With the Kentucky Derby right around the corner, Joe Biden appears to be way up in that other horse race, the Democratic presidential derby. He’s a fat 20 points above Bernie, who seems to be slipping. In fact, we might be able to put a fork in the geriatric socialist. It’s likely voters, even Democrat voters, are having trouble swallowing his declaration that terrorists should have the right to vote, one of the dumber statements made in the history of presidential politics. (What was or is going on in that man’s brain?)
But what about the others? They are so far back and there are so many of them that Joe, despite his also geriatric fumbling, may actually waltz into the nomination. Yes, it’s early and he’s gaffe-prone, blah, blah, blah, but still…
Let’s look at the rest of the pack. Standing out slightly, if we’re to believe CNN (hey, the clock is right once a day, etc.) are Warren and Buttigieg at eight and seven percent respectively. I’m surprised Warren is still holding, but the hitherto unknown Mayor Pete is more interesting and clearly has more potential. He is the “flavor of the month,” as they say in Hollywood. He projects an image of above-the-fray sincerity and calm intelligence — or is trying to. With an impressive academic pedigree, he wants us to believe he is not another unprincipled political hack largely driven by ambition.
Joe Biden voted against authorizing the 1991 mission to expel Saddam Hussein’s forces from Kuwait, scolding George H. W. Bush for putting together “a coalition that has allowed us to take on 95 percent of the sacrifice across the board.” A decade later, he insisted that George W. Bush’s withdrawal from the anti-ballistic missile treaty would lead to an arms buildup in Russia and South Asia, as well as a dramatic escalation in tensions between India and Pakistan. Fortunately, these destabilizing events remained theoretical.
Biden will have to make it to the general election before his record on these issues is thoroughly litigated, but there is no guarantee he will make it that far. The former vice president’s problematic instincts when it comes to foreign affairs is a source of much consternation for Democrats, too.
Democrats may be willing to forgive Biden’s support for Bill Clinton’s military interventions in the former Yugoslavia, but they’re unlikely to be so dismissive of his vote in favor of the 2003 Iraq War or the committee hearings he led establishing the existence of Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction programs. Nor will they be willing to look past his advocacy for the dismemberment of Iraq in 2006, which would have deepened and prolonged American involvement in the region.
Unsurprisingly, there’s much more.
Harold Schaitberger, president of the AFL-CIO-affiliated International Association of Firefighters, declared at a campaign rally for Joe Biden today that “Joe Biden is genuine. There’s nothing phony or artificial about Joe Biden.”
This is a spectacularly audacious claim about one of Washington’s most notorious BS artists.