Biden Announces He’s Not Running

Ken AshfordBreaking News, Election 2016Leave a Comment

Like I said. You should all listen to me.  Now will you believe me when I say Rubio will be the GOP nominee?

UPDATE:  Yup to this….

But seriously, for the last month I’ve been hearing stories about how Joe will get in the race.  A politician says he heard from an inside source that Joe will run.  And that gets tweeted.  And the reported on.  Look at this screen capture of CNN I just took: bidenrunning Not to mention….

The wish became father of the fact, except the fact wasn’t true. It was never going to happen.  He would be entering too late.  He had zero dollars in the campaign war chest and a short time to raise it.  He would need staffers in all 50 states, and guess what?  They have jobs now. And what’s more, he is ideologically trapped.  He would have to run on Obama’s record, which would be fine, except that is mostly where Hillary is at (except on things that Dems hate, like TPP). Biden wasn’t going to out democratic socialism Bernie Sanders. Let’s face it — Clinton and Sanders are the two poles that define the Democratic party – and there are two people currently in the race with strong holds on them. Personally, I like Joe Biden.  And I like Clinton.  I wouldn’t want to have to choose between them. Now I won’t have to. By the way, Bill Kristol is having a bad week…


In that last one, Kristol is talking about Star Wars, saying that there is no evidence that the Empire is evil.  Right.  Not evil. Except that part where the Death Star destroyed an entire planet that was neutral in the war.

Then again, Bill Kristol is always wrong. By way of review, whatever Kristol says, the opposite must be true. Some of his greatest hits include:

  • “Barack Obama is not going to beat Hillary Clinton in a single Democratic primary. I’ll predict that right now.”
  • 1993 was the “high water mark” of the LGBT rights movement.
  • After encouraging John McCain to invoke Bill Ayers during his campaign for president, Kristol chastised the campaign for doing exactly that, calling it “stupid” politics.
  • “[The Iraq War] will clarify who was right and who was wrong about weapons of mass destruction. […] It will reveal the aspirations of the people of Iraq, and expose the truth about Saddam’s regime.”

UPDATE #2:  In his non-announcement speech, Biden chided the political tone, and said that the opposing party should not be treated like the enemy.  He is right, of course, but many see that as a swipe at Hillary who, in the last debate, said she was proud to have made some Republicans an “enemy”.  I don’t know if that was a swipe at Hillary, but I think Joe is wrong about Democrats not treating the opposing party like the enemy.  Maybe in a different era, but not in the current one.  Because God knows they treat Democrats like the enemy.

Republican voters think about politics differently. They see politics as an enduring contest, not a series of discrete events. They are more apt to see the big picture, and therefore are easier to motivate.  Republican voters, being older and somewhat wealthier and more likely to own property, are more apt to see politics as a continuing conflict of interests that roll over from one election to the next — they can always be convinced that some undeserving person is coming to take away what they’ve earned.

Democrats, by contrast, “are less likely to view politics in such stark terms.” Younger voters, minority voters, single women, the non-propertied, might have more to gain from an active government, but it is much easier in general to motivate people if they fear they’re going to lose rights and privileges and stuff. Especially stuff. Especially stuff that they earned.

The result is that Republicans are more motivated politically, which is why they come out in droves during mid-terms and off-presidential election years.  That’s how they come to dominate on the local level.

The only way to counter that is for Democrats to understand that they need to view the Republicans like the Republicans view the Democrats: as an enemy.

Which is why good-government, consensus, let’s-get-along, politics-can-be-pure strategies — like the one Biden was advocating — are bad for Democrats.  The original premise of Obama’s first presidential campaign was that he could reason with Republicans—or else, by staking out obviously reasonable stances, force them to moderate or be exposed as extreme and unyielding. It took years for the White House to conclude that this was false.

I think Hillary Clinton, who knows a little bit about Republicans witch hunts from the 1990s and right now, understands that Republicans are out for blood.  She is a fighter.  And a winner.