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Jill Biden wants us all to settle for her husband. But there's a very good reason why we don't have to do that

We have been told Joe Biden is electable, but what is that even based on? His failed two presidential bids? How lowered expectations now excuse his penchant for gaffes?

Michael Arceneaux
New York
Wednesday 21 August 2019 13:33 BST
Comments
If a garbage bag on fire won the Democratic nomination, I'd vote for it. But that doesn't mean I have to give up hope right now
If a garbage bag on fire won the Democratic nomination, I'd vote for it. But that doesn't mean I have to give up hope right now (Getty)

It appears that former Second Lady Jill Biden believes that we’ve all had our fun this primary season, but it’s time to stop pretending we don’t know how this is all going to end and why.

While campaigning in New Hampshire, Biden asked Democrats to prioritize what the media and the consulting contingent have described as “electability” over enthusiasm for other specific candidates or their policies. “You may like another candidate better, but you have to look at who is going to win,” she said while addressing a group of educators. “And if education is your main issue, Joe is that person.”

Wait, don’t get too revved up for Joe Biden yet – there’s more.

“Your candidate might be better on, I don’t know, healthcare than Joe is, but you’ve got to look at who’s going to win this election,” Jill Biden added. “And maybe you have to swallow a little bit and say, ‘OK, I sort of personally like so-and-so better,’ but your bottom line has to be that we have to beat Trump.”

The only reason we might even have a President Joe Biden is because he hitched himself to Barack Obama, the man who made history on the themes of hope and change. How sad is it that Jill Biden now wants folks to give up hope on a more audacious candidate in order to make sure the third time’s a charm for her husband’s latest attempt at becoming the Democratic presidential nominee.

Since that speech in New Hampshire, Joe Biden has stepped in to help clarify his wife’s comments, telling reporters what Jill really meant. “She was making the case--you should pick the person you think will win because none of our issues will matter if Donald Trump wins,” he claimed. “That was the point she was making.”

New Hampshire senator Dick Swett endorses Joe Biden for presidency in 2020

This is not so much clarification as it is an attempt to reintroduce a terrible point in prettier packaging. We got what Jill meant the first time. And if we didn’t, the Biden campaign released a new ad to once again reiterate the idea that only Joe Biden is sure to defeat Donald Trump. It’s an ad purportedly for Iowa but it’s obvious that it also seeks to convey the aura of a general election ad – to further speak to his “electability.”

We have been told Joe Biden is electable, but what is that based on? His failed two presidential bids? How lowered expectations now excuse his penchant for gaffes?

I am so tired of hearing about how electable Joe Biden is based on nothing more than the unimaginative minds of a bunch of pundits and political hacks who still have learned nothing from the 2016 presidential election yet further soil political media anyway.

Joe Biden leads most polls because Joe Biden is who most people know. And more pointedly, it’s because old black people support Joe Biden in droves. Joe Biden is familiar, but once upon a time, Hillary Clinton was just as familiar to older black voters. The very second Barack Obama proved he could win white voters, they found a new candidate.

Why can’t that happen for Kamala Harris? Or Cory Booker? Why can’t I hold out hope that Beto O’Rourke and Julián Castro find their way? And really, why can’t I love Bernie Sanders’ plan to cancel all student loan debt or Elizabeth Warren’s dozens upon dozens of plans -- maybe enough to vote for either to get the nomination?

Why am I being discouraged from being excited about candidates with bolder visions for the future in favor of the guy who wants to go back to the days of America that never existed for people like me anyway?

Most polls right now don’t mean anything, but if we’re going to go by Jill Biden’s metric, as it stands now, a generic Democrat is besting President Trump by double digits according to a new poll from NBC/WSJ. So if a garbage bag on fire were the next Democratic nominee for president, I would vote for it. If that bag defeats Joe Biden in the process, oh well.

Some people perceive Donald Trump to be some kind of supervillain, but the rest of us don’t have to fall for such malarkey. And considering the darkness of the Trump era, I think many underestimate a more exciting, hopeful, vision-oriented candidate might look by comparison to voters. I know enough of them have not quite factored in the possibility that Joe Biden is basically Hillary Clinton without any of her political talents and could very well depress the electorate.

I’ve certainly considered that, which is exactly why I hope Democrats don’t fall for this sham narrative that only Joe Biden can save us. We can do better. We can be excited. We don’t have to settle for Joe Biden.

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