The spirited give and take of last night’s debate helped clarify my positions.
My support for Biden has strengthened, my hopes for Bloomberg died.
While there is no outstanding candidate among the contenders, Joe Biden brings a vast trove of experience along with a warm and accessible personality. It matters.
Bloomberg managed successfully the affairs of New York city, but Biden has been in the thick of many critical national situations and earned the praise of president Obama for his performance as vice president.
I am thankful for all the philanthropy that Bloomberg has supported and for his willingness to back many people running for office. But I do not think that he, himself, has the personality traits that can motivate voters. I thought he might, but his debate performances have shown me otherwise. Debates are important.
My hope is that Bloomberg will continue to play a most important role in this election, providing needed funds to counter Trump’s large reserves, which grow steadily while democrats spend in the primaries.
Bloomberg would do well to step down now and save his money. The democratic cause, to which he has pledged his allegiance, will need it. He ought to do so quickly, preferably before the big contest on March 3rd, but vanity is a powerful force. The expectation that he’ll have delegate votes to shuffle around at a democratic convention with no clear winner may help fuel the vanity, but not the cause.
I heard Biden say that, after March 3rd, there will be only two candidates standing, Sanders and him. I think he’s right.
Buttigieg has had his moment in the sun and so has Warren, but they will fight on, regardless, just in case an unexpected event changes the possibilities. Both front runners are older men.
Tom Steyer would do well to give it up now, save his money or give to a charity, and endorse one of the other candidates.
Amy Klobuchar has not risen sufficiently in the standings, but I have been impressed by her character, her pluck, her consistency and equanimity. I think she would make a fine vice president. So I think she should continue to campaign as long as her funds allow.
Should Obama step in at this stage and endorse a candidate?
I think he should.
He should because it ought to be clear, that Sanders has no chance to beat Trump. No matter how many polls the Vermont senator cites as evidence that he can beat Trump. He will not.
Obama’s endorsement of Biden, before Big Tuesday (March 3rd), will likely push Biden ahead of Sanders and put him in the lead of delegates, which will increase the likelihood of a clear winner going into the convention.
If Sanders has such a strong base as he boasts he has, then it won’t matter that Obama endorses Biden.
As to vice presidential choices, Biden should pick a woman. Should she be white or black?
Biden may be tempted to go with Kamala Harris but I don’t think that is a good idea.
He already has the black vote in a contest against Trump. Why ignore someone with the substance and tenacity that Amy Klobuchar has shown?
Kamala Harris dropped out. Klobuchar has fought on and will continue to do so until she’s flat out of cash. She’s got scrappy written all over her. That feistiness and commitment needs to be rewarded. Not doing so sends the wrong signal to voters.
Can Biden beat Trump?
I don’t know.
Trump is strong, younger, charismatic, pugnacious, will do or say whatever he must to get his votes, has been campaigning non stop, holding rally after rally during his entire presidency, eager as he is to redeem himself for not having won the popular vote and to erase the haunting suspicion that Russian interference elected him. He is hungry for the attention and power and has loyal supporters. His is a train running full speed ahead.
So I don’t know if Biden can beat Trump. But he will put up a hell of a fight. Biden will do that.
Those forthcoming presidential debates between Trump and Biden will be memorable because both men will be swinging at each other from the get go. Both men aiming for a knock out, both fighting desperately for their political lives.
So, Obama and Bloomberg, are you hearing? Be bold and endorse Biden now.