Is Joe Biden Really as Electable as He Seems?

The former VP continues to reveal himself as the most vulnerable potential nominee.

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Photo via Joe Biden on Instagram

Joe Biden hasn’t had a very good summer.

Neither debate performances did him any favors. But his fumbling performances on the television screen pales in comparison to his recent “gaffes” in the wake of the shootings over the past weekend in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, in which he couldn’t identify where they took place. It didn’t get much better after that either. At an Iowa campaign event, the gaffe-prone former Vice President said “White kids are just as smart as poor kids.”

Yes, Biden remains ahead in the polls.

But what does that lead really mean? Will this perception of electability actually translate in to a campaign that’s able to get people to the voting booth? Is it actually backed up by genuine support or just mass nostalgia for the Obama days, and a desire to return to a time when at least it felt like there were real adults in the room making the decisions that affect our lives?

When push comes to shove, we have to remember what those decisions were, and where they’ve gotten us. Of course, it should go without saying that the days of Obama and Clinton were monumentally better than Trump. But a significant portion of us have fooled ourselves in to thinking that those days of undeniable economic neoliberalism and a continuance of global military engagement didn’t at the very least contribute to an anti-establishment sentiment that allowed Trump to flourish.

Biden has a rich and ugly history within the context of the elite political establishment that so many of us have come to despise, whether it be writing the 1991 and 94 crime bills, opposition to the Hyde amendment, or his Iraq War vote. His unfortunate record, accompanied by a devastating inability to defend that record even from fellow centrist democrats, makes him — at least in my view — an incredibly dangerous and vulnerable choice for the democratic nomination.

Imagine, if you will, a Trump versus Biden debate. At this rate, it’s easy to see how it could quickly devolve in to an argument over who’s more racist, who has a worse immigration record, or who’s creepier with women. Call me crazy, but that doesn’t seem like a scenario where people are motivated to come out and vote.

Objectively, we cannot deny that Joe Biden’s campaign is just a more conservative, less sharp, even more vulnerable and dangerous reincarnate of the Clinton campaign in 2016. We have already lived the consequences of nominating a candidate with a similar resume, and it is well past time for voters to consider if that is a chance we want to take yet again. Joe Biden, with the help of the mainstream media, may have been able to portray himself the past few months as a relatively “safe” choice, but modern history has already told us a very different story.

The left deserves better, and other candidates like Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders have risen to that. We deserve a candidate who can galvanize the base, and offer a true vision for the future that can excite and unify us. The more time that passes by, the more clear it seems to me that Joe Biden didn’t run because he has an idea for the future. He ran because he felt that it was an excellent opportunity to capitalize on the fear and distaste for Donald Trump in order to achieve his long awaited goal of become president.

The fact of the matter is that there is too much at stake to allow Joe Biden to become the nominee. Those of us on the left have an obligation to engage in real, productive, well meaning conversation with more moderate democrats, and make the case that Joe Biden just isn’t it. His time has come and gone. We are living in a political climate that he is not able to function effectively within, and we have a responsibility to ensure that we nominate a stronger candidate. An electable politician is one with a message that resonates and motivates their base to come out and vote for them, and Joe Biden doesn’t have that.

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Lauren is a writer & leftist with analysis on topics related to politics & policy. She can be reached at or Twitter @xlauren_mx

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