Polls show former Vice President Joe Biden continues to have a comfortable lead among Democratic voters in the 2020 presidential primary race.
But some critics in his own party, such as liberal firebrand Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, D-N.Y., are blasting the centrist Biden for not being progressive enough.
So who really represents the Democratic Party of today? AOC or Biden?
“We will find out,” Donna Brazile, the former interim chair of the Democratic National Committee, said when asked by “WSJ at Large” host Gerry Baker on Friday. “Because I don’t think this is going to be a clash of generations but I also believe people want new ideas, fresh faces and perhaps a different approach to solving old problems.”
Brazile, who is also a Fox News contributor, thinks these kinds of questions are being raised because there are many misconceptions about what her political party believes in.
“The Democratic Party is not as liberal, left, socialist as many people on the right and conservatives are making us out to be,” she argued. “We’re still a party of centrists, we still have moderates, we still have pro-life members of Congress…we represent the great, big, what I call, the diversity of our nation.”
And she feels nobody is being left out.
“I do believe there is a seat at the table for old, establishment politicians, there’s a seat for new, establishment politicians and there’s a seat for outsiders as well,” she added.
Brazile notes that while Biden is the current favorite for president, that lead remains tenuous because of the rising influence of progressives plus changes in the Democratic Party’s makeup.
“Yes, there’s a lot of energy on the left, but there’s also a great deal of new voters who are now in the Democratic Party who would like to see a candidate who’s more progressive, forward looking and someone who can possibly lead us into the future,” she indicated. “So I think Joe Biden is the frontrunner, but it’s more like a frontrunner not on firm ground but more like quicksand, because this race could change in the next six or seven months.”
The bottom line for Democrats, of course, is defeating President Trump.
Brazile said in order to do that, whoever their candidate is needs to avoid Hillary Clinton’s big mistake in 2016 of assuming she didn’t need to campaign hard enough in a large number of states.
“The Clinton campaign ignored those 18 states and the District of Columbia -- they thought they were in the bag,” she pointed out. “They thought the 242 Electoral votes were safe that they could go and expand into Utah, Arizona, Georgia, etc. They were not in the bag. To lose those three states (Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin) by less than 70,000 votes, it hurts. So focus on those voters, talk to those voters but also focus on expanding the electorate.”
And Brazile warned we can’t get ahead of ourselves despite how badly we might want to know who the nominee will be.
“I think the debates will clear the air,” she said. “But more importantly than the debate, we have to remind people this is a race for delegates, you gotta accrue delegates, you gotta get on the ballot and you gotta find Joe Doe and Jane Doe to go stand out in a cold, wintry night in the Hawkeye State (Iowa, site of the first primary action) and say, ‘I like Joe because of X’ or ‘I like Kamala’ or ‘I like Elizabeth’ or all of the other candidates. No, it’s too early.”