BIDEN MADE A TERRIBLE MISTAKE
It would be hard to tell you how scared I am of a Trump second term.
When history is written, there will be a lot of blame assigned to the Democrats who couldn’t dispense with their self-promotion and arrogance and come up with a candidate who, a look back will show us, could win.
We were just treated to former President Barack Obama telling a group of liberal donors that picking someone too far to the left would be a huge mistake. The former president’s beloved Vice President, Joe Biden, is still the leader in many national polls. However, and this is a big however, Biden has failed to attract big donors. His money supply, the oxygen of politics, has fallen off. Not only that, Biden, who I admire, made a terrible mistake in not convincing his son, Hunter Biden to stay out of Ukrainian politics. While it seems certain that the younger Biden didn’t do anything illegal, despite Donald Trump’s insistence that he did, he really had no business taking a lot of money from a Ukrainian company. This may well prove to be a fatal chink in Biden’s armor. Biden, of course, seems to be of great concern to none other than Donald Trump who is on his way to impeachment because of his single-minded certainty that Biden will be his opponent and the only one who could beat him in his re-election effort. So, it turns out now that Biden may not be the one to run.
Assuming that Obama is correct in warning of us about not veering too far left, and I think he is, and if Biden turns out to be damaged goods and if Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are sure to turn off the “purple” middle class, who will be the candidate?
Now into the race come two new entries — Michael Bloomberg and my friend, Deval Patrick, the former governor of Massachusetts. Both of these men would make superb presidents. So let’s take a look at them. Bloomberg has always wanted to be president but just can’t decide who he is. He ran up to the starting line and then, like the Roadrunner, came to a screeching halt at the last minute. He has never understood that in America you do not get crowned president, you have to run and run hard. You have to take the brickbats that people throw at you. He has the money and he is willing to use it. However, if he runs, he will clearly damage the chances of Joe Biden in that the moderate vote will be split. That might mean nominating a leftist candidate, losing the independent purples and thereby blowing the election.
Then there is Deval Patrick who I believe SHOULD be the president. He is in the Obama mold. He is black, a moderate and in the most American way, he has some money but not Bloomberg money. If you want to hear what kind of a man he is, go to WAMC.org and call up my interview with Patrick and his wonderful wife, Diane. You’ll get an idea of what the guy is made of. He is caring and decent and sensitive and a romantic. He is the perfect person to clean up the mess left by Trump. He was superb as governor of Massachusetts and he will inspire people in a John F. Kennedy fashion. Unlike Trump, he will appeal to the best in all of us rather than the worst. He will bring both white voters and voters of color out in historic numbers. If he wins the nomination, he will have Barack Obama to campaign for him. His friend James Taylor will be singing at his side and he will give Americans a reason to be proud. Maybe he waited too long to get into the race, but time will tell.
Alan Chartock is professor emeritus at the State University of New York, publisher of the Legislative Gazette and president and CEO of the WAMC Northeast Public Radio Network. Readers can email him at [email protected].