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Archive for March, 2020

Just four days ago, two friends and I — two brilliant friends who have been around politics for decades — were having coffee in Brookside and talking about the Democratic primary. We concurred on at least one thing: Joe Biden had been lackluster and in all likelihood would not become the Democratic presidential nominee.

Like many other Democrats, we thought then Bernie Sanders was the person who would claim the nomination.

But, my God, how fast things changed! The Biden turnaround has been tantamount, in a sense, to the 1880s engineering feat of reversing the flow of the Chicago River.

On Saturday, Biden roared to a landslide victory in South Carolina. Then, on Sunday night and Monday morning respectively, Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar dropped out of the race, and that night they enthusiastically endorsed Biden at a rowdy rally deep in the heart of Texas.

…I think that night could be long remembered by historians and others. It was there, in Dallas, that many Democrats around the country saw that if they wanted to beat Donald Trump in November, it was time to coalesce around the former vice president.

News story after news story, analysis after analysis, had emphasized the hazards of nominating Bernie Sanders…Too far left, too strident, too risky.

Democrats across the country had taken in that message, but until Saturday-Sunday-Monday many of us didn’t see any way around a Sanders candidacy. Many of us were almost resigned to it and were just hoping Sanders’ appeal would expand beyond his core group, young adults. (Our son Charlie, 30, is among that group. Four years ago, while living then in Las Vegas, he met Hillary Clinton while waiting in line to vote in the Nevada primary. Then he went into the polling place and voted Sanders.)

On Monday night, Biden particularly benefited, I thought, from a rousing speech by Klobuchar, who could well end up as the Democratic vice presidential nominee.

Klobuchar had been my favorite, even though she had been unable to make inroads with African-Americans and Hispanics. (I backed up my conviction with my wallet, too, contributing $600 to her campaign.)

In Dallas, Klobuchar talked about it being “time for Americans to join hands instead of pointing fingers.”

She went on to say…

It is time to turn back the division and the hate and the exclusion and the bitterness. And it is time to work together to lift up those who are left out and to bring people with us instead of shoving them away. I believe — and it’s the reason I’m standing up here — that we are never going to out-divide the divider in chief. If we spend the next four months dividing our party and going at each other, we will spend the next four years watching Donald Trump tear apart the country.

But another thing happened Monday: Biden found his best voice, the voice of caring, empathy and common sense that has stamped his long political career.

After Klobuchar spoke, Biden talked about the scourge of Trump and his amorality.

He proceeded to say…

He cannot stay; we all know it. There is no sense of decency: The way he ridicules people, the way he demeans people, the way he talks about and demonizes people who are different, the fact that he’s so self-absorbed…He doesn’t seem to care about anything. Folks, I mean, I knew — I believed — he wasn’t going to be a very good president, but I have to admit to you, I didn’t have any idea just how much it was always going to be about Donald Trump. It’s having a corrosive impact…I’ve said many times in this campaign, this nation will be able to overcome four years of Donald Trump, but if this man is re-elected, he will fundamentally alter who we are as a nation for better than a generation to come. And we CAN-NOT-LET that happen!

**

Then came today. At this writing, Biden has won the primaries in Minnesota, Massachusetts, Virginia, North Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, Oklahoma and Arkansas.

Sanders won Vermont, Colorado and Utah and is leading in Maine and Texas.

The polls just closed California.

However California turns out, it looks to me like Joe Biden is back and has a good chance to win the nomination.

…Now, some of you are going to remember that last April I wrote that because of the way Biden pulled the rug out from under Anita Hill at the 1991 hearings for then-Supereme-Court nominee Clarence Thomas, that I would never vote for Biden.

Well, most of you have read me long enough to know I tend to be impulsive and sometimes jump to quick, dogmatic conclusions (one reason I never thought I’d make a very good elected officeholder).

Sometimes I have to go back and eat crow, and this is such a time…Not only would I vote for Biden but I would do so enthusiastically. (I would also vote for Sanders, of course, but less enthusiastically.)

This presidential campaign has to be about values and principles.

We CAN-NOT continue with a president who has none.

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