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Joe Bryant

***Official Joe Biden Campaign Thread

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Wondering what you thought of this:

https://www.thedailybeast.com/biden-could-beat-trump-but-hes-defeating-himself-instead?via=newsletter&source=DDMorning

Quote

 

What could Joe Biden have been thinking?

To give a talk last fall, as The New York Times reported Wednesday, in which he praised a Michigan Republican congressman who was locked in a close re-election fight, and for which he pocketed a $150,000 lecture fee from a business-oriented civic group that was known to be strongly Republican-leaning…

I mean, I really would love to know the thought process that led him to the conclusion that making that speech was a fine idea. He goes back to a time when doing a good-natured bipartisan favor for a friend from the other party wasn’t a crazy thing to do. You can lament if you want—and a part of me does—the fact that those days are gone and that you just don’t do that sort of thing in this polarized time of Trump. But gone they are. It is a crazy thing to do.

Biden can’t not know that. He spent eight years in Barack Obama’s White House, for gosh sakes. He knows what’s happened to this country, what the Republican Party has become. He watched them fight the Affordable Care Act tooth and nail. When it passed despite all that, he famously declared it a “big ####### deal,” loud enough so the microphones could pick it up.

Then he watched the Republicans vote to repeal it 60-whatever times. Those didn’t really count since Obama was still president, but then he watched them repeal it in the House again, once Obama was gone. And Biden knows very well that Fred Upton, the GOP congressman he praised in his speech, calling him “one of the finest guys I’ve ever worked with,” voted for the repeal.

That’s important. Fully 20 Republicans did not vote for Paul Ryan’s repeal bill in May 2017. Upton, who is sometimes called a moderate and who had waffled before the vote, could have been one of those Republican dissent-niks. If he had, Biden’s appearance before the group—it has longstanding ties to Upton’s wealthy family, and the speech was in Upton’s 6th Congressional District—might have been sort of understandable.

Actually, even then, no. Upton was in a close race. His Democratic challenger had a shot. Upton ultimately won by 4.5 percent in a district Donald Trump carried by nearly twice that margin. Biden probably didn’t make the difference. But for a former two-term vice president, one of the biggest names in the party, to come into the district on Oct. 16 and lavish praise on the Republican was quite a blow to the loyal precinct Democrats out knocking on doors and working phone banks for candidate Matt Longjohn.

Biden is in a strange position. He’s leading all the polls, but that’s mainly because of name recognition. People seem split on whether he’s actually going to run, as he has twice before, though I think he will. People (and by “people” I mean “liberal-left insider-junkie types”) are not split, however, on whether he can win the nomination. Everybody thinks he has no chance.

His problem is precisely that he dates to that chummy era, which was also an era when the Democratic Party was a very different animal. Actually, he goes back at least two animals ago. He was elected to the Senate in 1972! When George McGovern was the nominee. The Biden of 1972 ran on some positions that have circled back into fashion.

But then he grew in seniority and stature during the years when the Democrats were charging to the center on issues like crime. Some of his old criminal-justice remarks are going to dog him, as will his chummy decision during the Clarence Thomas hearings to not call as witnesses women who could have corroborated Anita Hill’s testimony. This past, say the aforementioned people, will doom him.

But those people don’t know everything. The weird thing about Biden is that despite all these things, he could beat Trump. He could probably have beaten him last time, easily, and, provided he could somehow wrangle the nomination, this next time too. He’d have plenty of appeal to non-Democrats and soft Democrats. He’d win Pennsylvania without much trouble, and probably Michigan and Wisconsin, and maybe Ohio and Iowa.

His problem is that his appeal to the groups that make up the base of the party is close to zero. This is the Democratic conundrum Biden represents. One the one hand, Democratic voters want someone electable, mostly likely to beat Trump. On the other, they want someone who articulates this new bolder energy. Biden is very much the former but is totally not the latter.

I wouldn’t quite count him out. A lot of voters do seem to like him, and this speech, by itself, is a survivable error. But it’s survivable by a good candidate who spends the fall of the midterm elections making a dramatic move or two demonstrating that he knows he needs to freshen up his image. Instead he went off and cashed a $150,000 check (the other $50,000 was travel expenses) from a Republican-leaning business group.

And given his history, you just know he’ll do something like this again. He always has. Maybe that’s why he’s 0-for-2.

 

 

Edited by Joe Bryant

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He has to be the favorite at this point. And I think he has a very simple compelling argument- he can win back Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, maybe Ohio. Can a progressive candidate do the same? Nobody is sure. 

His biggest problem, IMO, is not his policies, but the constant yearning for the new. 

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I forget why he didn’t run in 2016...a sick wife?

Regardless, I’m fine with Joe. Though at this point a rotten sandwich is miles better than today’s #### sandwich.

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15 minutes ago, timschochet said:

He has to be the favorite at this point. And I think he has a very simple compelling argument- he can win back Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, maybe Ohio. Can a progressive candidate do the same? Nobody is sure. 

His biggest problem, IMO, is not his policies, but the constant yearning for the new. 

That would be a compelling argument for Biden (although not that compelling, it's also true of Brown, Klobuchar, maybe Sanders and possibly others) if primary voters were singularly focused on electability. But I think we have pretty strong evidence that this isn't the case in recent years. Trump obviously wasn't the most electable, conventionally speaking. Clinton arguably wasn't the most electable, at least once it became clear Trump was gonna be the opponent. Obama in '08 was seen as a risky play vs the safer Clinton.  Maybe McCain and Romney were safer plays, but they also beat weak GOP primary fields. Primary voters seem like the focus less on strategy and more on ideology, for better or worse.

Meanwhile I think you underestimate Biden's policy issues. Just off the top of my head he's gonna have to explain away past positions on sexual assault/misconduct (Anita Hill hearings), criminal justice (almost makes Trump look good) and the Iraq War.

I also wonder if Dem voters will be iffy on a gaffe-prone candidate after 4 years of Trump. I suspect candidates who can generally be counted on to say and do the right thing the first time will have a particular appeal in this election.

Edited by TobiasFunke
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As much as I like Joe the person, I think 2016 was his last chance at viability; and his reasons for not running were fully understandable.  Each party should be in the business of ushering out the long standing names; our governmental structure is built on the prospect of turnover in an effort to avoid stagnation and promote evolution toward betterment.  

I know very little of the new kids on the block for the Dems (Harris, Booker, Klobuchar, any others), so I don’t know if any of them have Obama-level charisma and confidence.  If Biden were to run, I think it’d have to be a requirement of sorts that one of the young guns be the VP with full expectations of stepping aside in their favor after one term.  I hope, though, that the Dems don’t simply run on “anything but Trump”; substance and a clear policy message is needed over blanket opposition

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34 minutes ago, knowledge dropper said:

Seems accurate. 

He made a mistake stepping aside for Hillary.  He would have won.  Now he is 4 years older and discounted by the Progressives.   

Agree that he would have won, but he stepped aside because his kid died.  Can't really fault him for that.

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21 minutes ago, Jobber said:

I forget why he didn’t run in 2016...a sick wife?

Regardless, I’m fine with Joe. Though at this point a rotten sandwich is miles better than today’s #### sandwich.

His son died of brain cancer.

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32 minutes ago, That one guy said:

As much as I like Joe the person, I think 2016 was his last chance at viability; and his reasons for not running were fully understandable.  Each party should be in the business of ushering out the long standing names; our governmental structure is built on the prospect of turnover in an effort to avoid stagnation and promote evolution toward betterment.  

I know very little of the new kids on the block for the Dems (Harris, Booker, Klobuchar, any others), so I don’t know if any of them have Obama-level charisma and confidence.  If Biden were to run, I think it’d have to be a requirement of sorts that one of the young guns be the VP with full expectations of stepping aside in their favor after one term.  I hope, though, that the Dems don’t simply run on “anything but Trump”; substance and a clear policy message is needed over blanket opposition

You could be right on all counts. We’ll see. I’m kind of hoping he doesn’t run. If he does run, I think he’s the favorite even with all the points you make here. 

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Joe Biden's role now should be to serve as the constant antagonist to Trump, while the candidate stays above the fray. Let Joe mix it up with Trump in the mud in a way that the actual candidate can not approach. 

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I disagree that Biden would definitely have won in 2016. Everyone just seems to assume he would have gotten all the votes Hillary got plus blue-collar whites in PA/MI/WI. But it rarely works that way. I also think he would have had a lot of problems in the primary explaining why he would make a better candidate than Hillary (which is one of the reasons I think he didn't run).

There's a lot I like about Biden, but he ran for president twice and was terrible both times. I don't really see what's changed about him or the electorate that would make him stronger this time around. The main change is that he's a lot older, in a party that needs to turn out the youth vote and has historically done better with younger, dynamic candidates like JFK, Clinton and Obama.

Also, the support of Upton was dumb in its own right, but it speaks to a larger blind spot about our current political reality. The GOP has gone plumb crazy, and in an election like 2018, the possibility of them holding the House represented an existential threat to our democracy. Choosing to support a GOP House candidate -- even if all he did was praise Upton in a way that allowed him to frame it as an endorsement -- was a stupid, dangerous action.

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23 minutes ago, zftcg said:

I disagree that Biden would definitely have won in 2016. Everyone just seems to assume he would have gotten all the votes Hillary got plus blue-collar whites in PA/MI/WI. But it rarely works that way. I also think he would have had a lot of problems in the primary explaining why he would make a better candidate than Hillary (which is one of the reasons I think he didn't run).

There's a lot I like about Biden, but he ran for president twice and was terrible both times. I don't really see what's changed about him or the electorate that would make him stronger this time around. The main change is that he's a lot older, in a party that needs to turn out the youth vote and has historically done better with younger, dynamic candidates like JFK, Clinton and Obama.

Also, the support of Upton was dumb in its own right, but it speaks to a larger blind spot about our current political reality. The GOP has gone plumb crazy, and in an election like 2018, the possibility of them holding the House represented an existential threat to our democracy. Choosing to support a GOP House candidate -- even if all he did was praise Upton in a way that allowed him to frame it as an endorsement -- was a stupid, dangerous action.

Biden would definitely have been a stronger candidate than Hillary.  And I'll bet he would have visited Wisconsin.

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My understanding is that Biden has always been a devoted family man.  He could credibly criticize Trump for his treatment of women, which Hillary was uniquely poorly-positioned to do.

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9 minutes ago, IvanKaramazov said:

Biden would definitely have been a stronger candidate than Hillary.  And I'll bet he would have visited Wisconsin.

I don't know about that. Both of them ran for president twice. Hillary won the nomination once and came very close the other time. Biden, I believe, never even won a single primary.

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12 minutes ago, zftcg said:

I don't know about that. Both of them ran for president twice. Hillary won the nomination once and came very close the other time. Biden, I believe, never even won a single primary.

Yeah, he's performed pretty poorly when he ran.  Biden dropped out after Iowa in 2008 (where he finished behind even Bill Richardson); he did not even make it to NH.  That's still better than 1988, when he dropped out in 1987 after he was caught plagiarizing Neil Kinnock speeches.

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35 minutes ago, IvanKaramazov said:

Biden would definitely have been a stronger candidate than Hillary.  And I'll bet he would have visited Wisconsin.

He does like cheese.

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11 minutes ago, Don Quixote said:

Yeah, he's performed pretty poorly when he ran.  Biden dropped out after Iowa in 2008 (where he finished behind even Bill Richardson); he did not even make it to NH.  That's still better than 1988, when he dropped out in 1987 after he was caught plagiarizing Neil Kinnock speeches.

Isn't it weird that was considered a big enough scandal to force him out of the race? I think it happened after the Gary Hart scandal, so maybe Dems were super skittish?

Even weirder: That scandal also cost Dukakis' top advisor his job because he was the one who put together a video mashup of the two speeches and shopped it around to reporters. That was considered scandalous, for some reason. Today oppo researchers probably do that three times every day before breakfast.

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Biden has a terrible record that doesn't jive with today's times. People ignore this right now because he's "Uncle Joe." But if he runs, that record will be front and center.

Edited by whoknew

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18 minutes ago, zftcg said:

Isn't it weird that was considered a big enough scandal to force him out of the race? I think it happened after the Gary Hart scandal, so maybe Dems were super skittish?

Even weirder: That scandal also cost Dukakis' top advisor his job because he was the one who put together a video mashup of the two speeches and shopped it around to reporters. That was considered scandalous, for some reason. Today oppo researchers probably do that three times every day before breakfast.

It does seem quaint now  --- considering we had a convention acceptance speech plagiarized in 2016, and it was like the 1,057th biggest scandal involving them, but they still won the WH that year.

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First off, Biden is too old to win so it's just not going to happen. He'll graciously step aside for the good of the party.

Second, these types of stories remind me of the "Bernie Bro" stories that were pushed hard by Russian bots in 2016.

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I believe people will gravitate to someone experienced and moderate in the next election cycle.  Biden might actually do pretty well.

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4 minutes ago, jonessed said:

I believe people will gravitate to someone experienced and moderate in the next election cycle.  Biden might actually do pretty well.

I could see him as a good backup plan in case all the younger front runners find a way to step in poop.

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I find the hesitation toward him interesting.

Is it fair to say most Democrats see the Obama Administration as the best administration in modern history?

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4 hours ago, zftcg said:

I disagree that Biden would definitely have won in 2016. Everyone just seems to assume he would have gotten all the votes Hillary got plus blue-collar whites in PA/MI/WI. But it rarely works that way. I also think he would have had a lot of problems in the primary explaining why he would make a better candidate than Hillary (which is one of the reasons I think he didn't run).

There's a lot I like about Biden, but he ran for president twice and was terrible both times. I don't really see what's changed about him or the electorate that would make him stronger this time around. The main change is that he's a lot older, in a party that needs to turn out the youth vote and has historically done better with younger, dynamic candidates like JFK, Clinton and Obama.

Also, the support of Upton was dumb in its own right, but it speaks to a larger blind spot about our current political reality. The GOP has gone plumb crazy, and in an election like 2018, the possibility of them holding the House represented an existential threat to our democracy. Choosing to support a GOP House candidate -- even if all he did was praise Upton in a way that allowed him to frame it as an endorsement -- was a stupid, dangerous action.

Well, I think the main change is that he's had 8 years as Obama's BFF vice president.

I think it's an interesting test case of whether the problem with Hillary was really that she wasn't progressive enough.  If Biden wins the nomination we should laugh that argument off the board.

 

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Just now, Joe Bryant said:

I find the hesitation toward him interesting.

Is it fair to say most Democrats see the Obama Administration as the best administration in modern history?

I think he'd probably have the highest personal approval rating.  I don't know how the entire Democratic voting populace would view the administration.  I mean, define modern history.  We've had 3  Democratic administrations in the last forty years.  And that's counting the very end of the Carter administration.  

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3 minutes ago, Ramsay Hunt Experience said:

I think he'd probably have the highest personal approval rating.  I don't know how the entire Democratic voting populace would view the administration.  I mean, define modern history.  We've had 3  Democratic administrations in the last forty years.  And that's counting the very end of the Carter administration.  

I guess i'd say in the last 40 years.

What I'm getting at is it's my feeling most Democrats would rate the Obama Administration as the best Administration in their lifetime. By a huge margin.

The closest candidate in 2020 to the Obama Administration would be Biden I'd think (or Michelle Obama I guess). My thought would be people would see Biden as miles and miles ahead of any other candidate. I find it interesting they don't. But I'm a novice. 

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16 minutes ago, Joe Bryant said:

I guess i'd say in the last 40 years.

What I'm getting at is it's my feeling most Democrats would rate the Obama Administration as the best Administration in their lifetime. By a huge margin.

The closest candidate in 2020 to the Obama Administration would be Biden I'd think (or Michelle Obama I guess). My thought would be people would see Biden as miles and miles ahead of any other candidate. I find it interesting they don't. But I'm a novice. 

The progressive wing on the Democratic party wants a nominee significantly to the left of Obama.  Biden is not that guy, and everybody knows it.  Biden is a person who would win a general election pretty easily but would have a tough time with the primaries.

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36 minutes ago, Joe Bryant said:

I guess i'd say in the last 40 years.

What I'm getting at is it's my feeling most Democrats would rate the Obama Administration as the best Administration in their lifetime. By a huge margin.

The closest candidate in 2020 to the Obama Administration would be Biden I'd think (or Michelle Obama I guess). My thought would be people would see Biden as miles and miles ahead of any other candidate. I find it interesting they don't. But I'm a novice. 

I'm a Democrat who agrees with that assessment of the Obama Administration, likes Biden, and definitely doesn't want him to be the nominee.

First, to state the obvious, Biden is not Obama. They're different people with very different strengths and weaknesses. Second, I think in politics you always have to be moving forward. Once you assume you have the magic formula, or view an election as a restoration, you're in trouble (I think Republicans did that somewhat with W, and look how that ended).

But most importantly, I don't want Biden because I don't think a 78-year-old should be our standard bearer. And that's not because of some reductionist formula that says "Democratic win elections when they nominate dynamic young candidates under 50." (That kind of logic, prioritizing demographics, is what gave us John Edwards.) It's because whatever you think of Trump, however much you want to discount his win due to Russia, Comey or the Electoral College, he clearly tapped into a deep dissatisfaction with the system, and if Democrats think that they can just run it back with the same faces and coast back to power, it could be both substantively and politically disastrous.

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4 hours ago, whoknew said:

Biden has a terrible record that doesn't jive with today's times. People ignore this right now because he's "Uncle Joe." But if he runs, that record will be front and center.

Yeah..recency bias has us thinking of Joe as Vp/Uncle Joe.

I like him and thjnk he could still beat trump...but the primaries would bring up the negative parts of his record.

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5 hours ago, Don Quixote said:

Yeah, he's performed pretty poorly when he ran.  Biden dropped out after Iowa in 2008 (where he finished behind even Bill Richardson); he did not even make it to NH.  That's still better than 1988, when he dropped out in 1987 after he was caught plagiarizing Neil Kinnock speeches.

Just a comment on this: you can’t compare the Joe Biden of before he became VP to the Joe Biden since 2008. Once Obama named him running mate, he achieved a national status he never had before. 

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I’d support Biden if he won the nomination, but he wouldn’t be in my current top 5.  Great VP for Obama, but so many better choices to lead the younger party.  

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1 minute ago, timschochet said:

Just a comment on this: you can’t compare the Joe Biden of before he became VP to the Joe Biden since 2008. Once Obama named him running mate, he achieved a national status he never had before. 

That status can change quickly.  Remember how popular HRC was prior to 2015-16.  

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4 minutes ago, sho nuff said:

.but the primaries would bring up the negative parts of his record.

This post leads me to another thought: despite the number of candidates, I really don’t think that this primary cycle is going to be nearly as cuthroat as it normally is. Trump is such an incredibly unifying factor for Democrats that I have the feeling that Democratic  voters will become very irritated indeed at any candidates who become negative towards each other. I think the candidates will sense that. They may argue issues, but don’t expect it to get too ugly. Just a prediction. 

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2 minutes ago, timschochet said:

Just a comment on this: you can’t compare the Joe Biden of before he became VP to the Joe Biden since 2008. Once Obama named him running mate, he achieved a national status he never had before. 

Gore ran a disastrous campaign in '88; twelve years later he ran as VP and was mostly able to clear the field, so he subsequently won the nomination ... and he continued to be a pretty terrible candidate.

And Biden will have to overcome a lot more than Bill Bradley.

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1 minute ago, tommyGunZ said:

That status can change quickly.  Remember how popular HRC was prior to 2015-16.  

Sure. My point wasn’t about that so much as it was that he’s no longer “one of the crowd” the way he was before 2008. Back then, as a candidate, he was an afterthought with no money or support behind him. 

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2 minutes ago, tommyGunZ said:

That status can change quickly.  Remember how popular HRC was prior to 2015-16.  

I made that point in a post a few months ago and someone responded, "Hillary was never popular." It's amazing how much goes down the memory hole.

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8 hours ago, zftcg said:

I'm a Democrat who agrees with that assessment of the Obama Administration, likes Biden, and definitely doesn't want him to be the nominee.

First, to state the obvious, Biden is not Obama. They're different people with very different strengths and weaknesses. Second, I think in politics you always have to be moving forward. Once you assume you have the magic formula, or view an election as a restoration, you're in trouble (I think Republicans did that somewhat with W, and look how that ended).

But most importantly, I don't want Biden because I don't think a 78-year-old should be our standard bearer. And that's not because of some reductionist formula that says "Democratic win elections when they nominate dynamic young candidates under 50." (That kind of logic, prioritizing demographics, is what gave us John Edwards.) It's because whatever you think of Trump, however much you want to discount his win due to Russia, Comey or the Electoral College, he clearly tapped into a deep dissatisfaction with the system, and if Democrats think that they can just run it back with the same faces and coast back to power, it could be both substantively and politically disastrous.

Interesting. Thanks. 

I know everyone always thinks they have it right. That's no different for me (and you). I think Biden is the sure and easy answer to win. If he can past his own party in the primaries. Which is fascinating by itself. This seems like a slam dunk to me and it feels like Democrats will screw this up. But I fully understand other opinions. 

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At 70, Trump was the oldest President ever at his swearing in. There have been ten Presidents who were 61-70.

Biden will be 78 next year. 

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32 minutes ago, BobbyLayne said:

At 70, Trump was the oldest President ever at his swearing in. There have been ten Presidents who were 61-70.

Biden will be 78 next year. 

hello, exactly

We don't need any more old white guys running the show.

I'd prefer a non-baby boomer.

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2 hours ago, IC FBGCav said:

I love how, age, gender, and race matter above policies.  Such children.

I think age does matter when we are talking Biden.

And policies took a back stage in Trump vs Hillary.

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12 hours ago, zftcg said:

I'm a Democrat who agrees with that assessment of the Obama Administration, likes Biden, and definitely doesn't want him to be the nominee.

First, to state the obvious, Biden is not Obama. They're different people with very different strengths and weaknesses. Second, I think in politics you always have to be moving forward. Once you assume you have the magic formula, or view an election as a restoration, you're in trouble (I think Republicans did that somewhat with W, and look how that ended).

But most importantly, I don't want Biden because I don't think a 78-year-old should be our standard bearer. And that's not because of some reductionist formula that says "Democratic win elections when they nominate dynamic young candidates under 50." (That kind of logic, prioritizing demographics, is what gave us John Edwards.) It's because whatever you think of Trump, however much you want to discount his win due to Russia, Comey or the Electoral College, he clearly tapped into a deep dissatisfaction with the system, and if Democrats think that they can just run it back with the same faces and coast back to power, it could be both substantively and politically disastrous.

I agree with most of this, and Biden wouldn't be my choice.

But the bolded simply isn't correct, and is in fact arguably the best reason to nominate Biden. The people and places that swung to Trump in 2016 LOVE Biden. He's basically one of them- an old white Catholic guy from Scranton, PA who grew up blue collar, played football and went to state school, and speaks plainly and sometimes a little politically incorrect. He was the VP of a campaign they supported twice and of an administration that saved the auto industry as the GOP railed against the bailout.

I understand it makes no sense to people like you and I, who see him as old and lacking new ideas or a broader appeal and would consider his nomination something akin to "running it back with the same faces and hoping to coast back to power," as you put it. But that's probably not how the voters in the Great Lakes see it. It may not seem rational, but neither does the appeal of a billionaire real estate heir from Manhattan who has spent his entire life accumulating wealth by defrauding the working class. We've already seen the peril of minimizing their perspective in favor of ours.

That doesn't necessarily make him the best choice. There's lots of other variables- drumming up enthusiasm from young voters and minorities, his #metoo issues, the Iraq war vote, and obviously the small matter of how he'd actually govern. But there are huge factors in his favor, and we should acknowledge them and not kid ourselves.

Edited by TobiasFunke
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