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Bruni writes: "It didn't come to me right away, but finally I recognized the model for Joe Biden's unusual campaign, the former president whose pitch Biden's most closely resembles: George W. Bush."

Joe Biden on Saturday at a campaign stop in South Carolina. (photo: Demetrius Freeman/NYT)
Joe Biden on Saturday at a campaign stop in South Carolina. (photo: Demetrius Freeman/NYT)

Joe Biden, Closet Republican

By Frank Bruni, The New York Times

10 July 19

He’s the liberal Bob Dole, the looser Mitt Romney, the supposedly safe bet who’s owed a shot.

t didn’t come to me right away, but finally I recognized the model for Joe Biden’s unusual campaign, the former president whose pitch Biden’s most closely resembles:

George W. Bush.

I’m referring to Bush’s first presidential bid, in 2000, which is remembered mostly for its surreal climax: the seesawing returns on election night, the Florida recount, the Supreme Court ruling that effectively decided the contest in his favor. To the limited extent that political junkies recall his slogans and stump speeches, the phrase “compassionate conservative” comes quickest to mind.

But Bush’s strategy and success arguably hinged less on selling himself as a new kind of Republican than on being seen as a tested, trusted, traditional brand. His surname did much of that work, and he augmented it with a sustained oratorical emphasis on propriety. He pledged to “restore honor and integrity” to the White House in the wake of Bill Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky and subsequent impeachment. He would end the melodrama of the Clinton years and expunge the shame by having the nation essentially pick up where it had left off — with a Bush at the helm.


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+24 # Citizen Mike 2019-07-10 10:36
Joe is running as a centrist, a Republicrat who offers no threat to established interests and to deeply embedded voter blocs. His remarks about getting along with segregationists was a dog whistle to the racist voters out there that he would not impede or oppose them. The Wall Street goniffs and banking gangsters likewise know he will not take effective measures to clip their wings and Republicans can see him as the safe alternative to unreliable and vulgar Trump.
+13 # chapdrum 2019-07-10 12:14
Closeted? Hardly.
+10 # librarian1984 2019-07-10 19:31
So it's Biden's 'turn', just like it was Hillary's?

When is it OUR turn? When do the people matter?

Right now we have two utterly corrupt parties that have rigged the system so it's almost impossible to get rid of the bad ones. Congress has 14% approval but more than 90% of incumbents remain.

Both parties use fear and anger to keep us at each other's throats so we won't unite against THEM, and the same corporate interests who've bought both parties also own the media, the ones who spread the fear and anger.

We are not helpless but we are up against a formidable entity -- an entrenched establishment -- epitomized by selfish political whores like Joe Biden.
+5 # harleysch 2019-07-11 04:43
And Kamala Harris!
+5 # Texas Aggie 2019-07-10 21:56
I'm reminded of Jim Hightower's book, "If the Gods had wanted us to vote, they would have given us candidates."

We do have a few candidates, but the Forces of Darkness seem to have arrayed against them.

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