You can’t make this up. The battle for the Dem 2020 nomination has had more twists and turns than a Hollywood “whodoneit.” For months Joe Biden was the presumptive nominee. Then, Biden faded as whenever he spoke in public he reminded us that he was a 77 year-old gaffe machine. Kamala Harris, Beto O’Rourke, and Elizabeth Warren took turns as media darlings. Then, one by one, they faded or self-destructed. Meanwhile, incredibly and against all odds and logic, avowed Socialist Bernie Sanders’ popularity grew. He had money; he had an organization; he had grassroots support all over the country; and he had a cadre of intensely loyal supporters. It seemed increasingly likely that he could win the nomination.
His ascendancy was horrifying not only to most voters but also to the Dem establishment. I and many others have long asserted that Sanders would never get the nomination. The Dem establishment would simply not allow it. Not only would his nomination virtually insure four more years of the hated Donald Trump, but it could easily lead to the loss of the House. They stopped him in 2016; they would do so again in 2020. It was just a matter of when and how.
Indeed this week the establishment struck. They struck suddenly and most effectively. Their plot to derail Bernie was executed brilliantly.
- On the eve of Super Tuesday Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg dropped out and threw their support to Biden. The timing was right. Biden had just won the South Carolina primary, which was his first strong showing in any state, and hundreds of delegates were at stake.
- Wednesday, Michael Bloomberg dropped out and, you guessed it, endorsed Biden. His candidacy had been ill-advised from the beginning. He was never a serious contender. I believe he entered the race primarily because, at the time, it seemed as though Biden was floundering, and he saw himself as the guy to derail Bernie. Instead, he embarrassed himself. He wasted some $500 million for the dubious honor of being filleted on the debate stage, and he won a grand total of five delegates in American Samoa, which most voters cannot find on a globe. (Don’t feel sorry for him, however. He still has around $60 billion left, to assuage his feelings, give or take a billion.)
- Now, Biden is the only moderate Dem remaining, and the field is clear for him to win the nomination
- As a bonus, Elizabeth Warren stayed in the race through Super Tuesday. Then, after having syphoned off votes that would likely have gone to Sanders, she dropped out. I am not sure if she was part of the plot, but she could be. Or, perhaps, she really does hate Sanders and wanted to play spoiler. The fact of the matter is that she no longer had any chance to win, and her timing had the effect of inflicting maximum damage to Sanders’ campaign. I believe that her presence on the ballot on Super Tuesday swung the results from Bernie to Biden in several states. For example, Warren got 11% in Texas; Biden beat Bernie by 4.5%. In Maine she got 16%; Biden beat Bernie by 2%. In Minnesota she got 15%; Biden beat Bernie by 12%. If Bernie had won those three states the political landscape would have looked significantly different today.
- What were the dropouts promised? Who knows, but if Biden wins don’t be surprised if they turn up in his Administration. Already, he has promised Beto, who is strongly anti-second amendment, to be in charge of confiscating guns. The others? Even a VP nod is not out of the question.
So, now we are down to two – Biden and Bernie. Sounds like a comedy team, doesn’t it? (Isn’t that characterization most appropriate?) The DC and Dem establishment will do its best to support Biden and destroy Bernie. Just watch the news coverage prospectively.
The nomination is now Biden’s to lose. I am looking forward to the next debate. It will be one on one. Biden will have no place to hide. Despite all the forces arrayed against him Bernie is not dead yet. He is not ready to concede. Nor are his rabid supporters. I believe the next several months will be verrrrry interesting, if not historic.