Former Vice President Joe Biden is out in front in the polls for the Democratic Party’s 2020 presidential nomination and the reason may have been how he got into the race.
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Jerry Seib, Executive Washington Editor for the Wall Street Journal, tells “WSJ at Large” host Gerry Baker that Biden played his hand perfectly.
“I think the Biden strategy is fascinating,” Seib explained. “He let all the others, the 20 others announce, come out and attempt to do their part to move the Democratic Party to the left. That was the prevailing view. They were all out there and Old Joe Biden walks through the door with a completely different proposition.”
Seib said that completely different proposition came in two parts:
“His proposition is A) Democrats are really not moving as far left as everyone else thinks, that the people who won the House of Representatives for Democrats in 2018 were voters in the middle-- suburban housewives who could vote either Democratic or Republican-- that’s a bigger constituency than my colleagues think,” he noted. “And B) his proposition is that this election is entirely about Donald Trump…it’s all about him, full on, but it’s not about collusion, it’s about American values.”
Seib paraphrases Biden’s argument that President Trump isn’t the person for the job.
“He does not represent American values or the style of governance people want, I’m going to change that, I’m the one who can take him on one-on-one, mano y mano, and beat him on those terms.”
So far, that seems to be a winning formula. The latest Fox News poll taken May 11-14 finds Biden is the choice of 35 percent of Democratic primary voters, which is up from 31 percent in March. His nearest rival, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, has just 17 percent.
Seib compliments Biden for coming into the race looking like he’s the only choice for Democratic primary voters.
“He’s almost acting as if he’s won the nomination in a field of 23 or 24 people,” Seib said. “And it worked. I don’t know if it’s going to work long-term, but right now it’s working. Even other Democrats now treat him as if he’s the presumptive nominee.”
But Seib warns nobody should be thinking that Biden is a lock to be the one celebrating at the end of the party’s convention in Milwaukee next July.
“We’re both old enough to have seen two Joe Biden presidential campaigns (1988, 2008) that were spectacular failures,” he told Baker. “There is plenty of time for this to fall apart. He’s not the best candidate in the world.”