The first polls are in on Biden’s effect on the Democratic lineup since he announced his candidacy. Not unexpected, he has risen to a whopping 39%. Impressive, but as I said in my previous blog, this should be taken only as a barometer of the electorate’s thirst for Trump blood.
Oh sure, there are other factors pro and con to consider: a positive association with all that is good about the Obama administration, against a voting record in the senate that Bernie has rightly highlighted as being on the wrong side of history, but neither accounts for the 39% popularity poll in the face of the wave of progressive candidates with exciting policy proposals.
Over time we will see this polling blip fade away, as Biden draws fire away from the other candidates and weathers the full assault of Trump’s wrath. Speaking on Bill Maher’s Realtime HBO show, John Avlon aptly quoted an old Joke… “what’s the difference between a liberal and a cannibal? Cannibals don’t eat their own.” Obama highlights one dimension to this potential problem referring to the “circular firing squad,” but he’s referring to the candidates themselves not the electorate who easily tires and shifts allegiance. To be sure Democrats will rally around whoever emerges the winner, but Biden poses a problem for the voters, who while they have a strong taste for Trump blood have moved away from middle-of-the-road, tepid policies and demand substantial progressive change, bold action, not just a new figurehead. Got’ta love Biden, but we may find him to be a divider like Hillary was. Progressives don’t want a corporatist and Biden’s support of the credit card companies located in Delaware, home of his Senatorial seat, will not bode well in the end for him while his limp, half-hearted telephone apology to Anita hill still rings like a cracked bell for women and minorities.
Bernie supporters will not give up. We all wanted a woman president in 2016, but Hillary was a flawed candidate and Elizabeth Warren knew better than to divide the vote by tossing herself in the ring. Bernie could have won, should have won, so if not now, when? A Bernie/Warren ticket or a Warren/Bernie ticket is a show stopper. Think about it.