Tom Del Beccaro, During primaries, panicky Democrats resuscitated Biden’s dying candidacy and made him the nominee.
With just over two months to go, the presidential election is in full swing. For months, some have claimed Joe Biden will be the winner, just as they did with Hillary Clinton in 2016. With the close of their convention, however, panic among Democrats is spilling out into the open.
Let’s recall that heading into the Democrat primary season of 2019, former Vice President Biden was the presumed nominee. Indeed, in May of 2019, a Brookings Institute headline read: “Why is Joe Biden running away with the Democratic presidential nomination?” It didn’t take long after that, however, for Biden to falter.
Joe Biden did poorly in the Democrat debates and on the campaign trail and soon Sen. Elizabeth Warren was leading in the polls. She fell and then Democrats looked to former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. He faltered and then Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., looked like he would take the nomination in February of 2020.
The Democrats then did something unprecedented. They panicked and brokered the nomination in broad daylight, by convincing candidates to drop out of the race, to stop Bernie Sanders from becoming the nominee. Then they resuscitated Biden’s dying candidacy and made him the party nominee.
If we fast forward to today, the Democrats are panicking again, and their panic started right after the end of the Democrat Convention.
The day after, the leaders of the Democrats’ far left base declared the convention did not go far enough to the left. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., said “that the target audience for the Democratic National Convention this week was `white moderates’ and that the Democratic Party could have done more to cater to the party’s base.” She also panned potential moderation in spending by Biden advisers.
Sanders agreed with her by stating “They should have had more progressives speaking.” Mark those words, if Biden loses this fall, AOC and Bernie will say the party didn’t nominate a true believer and that was the cause of their defeat.
Then Hillary Clinton chimed in.
During the middle of the Republican Convention, Clinton admonished Biden to “not concede under any circumstances.” A major party leader talking of concession is the diametrically opposite of political confidence.
Then it was House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s turn to panic.
Pelosi, D-Calif., declared, “out of the blue,” that “I don’t think that there should be any debates,” in a clear attempt to protect Biden from losing to President Trump.
Keep in mind that presidential debates have become a staple of elections since the 1960s. The great Kennedy-Nixon debate set the standard for how presidential elections have been conducted ever since.
So why are the Democrats panicking?
Their convention failed to deliver. Indeed, it looks like their convention scared away Independents. In a poll taken by CBS/YouGov, after the Democrat Convention, President Trump raced to a 10% lead among Independents.
If Biden takes Pelosi’s advice and ducks the debates with Trump, he will be regarded now, and by history, as gutless.
As I have written before for Fox, our parties are so divided, in what I call The Divided Era, that there is little crossover voting between the parties. That dynamic places a premium on major party enthusiasm (another Biden weakness) and how Independents will vote.
If a CBS poll gives Trump that big of a lead, even before the Republican Convention started, the Democrat Party leaders have good reason to panic.
Biden’s polling troubles don’t end there, however.
The latest Rasmussen poll is consistent with the CBS poll.
All of that brings us back to Pelosi stating there should be no debates. She is not alone in that thought on her side of the aisle. Many Democrats know that Biden will not fare well in the debates.
Indeed, no modern campaign has seen a candidate campaign less or be less accessible than Biden or his campaign. So much so, that that lack of accessibility caused Fox’s Chris Wallace to declare “This is the damnedest thing I’ve ever seen,” and that “I don’t think [Biden] can hide from now until Election Day. I just don’t think it’s possible.”
Of course, just over two months ago, Democrat leaders were good with hidin’ Biden. Former DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe said, at that time, “People say all the time, `Oh, we got to get the vice president out of the basement. He’s fine in the basement.” Now, however, headlines are beginning to read “Biden’s lack of a travel plan worries some Democrats.”
If you add it all up, Joe Biden is faltering again. If he takes Pelosi’s advice and ducks the debates with Trump, he will be regarded now, and by history, as gutless. He also would surely lose the election.
If Biden does debate, as he has insisted he will, he is likely to do damage to his prospects as well. Just as Trump looks energetic during the conventions while Biden doesn’t, Trump will look the same in the debates.
The plain truth is: Biden has never been a good presidential candidate. He is even worse now. The Democrats revived him once, and their panic now indicates they are trying to find a way to do it again.