Was I wrong, or only early? After Joe Biden’s win in the South Carolina primary, I wrote that his victory ‘will not, as some pundits are claiming, “resuscitate” or “breathe life” into the ailing former vice president’s asphyxiating campaign. That ship has sailed, as we’ll all see on Tuesday when Bernie Sanders and Mike Bloomberg divide up most of the delegate cake.’
Biden certainly performed better than I thought he would, Bernie a little worse, and mini Mike, despite all his money, was nowhere to be seen. (Neither was the unpleasant female who is senior senator from Massachussetts, but that is another story, beside the point in a column about the race to secure the Democratic nomination for president.)
There are at least three consoling features of the results of Super Tuesday’s voting. One is that it appears that the United States is not, not yet, anyway, up for sale. Bloomberg has already spent some $600 million trying to buy the nomination, but so far he has failed spectacularly. Why he thought that he could ever appeal to Democrats is a mystery. After all, he has spent most of his time on the campaign trail apologizing for the policies he supported as mayor of New York. That strikes many people as hypocritical. Perhaps it’s a function of his stupefying wealth. Wealth cushions life, but it can also insulate one from reality, clouding one’s judgment.
A second consolation is that Bernie Sanders, whose socialist polices, if enacted, would destroy the US economy appears to be fighting a much steeper battle than many supposed. The true awfulness of the destruction that Bernie would wreak upon this country is not fully appreciated, I believe, but his comparatively mediocre showing Tuesday suggests that the most voters understand that he is outside the mainstream of American political sentiment.
A third consolation was Tuesday’s winner, which was not Joe Biden but Donald Trump. For example, in Colorado, as Charlie Kirk pointed out, Trump not only received more votes than any Democratic candidate, he received more than the top three put together. Biden got 147,562, Bloomberg, 146,907, and Sanders 238,345. That’s a total of 532,814 votes. Trump collared 569,441 votes and he barely campaigned in Colorado.
It’s not all peaches and cream, however. For one thing, the specter of Sanders is still potent. For another, should Biden nab the nomination, his candidacy would inject new life into the swampy DC establishment, revving up their orange-man-bad outrage machine.
It’s an unpleasant fact of life that Joe Biden has entered the seventh stage of the ages of man, Robert Conquest’s as much as Shakespeare’s:
‘First puking and mewling,
‘Then very pissed off with your schooling.
‘Then fucks, then fights,
‘Then judging chaps rights,
‘Then sitting in slippers, then drooling.’
This is one reason that candid observers believe that Donald Trump will sail to victory in November. He would be proceeding under engine power were his opponent Bernie Sanders, and at least a good stiff breeze were it Sleepy Joe Biden.
But a friend of mine suggested an interesting, possibly a troubling, scenario. Biden’s incapacity is indisputable and is likely to become even more patent in the harsh light of the campaign scrutiny. Back in 1944, when it was clear that FDR was failing fast, the party leadership made sure to replace his vice president, the slobbering left-winger Henry Wallace, with the staunch moderate Harry Truman. So the party will be sure that Biden will be accompanied in his walk down the electoral aisle by someone regarded as a level-headed centrist.
Who will it be? I’ve heard people say it will be Elizabeth Warren, but she has just demonstrated how useless she is. Amy Klobuchar? Maybe. Kamala Harris? Nope. My friend had a suggestion that was at once surreal, comical, and frighting. Can you guess? Yes, that’s right: Hillary Clinton. My own view is that would probably only increase Donald Trump’s margin of victory. But who knows. I was wrong about Biden’s — and Bloomberg’s — performance on Super Tuesday. One thing I am certain of, though. Should Biden snap up the election and choose Hillary as his running mate, he will have a lot of trouble arranging for life insurance.