Candidates who flame out early in presidential primaries, almost by definition, do not make history. But Joe Biden may be an exception. Biden’s presidential campaign is now almost certain to fail, but he has done more than any other candidate to shape the outcome. And the result is likely to be disastrous — for Biden’s personal legacy and political agenda.
Biden has run for president three times. He has not yet managed to finish higher than fourth in any primary or caucus. Biden may, or may not, have been a good enough politician to win a presidential campaign in his prime. He is now well past his prime. His campaigning pace is languid, his debate performances unsettling. And he hasn’t built the kind of campaign apparatus that could drag him over the finish line. He has far fewer endorsements than a traditional Establishment favorite, and his organization has underperformed in Iowa and New Hampshire.
Yet, for most of the last year, Biden sat on the largest piece of real estate in the Democratic Party. He has commanded the loyalty of voters who fondly recall Barack Obama’s presidency and wish to replicate it, and whose primary goal is to assemble majority coalition. They are disproportionately black and occupy the center-left heart of the party’s base.
BIDEN HAD BEEN COUNTING ON UNION SUPPORT TO HELP WIN NEVADA: Powerhouse Nevada Union Won’t Endorse a Democratic Candidate.
The union has 60,000 members in Las Vegas and Reno, more than half of whom are Latino. In 2016, 84,000 people participated in the Democratic caucus statewide, meaning that a successful effort by the union to convince its members to caucus for its chosen candidate could have a significant impact on the results of this year’s caucus.
A key issue for the union is its Culinary Health Fund, which provides benefits to more than 130,000 people including its members and their dependents. The union is fiercely protective of the program and has warned members that Medicare for All plans like the one supported by Sanders would eliminate that benefit.
They can’t say this, but also they’re probably enjoying Trump’s blue-collar boom.