I have been taken for quite a ride in the last few months on the nearly 80-year-old roller coaster known as Joe Biden.
My initial diagnosis of his then-looming but still-uncertain presidential campaign was that he would be the most formidable candidate for President Donald Trump to take on, and that his path to securing the Democrat nomination would be heavily wind-aided by the fact he was in many important ways Democrats' best potential foil for Trump: Bombastic and familiar with average Americans despite his elitism. Obviously flawed yet somehow, via years and years of cultural exposure, accepted as begrudgingly lovable.
Add that all up, and Biden was perhaps the lone Democrat able to hold his own with Trump on a national stage and/or against his notorious trolling.
Then came Biden's fingernails-on-the-chalkboard awful attempts at woke street credit just before officially announcing his campaign. Even though I still believed he was best suited among those on the left to defeat Trump, I was largely convinced it would be impossible for him to get far enough in the Leftist Hunger Games to secure the nomination. He was already being tagged with old white guy syndrome and #metoo dysphoria, and he hadn't even formally threw his name in the hat yet. How could he possibly survive that hazing for months on end?
It just felt as if Biden was going to be the final, garish goodbye to whatever remained of your grandfather's Democrat Party. Intersectionality has spoken, Joe Biden, and you have been found infinitely wanting in street cred. Congratulations on being the 2020 version of Jeb Bush.
But then the street spoke via a different means than social media cultism, and I had to once again re-evaluate things. Because this poll of the current Democrat presidential field is a doozy.
Biden didn't just jump into the lead after he declared, he dominated the field to the tune of a 40 percent overall total, including a 21-point lead on his nearest competitor, socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.) And if you recognize Bernie as a guy who is very much working with a separate base of supporters than everyone else, Biden is a staggering 32 points ahead of his next nearest competitor.
That kind of lead is a measure of more than name ID. It's a sign of a campaign that, so far, seems to have made a pretty smart strategic choice. While everyone else in the Democrat primary seems to be trying to be as Marxist as they can, old Uncle Joe isn't still daily riffing on the special counsel Robert Mueller report. Let alone gun grabbing, infanticide for all, or any other issue that has found favor in the Democrat Party's descent into the mouth of madness.
In fact, Biden isn't really talking about issues that much at all.
Cory Booker is talking about prosecuting lawful gun owners. Kamala Harris thinks Democrats don't lose elections without voter suppression — and she's not talking about Hillary Clinton suppressing her own vote in Wisconsin by never visiting the key state. Beto O'Rourke claims we're all gonna be dead in 10 years. This is how Biden's rivals are attempting to reboot their fledgling campaigns that are mired in the low single digits.
Meanwhile, Biden is towering above them all by not joining their quest to head the humanities department at Cal-Berkeley.
Perhaps there's a sane wing of the Democrat Party after all? Or, perhaps their view of "orange man bad" is so cemented the party is embracing Clintonista Paul Begala's recently-communicated mantra when he proclaimed, "I don't care where you're at on the issues. If you're for Medicare for All or not, or whatever. All I care about is can you beat Donald Trump?"