be clear in our understanding that Joe Biden is leading this
presidential race because of circumstances and individuals beyond his
control. He is a major beneficiary of a growing intensity among a
majority of the nation’s Democratic voters to remove Donald
Trump from office. Having largely failed in the primary debates and
at raising competitive campaign funding, until recently, he has the
winds of victory at his back.
perhaps, the most important sources of his resurgent success are the
Democratic powerbrokers backing his run: Congressman James Clyburn
(with the spiritual energy of his late wife Emily) who launched his
roaring comeback in the South Carolina primary, former Virginia Gov.
Terry McAuliffe who unleashed his political operation with those of
his fellow Virginia party activists along with those in the other
Super Tuesday states.
by far, the most important contributor to Biden’s success is
former President Barack Obama. Biden’s deference and loyalty
to the first African American president from 2009 until 2017 has
resulted in his overwhelming support and turnout from African
Americans in in primary states since March 3rd, a show of
appreciation for his stellar service as Obama’s Vice President.
this singular achievement in his long political life, coupled with
the support of the Clyburn family, Biden would be dead, politically,
like Freddie, a minor character in the 1970s Super Fly black
exploitation movie. Biden would have experienced a similar fate in
the 2020 Democratic primaries.
he has expressed repeated gratitude to the black community for his
good fortune, especially to African American women, who spearheaded
his political turnaround, he has failed to take and implement the
sage advice of Congressman Clyburn and Gov. McAuliffe. They told him
early on that his top campaign staff needs to be retooled, and he has
ignored their advice.
failure is beginning to reveal itself more noticeably during the
present-day coronavirus crisis which has resulted in traditional
political strategies—rallies, small group meetings, etc.--being
negated. As a consequence, Bernie Sanders, while trailing Biden by
more than 300 delegates, making it significantly difficult for him to
win the nomination, is quietly gaining ground.
is still raising money at a steady clip, and he is dominating the
internet, digital, and social media in his ongoing campaign. He is
unlikely to throw in the towel until the summer Democratic national
convention and will continue to ankle bite Biden, like a political
junkyard dog, as he did to Hillary in 2016.
addition, Bernie is being aided by governors in upcoming primary
states who have postponed primaries in response to COVID-19. He is
using this time to refine his message and to rev up the passions of
his diehard supporters. Bernie is throwing caution to the wind as
he, like Biden, knows this is his last opportunity to win the
digital operation is only rivaled by the Trump campaign and the
Republican National Committee who have put together an exceptional
online apparatus to track and communicated with their voters. There
is no one on the Democratic side other than Michael Bloomberg who can
it is more than urgent that the Biden reach out to Bloomberg to get
permission to integrate his Hawkfish digital platform into his
campaign operations. It would enable him to counter Bernie and to
position himself to confront Trump should he win the Democratic
nomination, which appears likely right now but is not assured.
appears that the Biden campaign is relying on Trump’s dismal
political handling of the coronavirus catastrophe to weaken his
reelection status. That is a mistake. His advisors should remember
that Hillary held out the same false hopes that the Access Hollywood
tapes that showed Trump at his misogynistic best one month before the
2016 election would cinch her victory.
on November 8, white women helped Donald Trump to win the White House
despite his opponent being one of their sisters. This political
oxymoron should give Biden and other Democrats pause in
underestimating Trump again. Since Biden shot to the top of the
Democratic field, he seems to be coasting as did Hillary in 2016.
of challenging Trump at every turn in the final weeks of the
campaign, she made a vanity appearance in Arizona (a state she had no
chance of winning) instead of going to or spending money in
Wisconsin, a battleground state she needed to win. She also took a
lackadaisical attitude toward Florida, Michigan, and Pennsylvania
three other states which sealed her loss.
so far is headed down the same path as he and his campaign are acting
as if the defeat of Trump is at hand. Holed up at his home in
Delaware, he (like Trump) is making selective appearances on friendly
TV shows (the View on ABC and Deadline White House
on MSNBC). On the View earlier this week, Biden,
in response to a COVID-19 question, somewhat parroted Trump that a “…
cure will make the problem worse, no matter what.”
his staff has not been successful in eliminating his inclination to
making untimely gaffes. Biden is still beating himself. Might it be
time for him to heed the previous counsel of Clyburn and McAuliffe to
shake up his campaign staff? Like Hillary he looks to be knowingly
saddling himself with a losing team.
a more pressing issues for Biden are news reports and a statement
from Dr. Georges Benjamin, the black executive director of the
American Public health Association, that state that African
Americans, particularly men, are at greatest risk of contracting and
dying from COVID-19 as compared to other American population groups.
reality is a function of a disproportionate percentage of blacks
having already been discriminated against (and continuing to be) in
the health care and economic systems and also being
disproportionately likely to have the underlying conditions—diabetes,
asthma, heart disease, autoimmune deficiencies and so forth—that
make them susceptible to the coronavirus.
Trump, despite his failure to lead effectively during this emergency,
has polling numbers that are on an uptick showing a March job
approval rating of 49 percent, one of the highest during his
Biden is hiding out at home, his campaign is in stasis, and Bernie is
making major moves on digital and social media. Unintentionally,
Biden is, perhaps, beating himself even before he runs into the Trump