You may as well start planning the victory party for the Republican Party in 2020 now. Whether Donald Trump wants another term or it’s Nikki Haley or Mike Pence — or heck, even Joe the Plumber — just order the balloons and the big, paper-mache elephant, because it’s hilariously close to in the books already.
How do I know? Am I clairvoyant? Just a betting genius? Well, close. All I had to do was look at the candidates the Democrat Party wants to run in 2020.
A new poll from Harvard CAPS/Harris is out, according to The Hill, and it’s yet more proof that those who refuse to learn from history are doomed to repeat it on CNN for yet another election cycle. The top four vote-getters — encompassing the first choice of 76 percent of those polled — are wholly unelectable. Five through 10 aren’t much better.
Let’s review and have a laugh together, shall we?
First place: Joe Biden, 32 percent.
Biden might appear to be the most electable of the bunch. After all, he’s a throwback to the halcyon days when people thought giving Barack Obama a Nobel Peace Prize wasn’t that insane. The problem is that Biden wasn’t picked as Barack’s running mate for his clarity of thought or his unimpeachable ideals. He was a clarion signal from candidate Obama to Wall Street that they were safe if he were to be elected — by way of picking a politician so thoroughly lousy with banking money that he was derisively called “the senator from MBNA.”
Oh, and the one thing that the Democrats want to make the most hay out of in 2020 — President Trump’s tendency to speak off the cuff — gets thrown completely off of the hayride if they pick Biden. In between his ignominious 1988 primary loss over plagiarizing an entire section from a speech by British Labour leader Neal Kinnock and his 2016 threat to beat Trump up, Biden has managed to say plenty of stupid things with an occasional detour into outright bigotry.
Here’s a playlist of some of Uncle Joe’s greatest hits:
“You cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin’ Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent … I’m not joking.” — Biden to an Indian-American man in 2006.
“(Mitt Romney) said in the first 100 days, he’s going to let the big banks write their own rules — unchain Wall Street. They’re going to put y’all back in chains.” — Biden, speaking to a mostly African-American audience, during the 2012 election cycle.
“Stand up, Chuck, let ’em see ya.” — Biden to a Missouri state senator confined to a wheelchair, 2008.
“If we do everything right, if we do it with absolute certainty, there’s still a 30% chance we’re going to get it wrong.” — Biden to congressional Democrats, 2009.
“When the stock market crashed, Franklin D. Roosevelt got on the television and didn’t just talk about the, you know, the princes of greed. He said, ‘Look, here’s what happened.’” — Biden back in 2008, speaking about a president who never got on television because it wasn’t in wide use until after his death.
But perhaps the most telling quote was from 2012: “My mother believed and my father believed that if I wanted to be president of the United States, I could be, I could be vice president!” Exactly.
Second place: Hillary Clinton, 18 percent.
Oh for the love of… really? I just checked the calendar. Not February. Not Groundhog Day.
We hear over and over again how Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, which probably makes her an attractive choice to Democrats. The thing is, that’s not what makes you president, which is why Donald Trump wasn’t campaigning in places like California and New York and Hillary Clinton is now writing memoirs and periodically “coming out of the woods” to tell us all how much better things would have been if she had won.
Not even the media liberals seem to particularly believe this anymore. This was also before Trump was president, back when Americans in general and conservatives in particular were far more skeptical about how he would perform in the office. We’ve seen the results and while Democrats may not like it, Americans as a whole seem far more amenable.
In 2016, The Donald also had a paucity of resources compared to Hillary, having less than half the money at his disposal than she did. In 2020, Trump will have far more, Hillary will have far less. America will also have four years of a very sore loser moping around, blaming her defeat on sexism and racism and James Comey and Judge Crater, probably publishing another book nobody will bother to read and convincing herself that Vladimir Putin made Donald Trump president. This is the past you want to build a bridge back to, Democrats? Be Trump’s guest.
Third place: Bernie Sanders, 16 percent.
Just in case you’re a Democrat and think that re-nominating the person who lost to Trump in 2016 may not be the best idea, how about nominating the person who lost to the person who lost to Trump? Sixteen percent of respondents to the poll thought that was sound logic.
Look, I get it. Socialism is very hot in 2018. It’s like how “Despacito” was back in 2017 — sure, it’s crap, but everyone’s listening to it. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has become the biggest name in politics this summer simply by winning a Democrat primary for the House, all because she’s an avowed socialist and beat an establishment figure all with a shoestring budget.
This is all very impressive at a political level, and socialism may fly in places like Sanders’ native Vermont or Ocasio-Cortez’s NYC-area district. Nationwide, most people are still in possession of their senses and would prefer the occasionally unequal sharing of wealth to the very equal sharing of poverty. Even Barack Obama, not an avowed socialist, had to fight the fact that he was too far left for most of the electorate. He did this with carefully manufactured charisma, soaring (if empty) rhetoric and a projection of youthful energy.
Bernie Sanders has the charisma of the lukewarm oatmeal he assumedly shoves down his gaping maw every morning. His speaking style is the literal personification of what Woody Allen was talking about in “Annie Hall” when he discussed his fear of being “one of those guys with saliva dribbling out of his mouth who wanders into a cafeteria with a shopping bag screaming about socialism.” As for energy, the 76-year-old Sanders is a man whose campaign slogan probably should have been “It’s Naptime Again in America.” Novelty propelled him within spitting distance of the Democrat nomination, the same way it did for Eugene McCarthy in 1968. Those with longer memories will remember how that worked out for McCarthy in subsequent runs for the presidency. Those with shorter memories, here’s the TL;DR version: Not well.
Fourth place: Elizabeth Warren, 10 percent.
If a socialist is too far left for the Democrats, how about a fake socialist? America’s favorite fake Native American is also one of those, too, having spent a career cozying up to financial giants when she needed money and to the same far-left millennials Sanders attracts when she needs votes.
The problem with Warren can be summed up with one neologism: Fauxcahontas. It isn’t just that she lied about her ethnic background to get a high-paying job at Harvard. It’s that this one fact pretty much acts as a synecdoche for her entire career. Whatever foundation of her political house hath not been laid upon the sandy soil of convenient untruth has instead been built upon the shifting ground of identity politics. She managed to turn “nevertheless, she persisted” — a throwaway quote from Mitch McConnell about why Warren was being removed from the Senate floor because she wouldn’t stop making ad hominem attacks against attorney general nominee Jeff Sessions in spite of numerous warnings — into a feminist rallying line that was then appropriated by Chelsea Clinton for the title of a children’s book. (No, seriously.)
Most of this has wallpapered over the fact that Warren isn’t particularly charismatic and hasn’t shown any significant aptitude at the gamesmanship aspect of politics. One would assume, given those facts, that she’s reached the Peter Principle point of her competence and probably ought to stay put in her current office, where she has a lifetime sinecure as one of the senators from the People’s Republic of Taxachusetts. Nevertheless, if one were to judge by her media profile since Trump’s taken office, she’s persisting.
As for the other candidates, none of them hit double digits. New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, at 6 percent, is probably the most electable against a Republican. The problem is that he has close ties to Wall Street and doesn’t bother to hide it, which makes him anathema to the new American left which will likely decide the Democrat primaries.
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, whose only real distinguishing feature is a perfervid desire for gun control, garnered 3 percent in the poll. Califiornia Sen. Kamela Harris, whose hype-to-results ratio thus far is quickly making her the Ryan Leaf of the upper chamber, got 2 percent. New York’s Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand each got 1 percent. The latter is a relative surprise, since Gillibrand has been widely tipped as a favorite for the nomination; perhaps her closeness with the Clintons didn’t exactly help her in a poll where Hillary Clinton was in second place.
Now, granted, there’s some time between now and 2020. However, virtually none of these people are electable in a national sense, and the problem is that the candidates all seem to get less electable the further up the leaderboard you get. I’m not saying this is necessarily a lock yet — after all, everyone thought Donald Trump was never going to get elected until roughly 11 p.m. on Nov. 8, 2016. However, if this is the rostrum at the Democrat debates, you can probably book your tickets for the 2020 Trump victory party without much hesitation.