Go Big Or Go Biden

posted May 31, 2019

If Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Pete Buttigieg, Corey Booker or really pretty much any of the 23 current Democratic candidates had been running in the primaries of 1992, 2000, 2004 or even 2016, I would have jumped for joy and pulled out all the stops for at least ten of them. So why is it that I hesitate today? Why have I only given a measly ten dollars to Booker, Warren and Harris? Yes, it’s smart to wait and see who sinks or sails, but I am rabid about politics, having been raised inside the Beltway, and I should be one of those early adapter people. I am not exactly a wonk, but I like wonks. So why was it that I felt a stab of relief when Joe Biden announced? Joe makes me feel safe. He is warm, known, the old-guard, familiar. True, I thought he was ridiculous in 1988 when he plagiarized Neil Kinnock’s speech. True, I screamed at the TV during the Anita Hill hearings. True, I didn’t even consider him in 2008 when my sights were trained on Barack Obama. But he’s Uncle Joe, now! He’s got the Rust Belt sewn up! He could win us Pennsylvania and the whole shooting match would be over, folks. I bet that even a bunch of wooly-mouthed Republicans who pledge allegiance to the current occupant of the White House would, in the privacy of the voting booth, pull the lever for Joe.

But then what? What does Joe do? Does he have any plans? Is his idea to reach across the aisles under the delusion that it’s still 1992? Whom does he pick for his cabinet? Look around at Europe. Are the moderates thriving? Hell, no. (Do you really think it’s possible to return to a world where moderates thrive?) What’s Joe going to do about Climate Change? We’ll find out later this week when he rolls out his plan, but it’s purported to be “a middle ground” in order to appeal to blue collar workers. Can the world survive a middle ground? The electorate seems to be moving farther to the left than most of its candidates at a rapid clip—just look at where health care is now. Once, the Affordable Care Act seemed dramatic. Now the fight is between universal health care and something to the left of Obamacare.

Not only that, if Joe wins, what happens in 2024? Does he run again for a second term as an 82 year old who would leave office at 86?

No one thought Obama would win in 2008. Hillary was leading by double digits at this point in time before the Iowa caucus (which she lost to Obama). We simply don’t know enough about the other candidates. But I want to make a case about electability.

  1. To say Hillary was not electable is wrong-headed. She actually won the popular vote by 3 million votes. Maybe you didn’t like her.  A lot of us did.
  2. To say Elizabeth Warren is “another Hillary” is wrong. What does she have in common with Hillary? Age. Breasts/vagina. Skin color. “Senator” on resume. What does she not have? 20+ years of baggage attached to the charming but cringe-worthily corrupt Bill Clinton. What else does she not have? That glassy-eyed thing Hillary did when she looked at the camera. (I love Hillary, as I said, but she, like Al Gore, was not a natural performer.) LizW is also way more progressive than HRC and does not take any money from corporations, is as pure as Bernie without the sarcasm and the white-maleness or the weird gun-support thing.
  3. Like many previous Massachusetts Dems who ran for president, she’s a wonk. Unlike the rest of them (Dukakis, Tsongis, Kerry) she is warm and funny and relatable.
  4. She has tons of experience, is totally brilliant, is completely unafraid of Trump, has more plans than God, and in the latest Rasmussan poll (which is the most consistently pro- Republican poll there is) she beats the bastard by 2 points. And that’s before Mueller testifies. Look at this. She’s killer.

Kamala Harris is also ahead of president asterisk in the polls. And she has the Elvis charisma Molly Ivins warned us we need to win. (So does Warren, but Kamala may have the most.) Molly Ivins said, “Whoever’s got the most Elvis always wins. You go check.” (Though DT does eat like the King, doesn’t he? Elvis’s favorite sandwich was the Italian hoagie-bread with a pound of bacon, peanut butter and grape jelly.) Kamala Harris doesn’t have the positions of Elizabeth Warren (which I miss), but she is smart and exciting. Watch this clip of her interrogating our treacherous AG.

I trust her to nominate good people. My dream ticket would be a Warren/Harris combo. That being said, you know I will support Biden if he’s the guy. I just hope he picks someone young and far to his left as his running mate.

Maybe you haven’t committed to a candidate because there are just so many good ones, and you’d be happy with any of them. So be happy now! Amy Klobuchar is wicked smart and she has never lost an election. Pete Buttigieg had the best response to a question about abortion I have ever seen. “Let’s put ourselves in the shoes of a woman in that situation. If it’s that late in your pregnancy … it’s [almost to the point] that you’ve been expecting to carry it to term,” Buttigieg added. “Families … then get the most devastating medical news of their lifetime. … That decision is not going to be made any better, medically or morally, because the government is dictating how that decision should be made.”

Now is the time to risk our hearts the way we did in 2008. This time, there doesn’t seem to be one Obama, but so many of these candidates are dreamy-brilliant, capable, exciting. I wish they could form a cabal and govern together.

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