“Biden is Running for President, After Months of Hesitation.” Not HL’s words, but those from The New York Times’ headline and first spin, crudely letting us know that they are not thrilled.
The paper of record that used to keep its “opinions” on those pages now places its thumb on the scale by thumbing its nose at the old wall between news and its’ editorial board’s desires. There, formally announcing candidacy 16 months before the nominating convention, is described as hesitation and equivocation. Instead of the smart conduct of the leading contender for virtually every minute of the last several months, waiting while the 19 others in the Peanut Gallery announced.
HL has not decided whether he’s ridin with Biden. The date for the 2020 New York primary is still uncertain, but it certainly will occur next year. And it’s far too early to answer not the only, but most important, question whether Biden is the D most likely to not merely beat but flatten Trump and lead a wave that results in the Senate and House firmly under Democratic control. Actually, it is too early to abandon HL’s prediction that Trump will be out of office by January 2020. But Biden’s opening was very strong, as he said the thing that should be said and internalized by patriots.
I believe history will look back on four years of this president and all he embraces as an aberrant moment in time. But if we give Donald Trump eight years in the White House, he will forever and fundamentally alter the character of this nation – who we are – and I cannot stand by and watch that happen.
Biden’s weaknesses, much displayed and discussed in recent days, came with 40 years of elected experience. He is and has been a man of his time, unlike Bernie Sanders who was ahead of his or Elizabeth Warren who also seems visionary – though many of her visions were Bernie’s first and are simply repackaged and upgraded – “you say free tuition and I say loan forgiveness.” Biden being who he is – a moderately left of center moderate – he has made mucho missteps. To HL the most disconcerting was helping pave the way for Mitch McConnell’s obstruction of Merrick Garland, by quoting Biden’s 1992 advice to Bush 41 that he not nominate anyone to the high court until after the “political season.”
As there was no open seat, the advice was not merely gratuitous but inane and eminently and imminently citable. HL had his own little similar experience when Biden, who had invited him to testify at Breyer’s confirmation hearings, talked over and constantly interrupted the testimony because he disagreed with what was being said, critical of Breyer. Unnecessary again because Breyer was sailing through and did.
Against all that, Biden is a person with vast and distinguished government and life experience. My hero Obama wisely chose him, and he was a faithful handmaiden, sitting next to him as Bin Laden was executed. A man who has buried a wife and two children and come back to serve his country when it would have crushed most others and undoubtedly this one.
Less than an hour after the opening video, I and millions of others got the “Donate $5” all the way to “Donate $ Other” email – another great thing “invented” by Bernie. I almost checked one of those boxes. But too soon. Let’s hear them all out, especially Kamala and Pete, both seeming especially smart, tough and young. But here at HL we really are glad that Biden’s in, and we think his timing and initial message impeccable and winning.