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Filipovic writes: "The most important requirement for the Democratic Party's presidential nominee? Electability. It matters more, we keep hearing, than nominating a candidate who has good policies."

Joe Biden. (photo: Getty Images)
Joe Biden. (photo: Getty Images)

Does Anyone Actually Want Joe Biden to Be President?

By Jill Filipovic, The New York Times

19 May 19

What ‘electability’ seems to mean in 2020 — and what it meant in 2018.

he most important requirement for the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee? Electability. It matters more, we keep hearing, than nominating a candidate who has good policies. It matters more than nominating a candidate with a track record of passing progressive legislation. It certainly matters more than nominating a candidate who could be the first female president.

Unfortunately, very few people who say they are putting electability first seem to understand what “electability” means, or what today’s electorate actually looks like.

Case in point: In a field crowded with nearly two dozen candidates, no answer to the electability question is offered more regularly and with more conviction than “Joe Biden.”


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+52 # pushingforpeace 2019-05-19 13:36
Yet another indication of how out of touch the DNC is.
+2 # wrknight 2019-05-20 12:59
You're right. The DNC is totally out of touch with the voters. However, the flip side is that voters are out of touch with their own members of Congress. (For example, how many Democrats in San Francisco [the capitol of liberalism] voted for Nancy Pelosi last year?)

Voters want good government but they vote for bad politicians. That is, when they bother to vote (which most of the time, most of them don't).

Like Forest Gump said, "Stupid is as stupid does".
+53 # Shorey13 2019-05-19 14:04
Memo to Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi: Trump is President precisely because the Democratic Establishment (aka Coastal Limo Liberals) sabotaged Bernie last time around.
The traditional Democratic base (aka the Working Class) are appropriately furious with the NeoLiberal policies of the Elite. Putting Biden up as the candidate will only guarantee the reelection of Trump. For God's sake, Nancy and Joe, welcome to the 21st Century. Get out of the way. Your day. is over!!!
+7 # Texas Aggie 2019-05-19 19:51
Send the message to her at her web page for Speaker of the House

Every time something happens showing that the Democratic leadership is out of touch with the Democratic voters, I send her the message that 2016 happened for a reason and ignoring the wishes of the voters will get you a replay of 2016, not 2018. If other people would also contact her, it might draw her attention.
+1 # wrknight 2019-05-20 13:06
I do, too. But do you think she gives a shit? Her voters will keep voting for her regardless.

Remember the definition of insanity - doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
+5 # SusanT136 2019-05-21 06:31
One of the points AOC keeps trying to hammer into our consciousness is that voter turnout in this country is very low. Definitely this has to do with apathy about “business as usual” candidates. AOC won her surprise victory by massively increasing turnout (especially of young people) in a district that had very low voter turnout. If we, as progressives, can create a massive grassroots campaign and get people to show up and vote, history could be changed in 2020. And a massive effort is what it will take because establishment Dems want to protect their positions; look at the DCCC’s position that political consultants who work on primary challengers to Dem incumbents are blacklisted. Not to mention the voter suppression and outright cheating that will happen across the board from the Republicans and corporate powers that be.
+43 # jsluka 2019-05-19 14:36
If they run Biden, it will be a repeat of the mistake they made last time that resulted in the election of Trump, and will be Trump's best bet for re-election. If they run Biden, I fear Trump will be re-elected.
+31 # vt143 2019-05-19 14:44
Does Anyone Actually Want Joe Biden to Be President?

Yes. The DNC and those in power who want to hedge their bets in case Trump loses.

The people want anyone but Trump and Biden but these days when does that matter? The people do not own the electoral process. That's just something I think they still teach in grade school.
+11 # Texas Aggie 2019-05-19 19:55
Politics is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich, by promising to protect each from the other. ~Oscar Ameringer
+2 # wrknight 2019-05-20 13:08
Not so gentle any more.
+28 # HenryS1 2019-05-19 14:48
The DNC careerists are ultimate partisans, and mostly lose track of everything else except winning, and perpetuating their "half" of the two-party duopoly.

Hillary at least was a symbol, as a strong woman.

Biden is "safe" in that he is a very proven, reliably "bought" politician who plays by the rules and takes them seriously, and feels entitled by those same rules to a shot at the top.

Personally, choosing between two highly crafted public image constructs hiding petty, venal human beings, is a prospect that tempts me to skip it in suspended animation, if that were possible.

But, reality points towards another "lesser of two evils" in the form of a stereotypical clueless old white guy (a class that includes myself, although sometimes I balk at the "clueless" part), as does "Creepy Joe", as all of my right-wing friends name him. Not entirely without reason, or the nasty name wouldn't stick.

Go Bernie.......PL EASE !!

Given what Trump did to Hillary, and the material he has to work with, doesn't anyone see how Biden is the perfect "loser" for Trump to obliterate in the actual campaign process? Hillary was a sure thing, until she was destroyed. A close thing. Biden's faux "electability" makes him the Hubert Humphrey of today, and that is on one of his "good" days. The reason FOX is making news out of Biden's lead is that that lead is incredibly good for Trump's re-election prospects right now, if one looks forward realistically.
+44 # PABLO DIABLO 2019-05-19 14:50
Biden is another Hillary. Trump will trample him. We need, WE WANT change. Vote Progressive.
+4 # apotem 2019-05-19 18:24
WE - the ordinary people, but not DNC, which loves to loose and blames everything afterwards.
+1 # 2019-05-19 15:23
What about electing someone who will address the most important issue threatening Our Republic ... Who is going to finally uphold Eisenhower's and Truman's decades old warnings in regards to the Intel Apparatus and Our Liberties, vs rise of the military (-medical)-indu strial complex? Relatedly, someone should demand that the CIA is OUT of our education and medical institutions (stateside even!)... Who is going to pull our soldiers from guarding poppy fields in Afghanistan? Who will ensure that Our Soldiers, and all Americans everywhere, fight and die for just causes only, upholding Our Constitution, and Republic of, by, and for the People, nothing less? I have concerns also regarding the outdated, overly broad Espionage Act ... What entity will revise this and respect and protect whistleblowers, Our First Amendment, and Our Constitution? Our patients need greater protections as well ... See my Home tab and Medical-Militar y under that -- we have "a lot of killers" (Trump to O"Reilly 2.5.17), and too-easy-to-acc ess high-lethality chemicals and biologics (in/outside of medical facilities)... Protest with me in Miami, or wherever you are, before it's too late. Send your protest pics and I will post.
-1 # Saberoff 2019-05-21 14:52
+8 # Doggone 2019-05-19 15:24
It's not just the DNC. The NYT in 2016 all but black balled Bernie. Joe Represents the establishment which I find quite untrustworthy. I don't think Joe is progressive but because that is what is drawing people to the Democrats he is pouring on the platitudes. I think he's past his prime and doesn't see the world in color but in black and white.
+9 # tsyganka 2019-05-19 16:58
A rat salad sandwich might win against the ignorant orange savage, but who wants a rat salad sandwich for president?

It's not only right-wingers who call Biden "Creepy Joe." So does this Left-winger. He touches women, kisses women, and smells women's hair without consent. He's nasty. I get the weird feeling that he'd smell our armpits too if he could.

In his then position as judicial committee chair, he was key in putting sexual predator Clarence Thomas on the SCOTUS. Anita Hill thinks Creepy Joe's fake apology is crap.

In his then position as foreign relations committee chair, he was key in selling to the public the lied-for illegal war of aggression on Iraq. I've yet to hear even a crap fake apology for the traumatic injuries and deaths.

The "senator from MBNA" is also crap on issues of student loan debt, the death penalty, mass incarceration, and institutionaliz ed racism.

Creepy Joe. Status quo. Clinton 2.0. Ptui.
-1 # Caliban 2019-05-22 21:20
Calling Creepy Joe "Clinton 2.0" is an outrageous compliment. Clinton's ideology was absurdly rightest for a party yearning for a new deal (Green or otherwise), but HRC had solid recent cabinet experience and an inner toughness that sometimes seemed slightly inhuman. But she had a level of understanding of executive branch governing that Biden will never approach.

This truly is the time for Democrats to go young - with new candidates and fresh, daring "young" ideas. Go home Joe and make your fortune with credit cards commercials. Tulsi, Beto, AOC and others known and not-yet known, this is your time to get your policies and arguments vigorously out to the people for a spirited and engaging public debate.
+6 # lfeuille 2019-05-19 17:17
Warning to the DNC: Most of the "left" will not vote for Biden. This "emergency" is self created. If they hadn't messed with the nominating process Bernie would be president by now. This time it's the establishment dems that will have to give and vote for Bernie or they will lose again.

I think, however that this article is off in the analysis of white working class males. They may be decline but they won't have declined to the point where they can safely be ignored by Nov. 2020. That's a future trend - not today. But Biden is not the one to engage them. Bernie proved in the primaries that he appeals to them. Not by his beer drinking comraderie but because this policies will make their lives better, as they will all other groups who are economically marginalized. After all, how many of them will actually even have a chance to get a beer with Joe Biden. He has nothing else to offer and that just doesn't go very far.
+2 # jimallyn 2019-05-21 01:11
Quoting lfeuille:
Warning to the DNC: Most of the "left" will not vote for Biden. ... This time it's the establishment dems that will have to give and vote for Bernie or they will lose again.

What you're missing here is that the DNC/establishme nt "Dems" don't care if they lose. What they want is more Republicans in office. They may have a slight preference for the Democratic Republican over the Republican republican, but as long as some Republican is elected, they're happy. If they just let the Republicans win, they get pretty much everything they (actually, their corporate masters) want, they don't have to do any work to get it, and they can blame the Republicans for passing what they really wanted anyway. For the corporatist, establishment Dems, losing is a win/win situation.
+1 # lfeuille 2019-05-19 17:24
It is good, however that this appeared in the NYT. We need more articles in the MSM doubting Biden's inevitability.
+3 # Street Level 2019-05-19 17:46
I don't. I also like Mr. Rogers but wouldn't put him in the Oval either.
+7 # dlet60 2019-05-19 19:58
Of all the possible democratic candidates for president, Joe Biden is the absolute worse. If we want to guarantee Trump's reelection then Biden should be the democratic nominee.
+13 # librarian1984 2019-05-20 01:20
A big part of the problem is that the establishment we are fighting is not just corrupt politicians like Pelosi and Biden, but also the corporate media.

It's extremely difficult to get accurate information, particularly after the past two years' purging and demonization of alternative news sources. Instead we're bombarded with bullshit 24/7, from 'journalists' who've been proven wrong over and over again.

The PROPAGANDA about 'electability' is nonsense. The term doesn't mean who's electable -- it means that's who the establishment wants.
+1 # HDSMTS 2019-05-20 15:22
Let's see, if I remember...Earl y in March 2016, while Trump was still just a possibility, the warning went out that Bernie wasn't electable and we had to stop Trump by nominating Hillary. Yeah, well that worked.

Then in January 2017, the reason to vote for Ralph Northam against Tom Periello in the Virginia gubernatorial primary was...electabil ity. Unlike Hillary, Northam beat his GOP competitor, but then turned out to be a lover of gas pipelines and a closet racist. Yup, another victory for the politics of electability.
+1 # Saberoff 2019-05-21 14:46
The answer to the headline is no: no one wants status-quo Joe for P. But he's not in it to win. Joe is there to divide the voters some more (think that makes 23). In this way no one gets 50% of the vote on the first round; that throws the primary to the second round and courtesy of the new DNC rules (thanks to Bernie) that gives this year's Democratic nominee back to their super-delegates . The Democratic Party is your major obstacle to The People's choice, again! Believe it.

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