The Memo: Biden's fine words to Republicans can condemn the hopes of the White House

Joe BidenJoseph (Joe) Robinette BidenAbrams meets Biden in DC between the speculations of the 2020 Trump hit the "crazy" hand movements Harris raises funds for the 2020 announcement of O & # 39; Rourke MORE he is proud to be able to go along with the Republicans – and this could be a problem if he entered the 2020 race.

The former vice president seems to see the courtesy and decency as an antidote to the fragile was Trump. But his approach may seem too fearful for a mass of the Democratic primary electorate – especially those who came to see the GOP as the enemy, not just the opposition.

"C & # 39; is a growing number of Democrats who feel that the Republican Party is a threat to American democracy and is very responsible for the problems of our society, our democracy and our economy," said Waleed Shahid, director of communications of Justice Democrats, a progressive group.

"There are not many voters on both sides who are interested in bipartisanship for the sake of bipartisanship."

Biden, who was first elected to the Senate in 1972 and served in six mandates, often reports at a more civilized age among legislators, even though they represented diametrically opposed views.

This trend is causing unease even among its supporters.

The New York Times recently reported that Biden's assistants told him to find his accounts of his civilization with Senator Senator Jesse Helms (R-N.C), presumably due to Helms' reactionary racist policy.

Biden also gave a funeral eulogy at the funeral of former Senator Strom Thurmond (R-S.C.), Who died in 2003 – a decision that was revisited by Buzzfeed News last month. Thurmond was a racist of any reasonable standard, even though he denied the accusation.

On Tuesday, Biden noticed, almost plaintively, that he was "criticized for saying something nice about a Republican".

Perhaps the most important of all, Biden referred to Vice President Pence at the end of last month as "a good boy". He retired from the compliment after coming below criticism on Twitter by Cynthia Nixon, the progressive actress and activist who lost a Democratic primary to New York governor Andrew Cuomo last year.

Nixon, who is married to a woman, told Biden in a tweet that Pence was "the most elected leader of the United States against LGBT" and that he needed to consider how his praises "fall on the ears of the our community ".

Biden replied, "You're right, Cynthia" and noted that he was referring to Pence in "a foreign policy context". He added: "There is nothing decent in being anti-LGBTQ rights".

Pence's controversy took on a life of its own, a litmus test in the early days of the 2020 democratic primaries.

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenSanders says Trump administration based on & # 39; hate and lies & # 39; Defense at night: the Senate rejects the border emergency in reproach to Trump | The head of the Pentagon acting grilled on the financing of the wall | Warren confronts the head of the budget of war funds O & # 39; Rourke cites Tinder in appeal for better rural broadband (D-Mass.) He was asked on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Wednesday if he considered Pence an honorable person. He replied "no" and went on to accuse him of homophobia and "attacks on people other than himself".

Thursday, sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi Harris Sanders says that the Trump administration based on "hatred and lies" Rourke cites Tinder in appeal for better rural broadband O & # 39; Rourke responds to Trump by making fun of his hand movements (D-Calif.) A similar question was asked, also on MSNBC. Harris said he has "many points of disagreement with the vice president", including the rights of homosexuals. He did not specify specifically whether he considers him honorable or not.

But Biden's apparent misstep on the Pence issue baffles some progressives who fear they are out of step with the party's state of mind, especially on current social issues and customs.

Jess McIntosh, a strategist and democratic commentator not aligned with any 2020 candidate, said he thought any description of Pence's alleged decency would "hit some unfeeling".

More generally, McIntosh added: "You have to read the room. And right now, the" room "of the Democratic primaries is afraid of what the Republicans are trying to do in this country, afraid of[[[[President TrumpDonald John TrumpDenver The post editorial committee states that Gardner's approval was "error" New York attorney general: evidence shows that Trump abused the charity for the presidential campaign Sanders says the Trump administration is based on "hatred and lies".& # 39; S]creeping authoritarianism, fear of hatred that is causing the increase in hate crimes ".

Returning to his "read the room" metaphor, McIntosh said, "I'm not sure Biden did this."

A Biden spokesman declined to comment on this story.

Other democratic strategists, as well as some outside observers, are less strict about Biden's efforts.

The counter-argument is, in essence, that Biden's respect for the Republicans could be an advantage in a general election, especially against a president so polarizing as Trump.

If he is able to position himself as the most effective candidate to defeat the president, the argument runs, the primary voters will flock to his side.

Some also argue that Biden's image as a centrist is simplistic.

As vice president, he is famous for same-sex marriage in front of his boss, President Obama. His close connection with Obama is a great advantage with the grassroots Democrats and, even among black voters, could conceivably overcome the oldest and most obscure issues like Thurmond's elegy.

"I don't think he'll look like a centrist," said Tad Devine, a veteran democratic strategist. "He will sound like a progressive on the issues and a reasonable guy when it comes to courtesy".

Devine has also delved into the main calendar specifications, noting that the first two competitions – in Iowa and New Hampshire – could be modified on Biden's appeal. In particular, in New Hampshire, the main electorate generally includes a large number of independents, especially if from the other side there is no competitive primary.

One of Biden's strongest cards is his alleged ability to rebuild the democratic "blue wall" that Trump demolished. The roots of Biden's working class and the old-school political style could be a good match for voters in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, its supporters say.

A Democratic strategist in Pennsylvania, who requested anonymity to speak candidly, said Biden's bipartisan bona fide could help persuade voters to break Washington's logjam.

"I think there is a bit of desire, even among Democratic voters, just to get things done," the strategist said, "I would not recommend too much to praise the Republicans or to compliment conservative Republicans as a winning strategy. But there is a certain appetite for making things progress. "

Tobe Berkovitz, a professor at Boston University specializing in political communications, said that Biden's political figure was so well established that it would be foolish to try to escape from it.

But Berkovitz also warned that, in the politics of the present moment, "We are not looking for a healer. We are looking for other dividers."

Among the Liberal Democrats there is a clear skepticism that Biden is the best person to navigate those turbulent political currents.

"I don't support malice," McIntosh said. "But I don't even think we have to be conciliatory in the face of the policies that are hurting this country."

The Memo is a column reported by Niall Stanage, focused mainly on the presidency of Donald Trump.


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