughts to ponder.
Sanders can no longer beat Biden but Biden can beat himself. I don’t think he will but Sunday’s debate is certainly worth watching. To use a boxing analogy, all Biden has to do is still be standing after the last round.
My biggest concern in the primary thus far is that Biden is running up the score mainly in states that the Democrats won’t carry in November. Although to date he has won two key large swing states in Michigan and North Carolina.
The wisdom of the Founders would be proven once again if the electorate does what the Republican controlled Senate failed to do and removed Donald Trump from office. We the people are the final safeguard of this representative democracy.
The bottom line is that it will take an all hands on deck effort to defeat Trump in November and the sooner the Democrats unite to combat the real enemy the better their chances are. Here is a possible slogan: Vote Joe and Save America.
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