As we noted on Friday, Democrat presidential hopeful Joe Biden’s gaffes are so plentiful and outrageous that “the president has no doubt been collecting them in a special file to be rolled out during presidential debates next year if Biden survives the primaries.” There is increasing concern that his campaign just might not survive that long.
Uber-progressive Eric Levitz, associate editor for New York magazine’s Intelligencer, is one who is now seriously questioning Biden’s candidacy. In his “Note to Biden Backers” Levitz suggests that “A senescent gaffe machine might not be the safest bet” for them in 2020.
For a time, wrote Levitz, backing Biden was the sensible thing to do when compared to his competition. He asked rhetorically, “Why not do the ‘electable’ thing and nominate an affable old white guy? … After all, no other Democrat performs nearly as well against Trump in the polls.”
But with the passage of time, Biden has now revealed himself to be, in Levitz’s words, “a 76-year-old human being with a rapidly metastasizing case of ‘foot-in-mouth’ disease.” That has become increasingly obvious to some of Biden’s financial backers who, according to the New York Times, are now expressing “significant unease about Mr. Biden’s ability to be a reliably crisp and effective messenger against Mr. Trump.”
Biden carries much political baggage from his past which, wrote Levitz, “will enable Trump to once again cast himself as the alternative to a discredited political Establishment.” He added, “If Biden stumbles into the nomination … there’s a significant risk that the general electorate will be less forgiving of his contemporary weaknesses.”
That’s already starting to happen, if online giving is any measure of the “general electorate’s” enthusiasm (or lack thereof) for the aging Democrat. Of the $13.2 million Biden has raised online since announcing his candidacy in late April, $4.6 million came in on the first day. And 60 percent of the total was raised during his campaign’s first week.
Since then, daily online donations to his campaign have fallen below those of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. “Biden has,” according to one Democratic political consultant, “an enthusiasm gap that is making it difficult for him online.”
So far Biden has maintained his lead in total contributions the hard way: by pressing the flesh of high-dollar donors. But, as Politico noted (after reviewing more than four million contributions to the top five Democrat campaigns), “online totals are a sign that Biden has not built enthusiastic grassroots support for his presidential campaign, despite his lead in the polls.”
And that lead is fading. On May 9, Biden held what appeared to be an insurmountable lead over his closest rival, Elizabeth Warren, 41 to eight. By August 14, Warren’s poll numbers had jumped to 17 percent while Biden’s had dropped to 30.
The latest poll from Economist/YouGov, quizzing voters from August 10 through 13, showed Warren within three points of tying Biden, 20-23.
Add to this Biden’s inability to articulate a coherent and consistent platform, and it’s likely Warren will shortly overcome that once-insurmountable lead Biden had just two months ago. In addition, as the New York Post opined on Sunday, “It’s impossible to know what he stands for … not just because he’s inarticulate but because some of what he says is just plain bizarre. And because he’s flip-flopped so furiously under pressure from his Democratic foes.”
By every metric, Joe Biden’s campaign is headed for oblivion once again. His presidential dreams in 1988 ended after just four months when proof that key parts of some of his speeches were lifted from those of John F. Kennedy and Hubert H. Humphrey came to light. It also didn’t help that he lied about his scholastic achievements.
In January 2007, he tried again for the presidency, and once again withdrew owing to lack of enthusiasm among his supporters, his inability to raise sufficient funds to keep his campaign going, and his unfavorable comparison to presidential aspirants Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.
If trend lines mean anything in politics, especially presidential campaign politics, Biden’s third try for the brass ring looks like it will once again end in ignominy.