Commentary: Time, Democratic party may have passed Biden by

Timing is everything in politics. Any number of worthy, qualified politicians have failed to grab the golden ring simply because it wasn’t their “time.”

So the question is whether this is Joe Biden’s “time.” We suspect the answer is “no.” Not because our Joe isn’t worthy or qualified. But simply because his time has passed.

Reid K. Beveridge

For entirely understandable reasons, Joe didn’t run four years ago. It was too soon after Beau Biden had died at age 46 and family emotions were too raw. But in retrospect, also called 20-20 hindsight, it’s pretty clear that Biden would have been a far stronger candidate against Donald J. Trump than Hillary Clinton turned out to be.

It’s also pretty clear that Biden would have been a far stronger candidate in the Democratic Party primaries against U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont. Sanders, it should be noted from time to time, isn’t even a Democrat. He runs in the independent ticket in Vermont:. He’s only a Democrat when he wants to run for president.

Biden becomes the 21st candidate in the 2020 Democratic sweepstakes. It’s almost impossible to name them all. Biden will be the most moderate of the 21, which is an interesting position. When, one might ask, has anyone ever considered our Joe Biden a moderate? Never, I’ll bet. He’s always been a true-blue liberal.

But not in comparison with some of this year’s wannabes. Sanders wants Medicare for All, which would quadruple the federal budget. U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts wants to cancel all student-loan debt and raise taxes on the rich to pay for it.

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttegieg wants to blame Vice President Mike Pence for something Pence never said. In fact, Pence said that when he — Pence — was governor of Indiana, he got along well with Mayor Pete.

In fact, the Democratic presidential field is a regular rainbow of ethnicities. You have a black candidate: U.S. Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey. Sen Kamala Harris of California is half Jamaican and half Indian as in India. Julian Castro of San Antonio is obviously Latino. Sen. Warren’s worst day of campaigning was when she tried to back up her claim to be Native American with DNA evidence that showed somewhere between 1/750th and 1/1004th native blood. Oops.

And of course, Mayor Pete is gay.

Against this array are three old white guys. Sanders would be in his mid-80s at the end of his first term if elected, nearly 90 at the end of a second term. Biden is a year younger. President Trump is a bit younger yet. And don’t forget that Mrs. Clinton is 71.

How difficult, it seems for even the younger Democrats to break the Baby Boomers’ hold on the top leadership. Biden and Sanders lead all the polls, although this may have more to do with name recognition than where anything will stand after the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary in early 2020. Or, as some wit pointed out, Mayor Pete was in kindergarten the first time Biden ran for president, which was in 1988.

That was the year Biden was blown out of the race on allegations of plagiarism when it was shown he had lifted a paragraph in his campaign speech from something a British Labour politician had said. Ooops.

He didn’t do much better 20 years later when Barak Obama became the juggernaut. That also was the year when Hillary Clinton was the “anointed one,” as she was two years ago.

Speaking of Mrs. Clinton, she’s back to the same old trope that the reason she lost to President Trump was because of the Russians. This despite the fact that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report says the exact opposite. True, the Russians tried. But neither Mueller nor the Department of Justice could say that changed a single vote.

How interesting it is that Mrs. Clinton has so little self-awareness that now, more than two years after her loss, she still can’t understand why she lost. This isn’t to say it doesn’t still hurt. But most people who rise to her level of accomplishment understand themselves well enough to know their strengths and weaknesses.

The fact was Mrs. Clinton was a lousy candidate. She offered scant vision or rationale on why she should be elected. In the end, there wasn’t much more than “vote against Trump.”

Joe Biden should ponder that lesson this year. Why does he want to be president? It needs to be more than he’s nicer than Donald Trump.

Reid Beveridge has covered politics in Texas, Iowa, Wisconsin, Delaware and Washington, D.C. He is now retired at Broadkill Beach.

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