I hate writing about the game aspect of politics. I don’t really care who is winning in the polls — at least not at this point. I don’t even much care who is running for office. The truth of the matter is that if the Democrats win the presidency next year, it will be a good thing — no matter who it is. And if the Republicans win, I think it will be a catastrophe. But at this point there really is nothing to talk about. And the fact that the mainstream press is obsessed with the “horse race” is just an indication that it can’t be bothered to care about actual policy.
But over the past week, I’ve been hearing a lot about Joe Biden. And it seems to have reached a peak. According to many, Joe Biden is going to jump in the race and beat Hillary Clinton. Or something. Yesterday, Bloomberg published, Biden More Competitive Than Clinton Against Leading Republicans: Poll. One poll means nothing. One poll at this point in the race shouldn’t even be reported. And one poll that compares one actual candidate with someone who is not running should send the reporter to a very central level of hell.
Has everyone forgotten how great Hillary Clinton’s approval ratings were when she wasn’t running for president? The mechanism here is so simple that even Washington reporters should be able to understand it. While someone is not a candidate, no one goes around bashing them. Reporters aren’t following them around and looking for any possible scandal. I assure if Hillary Clinton were having an affair with her videographer, we would know about it. But Joe Biden could be doing the same thing and we wouldn’t know, because no one is looking.
None of this is to say that Joe Biden isn’t secretly running for president. But I think the odds of him running without Clinton dropping out are between zero and a number slightly higher than zero. Even the Bloomberg article was subtitled, “A solid majority of Democrats still want Clinton to be their nominee.” So what is this all about? Well, I can tell you this: my father came to me today and told me he thought that Joe Biden was going to be the Democratic nominee. I knew where that was coming from, Krauthammer: A Biden-Warren Ticket Would Be Perfect For Democrats, Ensure 12 Years Of Liberal Rule. Because if there is one thing that Charles Krauthammer cares about, it is what is best for the Democratic Party.
And that’s what I think this is all about. This is the Republican Party machine pushing articles to lazy Washington reporters (a redundant phrase, I know) about how Clinton is going down. And it is possible if the Republicans got to choose the Democratic presidential nominee, Clinton would go down. Just the same, if the Democrats got to choose the Republican presidential nominee, Trump would win big. And what does any of this mean for the presidential primaries? Nothing.
There are a number of liberals who I read who seem to like the idea of Biden being the nominee. I like Biden. I like Clinton. I really like Sanders. And I’d vote for any of them running against any of the possible Republican nominees. But what exactly does Biden bring to the general election that Clinton does not? All I can think is that he isn’t plagued by fake scandals. But of course, if he did become the nominee, he too would be plagued by fake scandals. The draft-Biden campaign is really more like the draft-anyone-but-Clinton campaign. And we saw this with Romney in 2012. In that case it was Republicans doing it, but this time it is — Oh, wait! — Republicans doing it again.