Today’s Campaign Update
(Because The Campaign Never Ends)
People keep telling me that I’m really going out on a limb with my all-but-guarantee that Joe Biden will not be the Democrat nominee in 2020. The truth is that that is the safest prediction I’ve made about this race.
The history of presidential politics is littered with the rotting carcasses of early favorites in contested presidential nominating battles who ended up being left behind when the actual convention rolled around.
Remember 1972 Democrat nominee Edmund Muskie? Yeah, neither do I. Well, I sort of remember Edmund Muskie, who was the party establishment’s favorite as the campaign season began, but Democrat voter base, radicalized by the hippie movement moving into adulthood and the early reports of the Watergate scandal, were looking for a much more radical alternative that year. Ultimately, the party presented closet Marxist George McGovern to the country, and an electoral slaughter of epic proportions ensued, despite the media’s best efforts to destroy Richard Nixon.
What about 1976 Democrat nominee Morris Udall, the early polling leader and establishment favorite? Or nominee Birch Bayh, who won the Iowa Caucuses? Remember them? No? Well, it turned out that Democrat voters that year weren’t in the mood to nominate some old DC swamp creature, which you are going to soon discover is a very common theme in this essay. Instead, they wanted a fresh face, and ended up saddling the country with Jimmy Carter, who at the time was the freshest face we’d ever seen.
Yeah, that didn’t work out well, did it?
Remember when early polls told us that Ted Kennedy was going to beat Carter for the nomination in 1980 after Carter’s disastrous term in office? Remember when that didn’t happen, either?
Guess who the early polling leader for the nomination in the 1984 race was? Remember how Gary Hart won that year’s nomination? No? Neither does anyone else. That year, the now-ageing hippies passed the party’s baton to old swamp creature Walter Mondale, and the result was the largest electoral landslide loss in American history.
Ok, what about 1988 Democrat nominee Mario Cuomo? Remember him? After a raft of polls in mid-1987 showed Cuomo would be a big leader in the nominating battle, party leaders tried to recruit him to get into the race. But Cuomo, knowing the scrutiny that would bring into his shady background, refused to take up the baton.
Well, what about 1988 nominee Gary Hart, who again led all the polls once Cuomo refused to run? No? Hart might actually have prevailed in the race that year had he not dared the media to “follow me around” after allegations arose that he was having an affair. For once, the media actually did its job where a Democrat was concerned, and photos of Hart cavorting on a boat with Donna Rice were soon made public. So, we ended up with Michael Dukakis and another electoral landslide instead.
Then there’s 1992 Democrat nominee Paul Tsongas, or 1992 Democrat nominee Jerry Brown, or 1992 Democrat nominee Bob Kerrey, all of whom were leaders in early polling in the race. But then this guy Bill Clinton played the saxophone on the Johnny Carson Show, and shallow Democrat voters had their man!
In 2000, it was Al Gore all the way as the Democrat voter longed to give the country a third Clinton term. That didn’t happen, either.
Then there’s 2004 Democrat nominee John Edwards. Yet another early polling leader flame-out due to Gary Hart-like circumstances. He was succeeded by 2004 Democrat nominee Howard Dean, who surged into a polling lead late in 2003. But he came up a crapper with a third-place finish in Iowa, and the nomination ended up going to the disastrous John Kerry.
Finally, I give you 2008 Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton, the overwhelming leader in every early poll in the race, and the woman who eventually…flamed completely out after Barack Hussein Obama his own self caught fire.
Democrat voters are fickle, folks. In every cycle, the party’s leaders always try to push a favorite candidate, and that favored candidate is usually rejected. The lone exceptions to this dynamic in modern times have been Walter Mondale, Al Gore and Hillary Clinton, all loooooooooosers. In 2016, the party’s leaders went so far as to actually rig the primaries in Clinton’s favor, and Obama and his evil minions did everything they could to rig the general election in her favor, and she still lost.
The Fainting Felon’s attempt to saddle the nation with a third Obama term was a miserable failure, and now here is Joe Biden, trying to execute the exact same failed strategy four years later. But Biden’s trying to do it before a party voter base that has been radicalized to the point of insanity, and the primary voting is going to be dominated by the most radicalized among them.
Every nominating battle has its own unique set of dynamics, of course, and the party bosses have set the process up this time to encourage a hung convention at which they will ultimately get to choose the nominee. Maybe that will work out for them, but if it does, history tells us that they will choose a loser.
But back to the point about Joe Biden: History also tells us that the early leader in the polls almost never ends up winning the nomination. I’m not out on a limb at all on that one, and I think I’ll stick to it.
That is all.
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