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Assault on America, Day 433: Biden momentum surge destined to drown in sea of hypocrisy

Buttigieg and Biden
It’s nothing short of remarkable how fast impressions change in politics. Or, in the alternative, it’s astonishing how quickly certain politicians’ hypocrisy is exposed.

Much has been written of late about dopey Joe Biden’s miraculous “resurrection” from the campaign dead after South Carolina and last week’s Super Tuesday voting, when the former Obama veep prevailed in ten of fourteen states and corralled an impressive number of delegates to give him the undisputed party lead. Biden pulled it off with multiple candidates still on the ballot and early voting having taken place in California and Texas (which theoretically should’ve hurt Biden because hundreds of thousands or millions of votes were cast before his Palmetto State win and the momentum boost following it).

From that scenario Biden vaulted from nearly gone to reincarnated frontrunner. And if the half-century experienced Washington pol wins today in Michigan (and other places), as expected, the experts are all-but calling the race early for Joe even though he’ll still be well short of the minimum total for victory on the first convention ballot. In essence, Biden’s near worst-to-first comeback will have spanned a total of ten days.

To say this is unprecedented may be an understatement. Party presidential campaigns are knocked for being too long, but the process seems to have worked in the Democrats’ favor this year. So much for all the primary debates and month upon month of one-to-one canvassing in small diners and local meeting halls; all Democrats really needed was to face the likelihood of Bernie Sanders being their nominee and Biden looked like a blushing bride on her wedding day. Stupid? You decide.

One of the reasons people assume Joe will win today is his endorsement from “rising star” Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, who came off the sidelines late last week to publicly back Biden. What a bold move, right? (From a Washington Examiner story by Joseph Simonson) Whitmer said in a statement, “Joe Biden is the candidate we need to defeat Donald Trump in November. He’s always had our backs. Now, I’m proud to have his.”

Like all recent Democrat behavior, this ringing tribute to Biden is a tad curious. If Joe “always had our backs” then why wasn’t Whitmer touting his backside protecting qualities a month ago? Or last fall? Or last year? Or could it be that the luster on Biden’s hair-transplanted scalp really only showed up in the past week, and the governor is now “proud to have his [back].”

Nothing should shock anyone in the insane world of politics anymore but the Democrat establishment’s horror over the prospect of the grassroots nominating “The Bern” sure must’ve elevated Biden’s stature in an awful darn hurry, to the point where practically every non-Sanders-bro is now gushing over Joe’s wonderful nature and supposed unmatched ability to compete with President Donald Trump in this year’s quadrennial national election.

Like anyone would, Biden’s enjoying his second chance at potential presidential glory, but it might be a little early to declare his work done for the year and start prepping for a White House move-in next January. There are plenty of signs that Trump’s supporters are activated and craving a showdown of their own with the gaffe-prone Grampa Joe. Paul Bedard reported at The Washington Examiner, “Voting enthusiasm among Republicans is at a record high, significantly over 2016, when Donald Trump defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton, and even higher than for Democrats, according to a new survey out Friday.

“Gallup said that the GOP's 64% enthusiasm at this stage of the election is higher than ‘any election since Gallup first measured this in 2000.’ Significantly, it breaks the recent pattern of the party not in the White House having higher voter enthusiasm in a reelection year. Currently, 58% of Democratic voters are enthusiastic, a 6-point gap with the GOP.

“’In some years when only one party had a competitive race for the nomination, that party was the more enthusiastic: Republicans in 2012 and Democrats in 2004. By contrast, although President Donald Trump is seeking reelection this year and Democrats are waging a nomination contest, Republicans are the more enthusiastic,’ said the polling outfit.”

Wow, this is something, and as significant as poll results can possibly be eight months before Election Day. No wonder the news isn’t getting much play in the mainstream establishment media, because if folks realized how amped-up Trump-loving Republicans are about the coming campaign it would definitely detract from all the buzz surrounding dopey Joe and his “My sister is my wife and my wife is my sister” campaign.

Think about it. Trump is traveling the country attracting standing-room-only crowds (with thousands more waiting outside packed arenas), drawing huge ratings on cable news channels (nothing new here) and breaking fundraising records, all without any intra-party opposition. There probably isn’t a party candidate in the nation who wouldn’t want Trump to come and campaign for them. Usually by now an incumbent president’s endorsement is considered “toxic” by some skittish party members. Not this year. Trump’s touch turns to gold now more than it ever has.

As far as the Democrats are concerned, no one should dismiss what’s happening in their party. Biden tanked in the early states – in other words, the ones where he and all the other candidates spent the most time campaigning in the past year – and suddenly shot up like a rocket once African-American voters received the go-ahead from 79-year-old South Carolina Rep. Jim Clyburn, who probably would’ve endorsed a corpse over a socialist (like Sanders and Elizabeth Warren) or a homosexual (Pete Buttigieg, not popular with black Democrats) if presented with an either-or scenario.

The black longtime congressman’s choices weren’t all that promising this nominating cycle – it was either Biden or Amy Klobuchar, and it became clear two weeks ago (after Nevada) that the Minnesota senator’s campaign was for vice president from then on. Klobuchar’s “aw shucks” Midwestern gentility didn’t match the personality demands of Clyburn’s backers. They wanted someone who would scare the daylights out of his competition.

That left good ‘ol back slappin, pearly white tooth grinnin’, hair sniffin’, young child repellin’ and nude swimmin’ Biden as the default winner for Clyburn’s nod. Once African-American Democrats recognized one of their own jumping off the sidelines to get behind Joe, the floodgates opened. While it’s true Biden can’t say anything without making some sort of distortion, misrepresentation or outright lie, to many Democrats, he was better than gambling on a political gadfly like “senile old coot” Sanders.

To his credit – and Michigan’s Whitmer’s dis-credit – Clyburn chose Biden when it still looked like Obama’s right-hand man was destined to lose. Nancy Pelosi’s majority whip wouldn’t ever lose his safe House seat but his leadership post would be history if Democrats surrender the majority in this year’s election. Therefore, Clyburn had no other option than to take a flyer on Biden. And it’s not like Clyburn or anyone else thinks Joe is a good candidate. But he’s the suit who apparently has the best shot at overcoming GOP enthusiasm to beat Trump, at least according to national polls.

Joe might speak like his mouth is overstuffed with marbles (and label himself an “O’Biden-Bama Democrat) but “The Bern” is an unlikable kook with a losing socialist propensity that couldn’t possibly win over anyone but the young and gullible in large numbers. Therefore, the devolution of the Democrat race isn’t all that complicated. And partly due to external factors – but mostly attributable to the enormous capabilities of Donald Trump and his myriad of policy successes – Republicans are itching to get out and vote this year.

So why isn’t this unusual enthusiasm gap reflected in the horse race polling numbers? It’s a legitimate question, one pollsters should be compelled to answer. What formulas are they using? What about the shifts in party identification and new reality of a deeply divided Democrat party? And common sense would indicate the longer the Trump-Biden head-to-head matchup is scrutinized, the more it will favor the incumbent with a commanding presence and obvious possession of all his mental faculties.

How dull is Joe? Maybe there’s a way to find out. How about challenging both of them to a test?

The recently concluded NFL combine featured, as it always does, a Wonderlic test where potential player draftees’ intelligence and problem solving skills are measured and compared with everyone else’s. Particularly relevant is a quarterback’s score considering he must process practically unlimited information (player formations, defensive personnel, defensive schemes, weather conditions, crowd noise etc.) on every play.

Smarts matter to a quarterback and they sure as heck count in politics (Maxine Waters aside) too. Joe Biden’s gaffes aren’t funny anymore. It’s serious when you’ve got a guy speaking in front of a friendly audience saying he’s a candidate for U.S. Senate. And that’s not even bringing up the fact he manipulates stories from his background (like being arrested while going to meet with Nelson Mandela) and confuses numbers.

How enthused will Democrats be to vote for Joe in November -- to turn over the nuclear codes to this intellectually slipping man? They won’t vote for Trump but maybe they’ll think twice about volunteering or contributing for Biden. And that could make all the difference in a tight contest.

Trump will steer the debate and eat Biden’s lunch in the campaign. He’s already doing it. David M. Drucker wrote at The Washington Examiner, “Trump has lampooned Bloomberg, the billionaire former New York City mayor, as ‘Mini Mike’ — he is 5 feet, 8 inches tall — derided Warren as ‘Pocahontas,’ and called Sanders, a Vermont senator, ‘crazy.’ To undercut Joe Biden, 77, the Democratic front-runner, Trump regularly questions his mental acuity and accuses him of using the vice presidency to enrich his family. Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, made millions serving on the board of a Ukrainian energy company during President Barack Obama’s administration.

“Republicans were initially uncomfortable with this particular line of attack because allegations that Biden acted improperly as vice president have never been proven, though Hunter Biden’s actions were unseemly, they said. But the charges of impropriety have weakened Biden nonetheless, and many Republicans have learned to love, if not embrace, Trump’s tactics...

“[T]he Trump campaign is deploying mild-mannered Vice President Mike Pence and Lara Trump, the president’s daughter-in-law, to suburban battlegrounds that remain a tougher sell for Trump.”

Whatever works, right? Judging by the president’s 93 percent approval rate among Republicans, there’s near-unanimity that Trump gives even better than he gets. Joe Biden and all the other Democrats have labeled Trump a racist, sexist, homophobe, xenophobe and falsely claimed that he despises immigrants and newcomers.

The rhetorical war goes both ways. Last Thursday night, for example, during his Fox News town hall, Trump responded to a question about tone in the campaign. He basically said if he didn’t answer the attacks against him in kind, he would’ve never won the election and he’d have no chance to win again this year.

The questioner seemed satisfied with his reply. Trump’s mastery of his message is complete. Can Joe Biden – or any Democrat – claim the same talent? Will Bernie Sanders’ backers take what Joe says at face value?

The past couple weeks demonstrated how quickly things change in the world of politics and how voter attitudes often shift without explanation. One thing that will likely remain the same is President Trump’s hold on the loyalty of conservatives and Republicans. Democrats can’t match it, regardless of who wins their nomination.

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