Well, that was fast.
With a string of commanding victories on Tuesday — Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, probably any other “M” state that might have bothered with a primary this week — Joe Biden appears poised to complete one of the most striking turnarounds in recent campaign memory, finding himself in a dominant position only 10 days after the first state victory of his three presidential runs. His remarkable reversal has banished Senator Bernie Sanders to a familiar electoral perch: an insurgent progressive long shot straining to catch an establishment favorite.
And just like the last ten minutes of an episode of Star Trek, the ship is out of danger, the aliens have been defeated (or made friends with), and the warp drive is back on line. Bless you, Scotty. Let’s boldly go.
I suspect that for a lot of voters, Joe Biden wasn’t their first choice, but seeing what was happening with the other candidates faltering along the way and the real possibility that Bernie Sanders could win the nomination and become this generation’s George McGovern, they didn’t want to chance it. Defeating Trump is the primary — pun intended — goal for them so they were not willing to risk this election on a long shot even if they agreed with a lot of his ideas.
The primaries aren’t over — we here in Florida get our shot next week, along with Ohio and several other states — but the road ahead for Mr. Sanders looks rocky and narrow. He basically blew up any chances of winning here in South Florida by saying things about Cuba and Castro that no non-Cuban politician of any party should say, and even though we have a reputation for being a haven for old Jewish men, it’s not gonna happen in the rest of the state; outside of Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties, it is pretty much like the rest of the South. My old home state of Ohio has a history of electing moderate Democrats; the Sanders foothold in Cleveland and Toledo is no match for the pragmatists in the rest of the state. If anyone has a chance of swinging Ohio back to the blue column in November, it will be someone like Mr. Biden.
As I noted last week, the over-looming issue is beating Trump to the point that outside of the Fox News bubble there’s not a scintilla of doubt that he lost with a capital L. This election in November has to be on a scale of Reagan over Carter in 1980 — the election called before 9 p.m. Eastern — and that can’t be done if there’s a weak field running against him. Not only that, the Democrats have to sweep up the Senate and keep the House, and Mr. Sanders’ Mao jacket doesn’t have coattails.
No, Joe Biden wasn’t my first choice. He wasn’t even my second choice. But I’m not going to let my hurt fee-fees over losing Mayor Pete and Elizabeth Warren keep me from voting strategically next week to keep the magical transformation of the Democrats once in disarray into a solid and strong march to, as my grandparents once said, getting That Man out of the White House.
Besides, any candidate who tells an ammosexual heckler he’s full of shit gets my unfettered admiration.