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Joe Biden's campaign goes from fire sale to on-fire, as Democrats prove they're better at fighting their own than fighting Trump

Michael Rectenwald
Michael Rectenwald

is an author of 11 books, including the most recent, Thought Criminal. He was Professor of Liberal Arts at NYU from 2008 through 2019. Follow him on Twitter @TheAntiPCProf

is an author of 11 books, including the most recent, Thought Criminal. He was Professor of Liberal Arts at NYU from 2008 through 2019. Follow him on Twitter @TheAntiPCProf

Joe Biden's campaign goes from fire sale to on-fire, as Democrats prove they're better at fighting their own than fighting Trump
It may be that Democratic operatives and their party machinery are more adept at fighting off threats from the left than they are at finding a coherent strategy to beat populist President Donald Trump.

The Democratic nomination process for president has taken another sharp turn. The headlines heading into the weekend featured frontrunner Bernie Sanders – his grassroots momentum and the attacks coming his way from skeptics. But Super Tuesday results now show a two-man battle.

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Inside the Beltway, Joe Biden has for decades been viewed as the Democrat's Democrat. He's managed to stand up in the ring when both political and personal hardships have all but ended him with a knockout punch.

But just two weeks ago, the former vice president seemed, all at once, without a message, without his wits, and without a prayer. As coverage of Mike Bloomberg's unprecedented late buy-in to the campaign dominated the cable news airwaves, it seemed as though a tough-talking Joe might quietly fade away.

He had promised all along that his southern firewall would be a saving grace after abysmal showings in the early contests, but polls showed a surging Sanders cutting into his support with black voters as well.

And then came South Carolina. Biden won handedly. Now the pressure was on moderate stragglers Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar to drop out of the race in order to consolidate moderate support behind the former vice president. One can imagine the party's top brass getting involved in phone calls to each of the campaigns.

A panic within the party about the success of the democratic socialist Bernie Sanders turned into a call for sacrifices. Buttigieg yielded whatever nostalgia for Barack Obama he'd managed to appropriate and presented it in the form of a prompt endorsement of Biden. When Klobuchar followed suit, the stage was set for Biden. Exit polls support the notion that these last-minute surrenders by moderates amounted to the Biden surge.

With three in every four young voters still supporting Bernie Sanders, there's no doubt that Biden's campaign will see a remarkable cash infusion. The question is whether Biden will rise to the occasion to rally the party, or continue to be an embarrassment as a mere fraction of his former self?

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

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