Bernie can and will still win this thing. Roughly 60% of the convention delegates remain to be chosen, and the remaining states, by and large, favor Bernie, starting with key contests next week in Washington and Michigan. Biden has a small but eminently surmountable lead.
The first reason for optimism: Biden is a craptastic candidate. He’s erratic and addled. He’s prone to insult and belittle voters and reporters who question him. He frequently babbles incoherently. He routinely tells easily debunked, baldfaced lies.
In South Carolina and on Super Tuesday, he rode the Obama-Clyburn coattails to victory among voters who haven’t heard him speak in the last three years. In Iowa, by contrast, Biden campaigned long and hard. The voters of Iowa became well familiar with him. He finished fourth, with barely enough support to earn any delegates at all.
Now, Biden must stand on his own two feet and make the case for his candidacy all by himself. He must go to debates, defend his record, and support his policy proposals without a crowd of candidates to get lost in. There’s little reason to think that he’s up to the task.
The second reason for optimism: Bernie is taking the gloves off. Now that he has only one significant challenger, his speeches have turned towards drawing contrasts between his and Biden’s campaigns. Biden is an excellent foil for Bernie. Biden is the perfect representative of everything Bernie has made his career opposing. Biden has the support of 60+ billionaires, of the insurance companies, of the fossil fuel industry, and other villains.
Biden’s long and dubious record will be brought to light. His impassioned speeches defending segregation, his authorship of the mass incarceration crime bill, his leadership role in support of GW Bush’s Iraq War, his treatment of Anita Hill, his support for the Defense of Marriage Act, his repeated calls for cuts to Social Security and Medicare, and on and on and on will be brought to light. Biden’s attempts to defend his record will be feeble and based on lies and the passage of time. But the “that was a long time ago” defense doesn’t work when he’s running against someone who has been on the right side of these issues for decades.
Fundamentally, Biden is an inflatable love doll of a candidate. The only question is whether he gets deflated during the primaries or in the General Election campaign against Trump. In any event, Biden’s chances of winning the presidency are zero; we must make sure he is not the Democratic nominee.