Tuesday, November 02, 2021


I'm not sure how I would have answered this poll question about President Biden and 2024:
The NPR-PBS NewsHour-Marist poll shows Democrats approve of Biden 85 percent to 10 percent... But ... [w]hen asked whether “Democrats have a better chance of winning the presidency in 2024 if Joe Biden is the party’s nominee, or if someone else is the party’s nominee,” Democrats are split 41 percent to 41 percent.

When you include Democratic-leaning independents, the question actually cuts against Biden, with 36 percent saying he is the best option and 44 percent preferring “someone else.” Twenty percent are unsure.
I would have said I'm in favor of a change if I could imagine a better Democratic candidate. But who is there? Maybe it's the nature of the job of vice president, but Kamala Harris hasn't managed to look presidential over the past nine months, and she'd have to overcome racism and sexism to win. Pete Buttigieg is even more milquetoast than Walter Mondale or Michael Dukakis. And then who is there? Flops from 2020 like Cory Booker and Kirsten Gillibrand? Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren -- a boomer candidate again, and one whose ambitions could never survive contact with Joe Manchin or Kyrsten Sinema?

A buried story over the past several months is the fact that nearly all Democrats, from at risk left-centrists in swing districts to committed progressives, are on board with the Biden agenda. We say that the "moderates" are against it, but that's true of only a handful of Democrats in the House and two in the Senate. Most of the moderates want paid family leave and more money for child care and an expansion of healthcare coverage and a shift to renewable energy. If you assume that American voters want a Democratic Party that embraces this form of progressivism without the scary parts -- you know, Defund the Police, Abolish ICE -- you'd think that, as a party, you'd want to do something to make some of the moderates-who-favor-progessive-economics famous. You'd think you'd want to groom them as future party stars. You'd think you'd want to nudge them onto Sunday talk shows.

But Democrats don't. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is famous because she made herself famous, and because Republican hatemongers sustain her fame, but apart from that, there are hardly any famous Democrats who weren't famous five or ten or fifteen years ago. I it because the party has a charisma deficit? How would we know? We never see most of the younger people in the party.

Until the Democrats learn how to make new stars -- something the GOP does routinely -- I'd just as soon stick with Biden for 2024. Maybe he can't win again, but I'm not sure who else could.

No comments: