Resurgent Biden Proves That Trump Changed Presidential Politics Forever

Today’s Campaign Update (Because the Campaign Never Ends)

A billion dollars just doesn’t buy what it used to buy. – Think about this for a second: Between them, billionaires Tom Steyer and Michael Bloomberg just combined to pour right at a billion dollars of their own personal fortunes into what became two of the most spectacularly failed primary campaigns in American history.

Both men hired massive staffs of hundreds – with Bloomberg, it was thousands – of people who were supposed to be the best and brightest minds in the campaign professional cottage industry. They both paid hundreds of millions of dollars to the cream of the crop of advertising agencies and polling companies and social media outfits to produce slick ads and websites for their campaigns, filled with the latest messages that were sure to appeal to the maximum possible numbers of voters.

Both billionaires literally stuffed the pockets of local and national television channels, along with radio stations and web presences across the spectrum of the nation. Their ads were ubiquitous: At one point in January, I clicked on a link to a story at the Los Angeles Times, and literally every one of the 15 or so ads on the landing page had been bought by Michael Bloomberg. It became impossible to watch a 30-minute sitcom without seeing either Bloomberg or Steyer – or both – in multiple commercial breaks. At times, their ads ran back-t0-back-to-back.

It was, frankly, exhausting.

And what did these two men get for their trouble? What measure of success did they buy with their billion dollars of political spending? According to NBC News, in the only measure that actually matters in a nominating race, the delegate count, Bloomberg secured a grand total of 48 delegates, while Steyer came up with a big, fat zero.

Steyer and Bloomberg aren’t the only examples of big-money campaigns flaming out in recent history, i.e., since Donald Trump came along. Hillary Clinton was able to spend $2 billion on her presidential bid in 2016, outspending candidate Trump by a 3 to 1 margin, and still managed to lose. As I discussed in yesterday’s Campaign Update, Jeb! Bush frittered away roughly $300 million in the GOP primary process and failed to win a single delegate.

Both Clinton and Bush organized the exact same sort of traditional big-money campaigns that Bloomberg and Steyer did, hiring all the best people and ad agencies and social media and polling firms. The only thing all that money brought to them in the end was the stench of desperation and miserable failure.

Meanwhile, Trump’s campaign consisted of Corey Lewandowski and about a dozen other people. He actively campaigned against the DC-based professional political class, calling them all a part of the DC Swamp that he was coming to Washington to drain. The fact that Trump won by running such an overtly anti-political class campaign is why they all hate him so, and why the few such pros who have chosen to work for Trump have become pariahs among others in their profession.

Now comes this cycle’s Democrat nominating process, and all the candidates who have raised gobs of money only to flame out of the process. And it isn’t just Bloomberg and Steyer: Beto O’Rourke, fresh off spending a whopping $90 million and losing a Texas Senate race in 2018, initially raised tons of cash, only to see his public appeal crash and burn. Kamala Harris was the early favorite of both the corrupt news media and the DC professional political class. She also raised a ton of early cash and she also crashed and burned, flaming out before we even moved into 2020.

Bernie Sanders has consistently led the Democrat field in fundraising, the vast majority of it from small-money contributors. He even managed to become the clear front-runner in the race for about 30 seconds before Joe Biden, his campaign almost dead broke and having been largely written off by all the “experts” just 10 days before, came storming back in South Carolina on Saturday.

Biden then parlayed the momentum out of South Carolina to sweeping wins in 9 of 14 states on Super Tuesday, and is suddenly back in the driver’s seat with a clear path to being able to win the majority of delegates needed to secure the party’s nomination on the first ballot at its July convention in Milwaukee. You haven’t seen any slick, high-dollar Joe Biden ads because he hasn’t had the money to fund them. Biden wasn’t really worried about Steyer and Bloomberg creating a talent shortage in the available professional political class, because he hasn’t had the money to hire any of them anyway.

The reality of the last 10 days is that Joe Biden has been able to dispatch the billionaires and jump back into the clear lead in this race while running essentially the same kind of campaign that Trump ran throughout 2015 and 2016. It’s a campaign based almost purely on earned media and the candidate’s personality.

True, Biden’s personality is not remotely similar to Trump’s, but it doesn’t need to be. Biden is appealing to a completely different subset of the American people than Trump targeted 4 years ago. Trump was messaging to the part of the population that wants to clean out the Swamp. Biden is appealing to voters who want mythical free stuff from the government, and if that means the rehabilitation and perpetuation of the Swamp, they don’t care. Doing that requires a different kind of character and different messages, but the construct of the campaigns are strikingly similar.

The fact of the matter is that Trump has changed the requirements for what it takes to run a successful presidential campaign in modern times and we are seeing that reality play out in real time in this Democrat race for the nomination. While all the “experts” in the DC pundit class are still portraying Sanders as the “outsider” in this race, the truth is that Sanders has run a depressingly conventional campaign filled with slick TV ads, social media buys and a massive paid staff of political pros.

Biden hasn’t done that, but only – and this is key – because he hasn’t been able to raise the money required to fund that kind of campaign. But now, since his big showing on Super Tuesday, the money is suddenly pouring in. With Bloomberg now promising to pour gobs of his own money into Super PACs and other third party efforts supporting Biden, you can now expect the confused former Vice President’s campaign to start bringing in a bunch of ex-Bloomberg staff and, as a result, begin looking a lot like Bloomberg’s campaign – and by extension, just like the Hillary Clinton campaign looked four years ago.

This will happen to Biden because the candidate himself is likely as clueless about the real nature of his recent success as he is about which state he happens to be in on any given day. And you can bet that none of the political pros on his staff are going to put their own jobs in jeopardy by telling him.

In an appearance on Fox News last night, Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway told host Martha MacCallum that she thinks Joe Biden will end up being this year’s Hillary Clinton. She’s exactly right because, having helped to create it, she understands the way Donald Trump has forever changed the nature of our presidential politics.

That is all.

Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever. Whatfinger.com is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time.

19 thoughts on “Resurgent Biden Proves That Trump Changed Presidential Politics Forever

  1. Jimmy MacAfee - March 5, 2020

    300 million.

  2. guidvce4 - March 5, 2020

    That Joe Biden seems to have secured the leftist’s nomination says a lot. Mostly it says how much the dim establishment hate Sanders. Cuz they can’t totally control him, like they think they can with Joe.
    Biden will be an easy mark in the any debate with President Donald J. Trump. I don’t think we will see it happen.
    The dim convention is being set up to be a brokered one. By the time the covention rolls around, Joe will be hanging by a slim thread to whatever sense of reality he has left. Joe, and Bernie, are going to be rolled and discarded.
    Who’s left to carry the standard of the leftists? There is a plethora of back benchers, all terrible for the country and We the People.
    This is gonna be very interesting. Much more fun than ’16.
    KAG2020.

    1. Gregg - March 5, 2020

      With the DNC’s coalescing around Biden, I don’t think there will be a brokered convention where their leading primary vote getter will be dumped – that would really piss off their whole coalition to no good purpose. There is no Dem who can logically come out of the shadows and unite the Dem’s fractured voting base, AND defeat Trump – so what would be the point of doing that?.

      At this point, if there was a hidden back bencher “savior” he/she would have been trotted out to actually get some votes and notoriety. That was the original plan. The DNC’s ace in the hole was supposed to be either Mini Mike (preferred) or Walking Eagle. Mini Mike crashed and burned and Walking Eagle won’t fly by having dinged the Burn a second time.

      Logic would say the #2 (in every sense of the word) vote getter, which will be Sanders, would supersede Biden. If the Dems were to dump him too, it would be a disaster. Quite a box they put themselves in…

      Anointing someone who no one voted for in the primaries would be political suicide. It would destroy any and all confidence in their primary system, and destroy the Dem’s chance to save their down ballot candidates. If Biden gets to 1991 delegates, it’s over; even if he doesn’t it will be very hard to justify denying him the nomination. The backlash would be severe – unless of course, he has some “health” issue.

      The GOP tried to do that to Trump in 2016, but realized the folly of doing that, and quit the removal effort when he won the majority delegate count during the primaries.

      BTW, Who is this “plethora” of backbenchers who you feel would be acceptable to replace either Biden or possibly Sanders?

  3. Jimmy MacAfee - March 5, 2020

    Biden is the Deep State Desperation candidate.

    The drop in the stock market? FOB (which used to mean “Friend of Bill”) and now means “Fear of Bernie.” While President Trump has them all rattled because he’s been focusing on their corruption, and their continued subjugation of citizens all around the world while money is siphoned off for Dear Leaders everywhere, Sanders represents something far more dangerous: the end of Free Enterprise, and the beginning of the Age of Envy.

    One might say we’re already in the Age of Envy: the DNC’s entire existence is based upon that. But Trump supporters – not just here but all around the world – are more interested in a fair Free Market and upward mobility for those who will grasp it. Success based upon envy is empty; there are better reasons to succeed, and those who do succeed for better reasons are just better people. The envious steal their fortunes.

    There is no secret about the coalescing of the Deep State (mockingbird) campaigns: they’re all run by the same people, but are branches of the same organism. This was planned. What they didn’t count on was the rate of decay of the candidate they’re coalescing around, whose name has so many attachments (Quid Pro, Creepy Joe, Cheatin’ Joe, Sleepy Joe, Gropey Joe, Dementia Joe etc.) and which will be adding many more modifiers, he will be running with a VP choice who will be the real candidate. He’s already set it up: his running mate will inherit his position, probably during his first term.

    So the betting ought to be on the VP slot. There’ll be a big drama, a long rollout, and then – as if by magic (dark magic) they’ll announce someone like Kamala Sutra or BuddyGig or Rotten Clinton. And the VP candidate will be chosen to calm the Global Elite who steal from us, and wish to continue their thefts.

    But as I said: this is desperation. They have nothing else.

  4. Gregg - March 5, 2020

    Small typo:

    “Campaign Update, Jeb! Bush frittered away roughly $300 billion in the GOP primary process and failed to win a single delegate.”

    Jeb! spent 300 million not billion.

    Successful people/leaders, (military, political or business) are clear thinkers, usually decisive, have faced adversity and learned from it, and do not repeat the mistakes they do make. Good leaders are confident in their abilities and look to surround themselves with a competent staff who are objective, but like minded thinkers, and who are trusted by the leader. A good leader is not a micro-manger, but a big picture person who delegates to his trusted staff the duties and tasks that he expects them to accomplish within certain guidelines and established doctrine, and law.

    Typically, he also has a contrarian, a devil’s advocate, on board who has “gravitas” within the organization who can intercede and be confident that his message will not be disregarded. His position must be secure – a good leader cannot be inclined to “kill the messenger” just because he delivers news/reality that the boss does not want to hear. Finally, a good leader puts people in positions where their talents are best utilized for overall success, and is strong-willed enough to remove failing or underperforming subordinates.

    Successful Republican presidents tend to be macro-managers who put trust and faith in their generally competent subordinates. On the other hand:

    Democratic presidents tend to be either micro-managers or disassociated ‘figureheads” who surround themselves with single-minded sycophantical “yes men”. Either that or they become outright dictators who tend to rule (via Executive Orders) rather than lead, usually with poor or disastrous results. Democratic leaders are also, as a rule, very bureaucratic and often establish massive bureaucracies – that hardly ever solve a problem – every chance they get. Both Bushes were effectively Democratic presidents when they grew the government by adding many layers of bureaucracy which have solved none of the problems they were created to fix, and in many cases made the problems worse or, at best maintained a more costly status quo.

    History is replete with examples to back up my thesis so I won’t make even a partial list here, but realize this:

    A politician’s number one task is to get elected; his second task is to get reelected.

    A bureaucrat’s number one task is to preserve his position by never ever resolving or fixing the problem he was hired to fix; his second task is to always grow his bureaucracy by failing in his number one task and by doing that, he always makes the case for the need to get more money and more people to solve the problem that he never intends to solve. A diplomat is nothing more that prestigious bureaucrat.

    That is how the Swamp survives, grows and thrives. Its foundation is so intertwined and so complicated that it is almost (by design) impossible to reform, defund, or eliminate. However, Trump showed how unnecessary much of the bureaucracy is during the relatively long government shutdown… So much of the DC Swamp is not needed.

  5. phineas gage - March 5, 2020

    It’s hard for me to believe that Biden’s recent ‘surge’ was in any way based on his personality, given that the man is slowly losing his mind, but I get the general sense of what you mean.

    I’m wondering how quickly Slow Joe will begin to lose his momentum–I don’t think it will take very long. I expect Sanders to stay close all the way to Milwaukee.

    1. David Blackmon - March 5, 2020

      You have to think like a Democrat to see it, Phinea. It’s hard, but that’s what you have to try to do. Democrats love the guy.

  6. Meremortal - March 5, 2020

    Biden is going to be Hillary? It’s going to get better than that.

    Biden/Clinton 2020.

    Feel the Heat.

  7. Jimmy MacAfee - March 5, 2020

    One thing is for certain: any and all Dem candidates will reduce us to serfdom, at a time when AMERICANS have resolved to refuse to be serfs. Look at the history of serfs, and the dominance of the ruling class: it does not fit.

    If you want serfs, go to China.

  8. phineas gage - March 5, 2020

    Warren out. Sad.

    1. Jimmy MacAfee - March 5, 2020

      She won’t have to lie herself to sleep at night. That’s something.

      1. phineas gage - March 5, 2020

        Ace called it the end of ‘The Trail of Tears’.

  9. Jonesy - March 5, 2020

    Joe will be the likely nominee now that Warren is out, its a 2-man race. I agree with Dave, Dems love Biden…he’s been their guy forever, but just not always their favorite to lead. I guess his time has come.

    Great one liners from Fox last night (paraphrasing):

    Tucker: ” Joe Biden has miraculously taken the lead, too bad he’s not around to enjoy it”

    Mollie Hemingway: “Bloomberg poured nearly a billion dollars into his race and couldn’t buy the Dem nomination, yet the Russians spend a few hundred thousand on facebook ads, and influenced enough voters to elect Trump?”

    Good stuff.

  10. ray162 - March 5, 2020

    Media campaigns fail because white people do not watch television.

  11. John Good - March 5, 2020

    One of the BEST political articles that I have ever read! makes me feel even better about Trump’s re-election chances in Nov/20201

    I even re-posted it to The Last Refuge blog!

    Thanks David Blockmon!

  12. Ulysses Toole - March 5, 2020

    Joe may not even make it to the Convention. He could collapse during a debate with the Trumpster. And Bernie had a heart attack less than a year ago. He is always angry and that is not good for the heart. Tulsi could be the only candidate to make it alive to the Convention. Michele O is doing a get out the vote speech in Detroit before their primary. There you have your first black transgender candidate. Valarie J would still be brains behind it.

    1. Gregg - March 5, 2020

      Agree and like your speculation about “the One’s” wife. However, there will be no debates with Trump prior to the convention.

  13. Jimmy MacAfee - March 5, 2020

    The picture and caption Dave gave us is going to be impossible to erase. Great choice!

  14. Jimmy MacAfee - March 6, 2020

    Dem Convention:
    “We honor the Thing, who gave us power over the unborn, power to change our sexes, power to deceive, power to lie, power to attain great wealth by corrupt means! Praise be to the Thing!”

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