Politico’s top headline said it all on Wednesday morning: Bernie Sanders is all but done. Former VP Joe Biden ran away with the lead of the Democratic presidential campaign on Tuesday, and in the process revived the Democratic multiracial coalition in the South and the Midwest – which Sen. Sanders never managed to do. Virtually every news outlet in North America is certain today that Joe has the nomination in the bag.
As of today, with 1,651 delegates declared and 1,991 delegates needed to win the Democratic nomination, Biden is ahead with 823, trailed by Sanders with 663. This gap is expected to grow, even if Sen. Sanders refuses to admit defeat. And while it is still possible that by the time the convention rolls around neither candidate will collect all the committed delegates they will need, should the first convention vote fall short of 1,991 for either man, the party’s superdelegate, or unpledged delegate, who constitute about 15% of the overall delegates count, will give the second vote to Joe Biden.
The Sanders pandemic threat is over.
The NY Times’ headline nicely summarized Bernie’s reaction to his devastating defeat: The Media. Young Voters. Sanders Spreads the Blame for His Decline. “To Senator Bernie Sanders, there is plenty of blame to go around when it comes to his recent reversal of fortune. For everyone but him and his campaign. The ‘corporate media’ didn’t pay attention to his agenda. The Democratic Party establishment aligned to block him from winning its presidential nomination. And the young voters he counted on to power his campaign didn’t come through for him,” The Times stuck the knife in and turned it for good measure.
In that context, I watched NY City Mayor Bill de Blasio on MSNBC’s Morning Joe the other day, suggesting that Democrats are looking for change, and pointing out that a Biden presidency would be more of the same. But going state by state, Democratic voters appear to desire a return to the days when the nation heard from its president only once a week, maybe even less frequently, and the round-the-clock media dance around presidential tweets just went away, please…
This, I believe, is why Democrats preferred Biden over Sanders by such resounding figures, and why Biden has won decisively states where he hadn’t even campaigned. Because Democrats – like the rest of us – know that a Bernie Sanders presidency would be just like the Donald trump presidency, but Bolshevik. Democrats don’t want change, Mr. Mayor, they are desperate for just a little more of the same.
I visited the IfNotNow Facebook page, which used to be filled with courageous slogans about taking their anti-Zionist message to the presidential candidates, to secure a future United States that would be hostile to the Jewish State. Those posts are gone. These days, it’s mostly anti-Israeli headlines from Haaretz. The boys and girls of IfNotNow have given up on the Democratic party.
I suspect President Biden would be too busy to mess with Israel, and when he gets around to it, his position on the peace talks would be halfway between Clinton’s and Obama’s. Biden is much more familiar with the Middle East than his predecessors, having served for many years as member and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He opposed the Gulf War in 1991. He voted in favor of authorizing GW Bush’s Iraq War in 2002—which was rife with inaccurate and misleading information—but opposed the surge of US troops in 2007. He also initiated a plan for “a third way” in Iraq: federalizing the country and giving Kurds, Shiites, and Sunnis “breathing room” in their own regions.
In May 2008, Biden attacked President Bush for his speech at the Knesset in which he suggested that some Democrats were acting like British PM Neville Chamberlain who appeased Hitler before World War II. A furious Biden said: “This is [expletive]. This is malarkey. This is outrageous. Outrageous for the president of the United States to go to a foreign country, sit in the Knesset … and make this kind of ridiculous statement.”
In March 2015, VP Biden and 50 congressional Democrats skipped PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to a joint session of Congress against the Iran nuclear deal, because the speech was announced without notifying the Obama Administration, in defiance of protocol. But in March 2016, Biden said at the AIPAC conference in Washington, DC: “We’re all united by our unyielding—I mean literally unyielding—commitment to the survival, the security, and the success of the Jewish State of Israel.”
After his primary victories in Missouri, Mississippi and Michigan, Biden said: “Just over a week ago, many of the pundits declared that this candidacy was dead. Now we’re very much alive. And although there’s a way to go, it looks like we’re going to have another good night. It’s more than a comeback in my view, our campaign. It’s a comeback for the soul of this nation. This campaign is taking off and I believe we’re going to do well from this point on. And I want to thank Bernie Sanders and his supporters for their tireless energy and their passion. We share a common goal and together we’ll defeat Donald Trump. We’ll defeat him together. Tonight we are a step closer to restoring decency, dignity and honor to the White House. That’s our ultimate goal.”