In many ways, Biden’s 2020 campaign is similar to that of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign, except worse.
Four years ago, Clinton was also labeled “inevitable” after having waited her turn for years. Like Biden, she was a well-known fixture on the national stage for decades. Being elected president was the next logical step. It was almost unfathomable that the outcome might end in the ultimate defeat. However, unlike the former vice president, Clinton won the first contest of the season in Iowa. In New Hampshire, she came in a close second behind Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. For Biden, who came in a gut-punching fourth in Iowa behind a former Indiana mayor and two socialists, all hoped turned to New Hampshire.
But the second contest proved more disastrous than the first.
Taking fifth place in New Hampshire most likely signals that what was to be a celebrated start is actually the beginning of the end. On Tuesday night in South Carolina, Biden tried to convince the gathered crowd that the opposite is true: “It ain’t over, man; we’re just getting started. Where I come from that’s the opening bell, not the closing bell, and the fight to end Donald Trump’s presidency is just beginning, just beginning.”
Though Biden can’t be defined as a conservative by any stretch of the imagination, he certainly is not a far-left liberal such as Sanders or Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren. His lack of extremism might have looked good on paper when considering the need for a broad, national appeal, but with the current state of the Democratic Party, a lack of radicalism actually hurts his prospects. Add to that honest questions about his age and his penchant for clinging to Obama, and Biden was doomed from the start.
In her 2016 campaign, Clinton could at least promise to break that glass ceiling of gender and become the first female president. Biden doesn’t have any special tokens.
Unless something miraculous occurs on the ground in time for the next two primary events in Nevada and South Carolina, Biden will go down as one of the worst presidential candidates of all time. In another era, former vice presidents were the obvious pick for the party nominee. But the Democratic Party is still reeling from President Trump’s win in 2016. They would prefer to believe that it was a one-time fluke, that the 45th president got lucky, and that the country as a whole is ready for dramatic course reversal to the extreme Left. None of these conclusions have been or will be helpful to Biden and whatever life is left in his flailing campaign.
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