Maybe Not the Pep Talk They Need

At Politico Ryan Lizza has some words of encouragement for the Democrats. Sort of. Your field is so screwed up that even Joe Biden could ultimately prevail:

Democrats don’t have an obvious candidate who they can rally around. Indecision is the most common theme I encountered among voters at more than a dozen events in New Hampshire since Friday. (Perhaps this should have been more obvious when even The New York Times editorial board couldn’t pick a single candidate.) There’s no reason to think the choice will get easier after Tuesday.

What’s driving the indecision is not a plethora of great choices, but the fact that there are seven candidates in the mix, each of whom has at least one very serious flaw.

There is no candidate who can deliver the kind of knockout punch that defined some previous Democratic primary races, such as Al Gore’s 2000 win and John Kerry’s 2004 win, when they each won Iowa and New Hampshire and never looked back. There’s some chance the race could gradually narrow to a two-person fight, as happened in 2008 (Obama vs. Clinton) and 2016 (Sanders vs. Clinton), but New Hampshire is unlikely to clarify who those two candidates are.

After sketching just what some of those flaws are he concludes:

And so Biden will get a second chance if he passes the one 2020 test he set for himself long ago: winning South Carolina. Plausible!

He’s actually making the argument for a convention in which the party leadership discards the primary results and selects the party’s presidential candidate. Plan C!

Under Plan C the 2020 Democratic presidential candidate wouldn’t even need to be someone who actually ran in any primaries. It could be but it wouldn’t need to be. It could be Hillary Clinton. It could be Oprah. It could be practically anybody.

6 comments… add one
  • GreyShambler Link

    It’s amazing to me how people grasp at straws for presidential candidates. Oprah? Michelle O.? WTF? Why not Dwayne Johnson? He at least has business experience. Do you smell what the prez’ is cookin’?

  • Isn’t Dwayne Johnson a Republican?

  • TarsTarkas Link

    Sanders isn’t a Democrat, so under DNC’s Calvinball rules yes Johnson could be the ultimate Democratic candidate. Or Romney, if he’s feeling particularly suicidal. At this point I’m not even certain there’s an actual ball in the middle of the rugby scrum.

    Right now the rules seem to be gang up on Sanders because he’s openly and honestly Marxist and the DNC doesn’t believe that will fly (yet) with the general electorate. James Carville is telling the candidates to just shut up and wait until you are elected, i.e. lie and dissemble, before you impose your collectivist policies on the country. Buttigieg is particularly good at that, the man can’t even answer a yes or no question without performing the verbal equivalent of a gymnastic floor routine.

    The situation to me seems to be that the surviving Never-Sanders candidates all think they have a shot, so they’re all trying to climb into that 1 foot square window at the same time. That’s what happened in the early stages of the 2016 Republican primaries. The difference between now and then is this time there are a couple of heavyweights standing and waiting on the sideline, one of whom might have the ball tucked under their jersey.

    At least the NH primary went off without an apparent hitch, thank God. And Nevada intelligently ditched the AP that helped screw up Iowa.

  • I think you’re definitely right about at least one thing: it is Calvinball.

  • steve Link

    “It’s amazing to me how people grasp at straws for presidential candidates. ”



  • Greyshambler Link

    Trump was no straw, remember that Republicans could have chosen the pedigreed Jeb! But rejected the status quo early. Trump made specific objectives, build the wall, drain the swamp. What I mean is, Michelle Oh! Or Oprah! aren’t even running.
    And like Ahnald, the Rock can change.

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