A noteworthy (if gentle) rebuke from the man whose endorsement may have decided the Democratic nomination this year. Biden was probably destined to clean up in the South Carolina primary no matter what but Clyburn’s announcement in the final days before the vote was valuable as a show of confidence in his flagging candidacy. What would have happened if he had looked at the results in Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada and concluded that it wasn’t worth spending any political capital on Biden? Even if Joe had still won the primary, would his final margin have been diminished?
And if it was diminished, what would that have meant to Biden’s gamechanging showing on Super Tuesday the following week?
Given his kingmaking status, it’s news when Clyburn inches away from Biden. But as you’ll see, it’s only an inch. This is an expertly handled bit of damage control, registering the requisite disapproval of what Biden said while attempting to keep the viewing audience in the Democrats’ corner. (“My decision now is to determine who I feel should be the next president of the United States and I do that by comparing the candidates to each other, not to the Almighty.”) He even comes armed with a playful jab at Whoopi Goldberg to disarm any critics on the panel.