In announcing his third run for the Presidency, former Vice President Joe Biden had this to say. “In that moment, I knew the threat to this nation was unlike any I had seen in our lifetime”. The moment to which Biden referred was when President Trump said that “there were some very fine people on both sides” of the Charlottesville clash between white supremacists and counter-protesters. Biden wound up with “That’s why I’m announcing my candidacy for president of the United States”.
This type of nonsense is fairly typical of Biden, whose use of language is shall we say…imprecise at best. When he opined that Trump’s comments were “unlike” any he had seen before, he presumably meant that Trump presented a unique, existential threat to American democracy, and one that dwarfed any he had seen before. Which in turn means that Biden thinks (to the extent he thinks at all) that Trump’s (typically asinine) comments represented a greater threat to America than the attacks of 9/11.
That is a bit hard to swallow.
Then again, nuance, subtlety and context have never been strong suits of the former Vice President. But self regard is. Exaggerated self regard combined with a near complete lack of circumspection is a trait that Mr. Biden shares with Mr. Trump. As is the tendency to prevaricate, although Mr. Trump is the clear champion here. But Biden does not deserve a pass. While nearly everyone knows about the largely overwrought charges of plagiarism brought by Biden’s primary opponents over the years, few know about the real story behind the car crash that killed his wife and daughter in 1972.
Throughout his career Biden has told the story of a drunk driver who was responsible for the crash that resulted in the deaths of his wife and daughter. There is only one problem with the story. It isn’t true. The driver wasn’t drunk; hadn’t been drinking and was never charged. Biden’s charge that the other driver was drunk was simply a fabrication. Details of the case can be seen here in Delaware’s online Newark Post. Or here, in National Review online. A CBS report on the controversy via You Tube can be seen below.
In deciding to jump into the race, Biden is taking a last shot at a lifelong dream. He is clearly trying to stake out a position as the Party’s moderate candidate who can reach across the aisle to get things done. His attempts to do this however have caused consternation among the Party’s social justice warriors. When he committed the sin of calling Mike Pence “a decent guy” the Party’s left wing went on the attack. Cynthia Nixon, the actress who ran for governor against Andrew Cuomo in New York, tweeted “.@JoeBiden you’ve just called America’s most anti-LGBT elected leader a decent guy.’ Please consider how this falls on the ears of our community.”
Soon afterwards Biden responded by tweeting “…There is nothing decent about being anti-LGBTQ rights, and that includes the Vice President”.
Given that profile in courage, we can expect that Biden will soon enter the bidding war for left wing votes. There will be an endless list of “free” stuff that Biden will be happy to provide; we will hear about how Republicans are racists who want to bring back the chains of slavery, and there will be deafening silence about the virulent anti-semitism that is infecting parts of the Democratic Party.
Will the third time bring luck for Joe Biden? Well, he is 76, white, male, heterosexual and trying to run as a “moderate” progressive. That combination may appeal to party regulars who backed Hillary Clinton, but it is an anathema to the activists. They are left wing fanatics who are intent on seizing control of the party like the McGovernites of 1972. And they may just succeed. Just like the McGovernites of 1972. They did a swell job of securing Nixon’s second term.
It is worth remembering that the Democratic Vice-Presidential candidate in 2000 was Joe Lieberman. By 2006 he had lost the Party’s nomination to retain his Senate seat, which he ultimately won as a third party candidate. By 2008 he skipped the Democratic Party convention, went to the Republican convention and supported John McCain for President.