Joe Biden is No Hillary Clinton

“Joe Biden is No Hillary Clinton,” published in The National Interest on March 8, 2020

Super Tuesday unleashed the primal screams of those “Bernie Brothers” into the void. “I don’t understand how anyone can support Joe Biden??!!!”

Bernie was supposed to be well on his way to racking up an insurmountable delegate lead by Super Tuesday. Biden was supposed to have been finished off by February 12. Biden’s campaign “collapsed” in New Hampshire, CNBC’s Jake Novak said; no other campaign ever “failed as spectacularly as Biden has.” The Nation published Jeet Heer’s post-Iowa column under the headline “Bye-Bye, Biden.”

“He doesn’t inspire voters!” they say, after he won 840,000 more votes than Sanders on Super Tuesday.

Actually, most Bernie-surrogates-cum-analysts don’t understand how Democrats can support and miss President Obama, either. The boys of Chapo Trap House podcasters called Obama “the disappearing president. The least consequential two-term president ever, maybe” in 2018. “No one is mad at him. I mean, we are. It’s like [mainstream Democrats], ‘We miss you.’ … He completely failed.”

That says a lot about why they are surprised Biden is winning. That which they attacked Obama for—nothing much happened on a day-to-day basis that people had to be worried about under his leadership, he did not try to undermine or overthrow our systems of government and social norms, and, perhaps most galling to the Trap House, he did not push a radical socialist agenda—is exactly what he’s beloved for.

Most Americans, it turns out, are not obsessed with politics as a volition in itself. They do not want to debate the finer points of Bernie Sanders’ “Medicare 4 All” plan versus that of Elizabeth Warren the “snake.” They do not want to have to tune in to the news to see if the republic is still standing. Actually, they quite like their country and want to see changes made to particular policies, not wholescale arson. They do not want to upend their own lives.

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