Joe Biden, from his announcement, has been at the top of the polls. Even before then, he ranked on people’s idea of an ideal candidate and now that he is in, he has eroded support from Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, and Buttigieg. Others that ranked in the single digits have fallen off the radar (Booker, Gillibrand). However, there is a good reason to dump Biden early.
This time around, Democrats have a diverse field to choose from. There’s no reason to pick the old, white guy. He might seem like the “safe” option. He might seem like someone so unobtrusive that Trump can’t find a way to brand him in a negative way. However, the Democrat field has produced much better options. We have candidates with a better record, less baggage, and that are far more exciting than Joe Biden who is best known for his center-right leanings and bromance with Obama.
One of the mistakes the party made in 2016 was to pick the “safe” candidate. Bernie energized voters, including in the rust belt. Bernie generated support for a candidate not seen since 2008 and yet, the party decided that Clinton was their gal and far safer than Bernie and his democratic socialism. That was a huge mistake. Trump won by less than 100,000 votes in each of the crucial states like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan. Imagine if a truly exciting candidate had been on offer? That’s the problem with the doting on Biden right now. Biden seems like the nice, safe option. He hasn’t really given us much in the way of policy and he’s taking Trump head on and taking racism head-on. What happens when the GOP makes a big deal about his comments about bussing and segregation? What happens when Anita Hill comes up again and again. What happens when his long record is picked apart? At that point, he will seem much less attractive than some of the better alternatives. It’s already happening.
Give the People What They Want
The party does not want Joe Biden. The party does not want someone who can merely pay lip service to progressive values and someone who has a long record that doesn’t align with progressive values. It is not like there aren’t other options. Much of Biden’s appeal is nostalgia for the Obama administration (which wasn’t great) and not much else. He has not produced many policies (unlike Warren) and he doesn’t get the party excited like Bernie or Harris. The Democrats have a chance to do something really important. They have a chance to put the new America right in Trump’s face. The new America is liberated, diverse, and has different values than the America of the past. Rather than trying to fit into the old narrative of white America, it’s time to put the power of the new America on full display. No one embodies this better than Kamala Harris. She’s a woman, she’s the daughter of immigrant parents, and she’s a person of color. She’s younger, fresher, and while some might take issue with her days a prosecutor, that is no reason not to look to the future of the party rather than the past. Biden represents what the Democrat party was and what America was in the recent past. Kamala Harris represents the future.