Joe Biden said something nice about Republicans Saturday during a fundraiser in Massachusetts. Will he be punished for it on the campaign trail, assuming he gets back on the trail and doesn’t just continue doing private fundraisers?

Biden didn’t go out of his way to sing the praises of Republicans, mind you. He just acknowledged that “There’s an awful lot of really good Republicans out there.” He even said that gasp, Republicans are “decent people”.

“There’s an awful lot of really good Republicans out there,” he said Saturday at a Massachusetts fundraiser. “I get in trouble for saying that with Democrats, but the truth of the matter is, every time we ever got in trouble with our administration, remember who got sent up to Capitol Hill to fix it? Me. Because they know I respect the other team.”

“They’re decent people. They ran because they care about things, but they’re intimidated right now,” he told the fundraiser’s attendees.

Gosh, thanks, Joe. See, he didn’t really strain himself in saying something civil about members of the opposite party. I have no doubt, though, that he’ll experience blowback from the rest of the pack. The problem for Biden is that he has to convince Democrat primary voters that he is their salvation – that he will beat Trump in the 2020 presidential election. The base isn’t really interested in Mr. Nice Guy, they want someone who will stand up to Trump. Biden’s whole campaign is built around being in the moderate, safe lane. He has to hope that dissatisfied Trump voters from 2016 vote for him in 2020. He has to win back the Reagan Democrats who voted for Barack Obama (and him) and then voted for Donald Trump.

Biden tossed a bone to Republicans during a private fundraiser, though, not a big campaign event where he might risk an audio clip of boos from the audience. He promotes himself as the guy who can go along to get along. Funny, I don’t think he was so successful at all that during the Obama years, though. I remember great divisions beginning between the two parties in Congress and it really escalated after the Obamacare vote which was successful with only Democrat votes and Biden was all for that. That move ended up costing the Democrats the majority in the House in 2010. The parties have not moved closer together since then. Democrats can’t blame Trump for that.

For many Democrat voters, the sole requirement this time around is to pick a candidate that looks to be up to the challenge of running against Trump. Biden may be more moderate than most of the other candidates but he’s shown a lack of conviction this time around. He continues to shift left on issues when he gets dinged by other more leftie candidates. The quickly tossed the old-school moderate Democrats under the bus that he worked with in the past when Kamala Harris jumped on him for boasting about working with segregationists, for example.

Biden has a very long paper trail from decades in elected office. The record of his votes doesn’t lie. Voters don’t want to go back to 2003 or 2005 or any time in the past when the rules of civility were different. Today’s leftists don’t care about working with the other side. They want to pack the Supreme Court with liberal judges and run over anyone in their way. That works in Trump’s favor in November 2020 and Biden knows that. If anyone else currently running in the Democrat field runs against Trump, anyone other than Biden, Trump’s chances of re-election are excellent, providing the economy holds strong. Republican voters know that any of the other candidates will scare moderates and Independent voters away from voting for a Democrat.

The playbook is on shaky ground right now for the Democrats. The talking heads and their willing cohorts in the media have begun the shift in talking points since the Russia, Russia, Russia narrative failed so miserably for them. The constant bullying of Trump and all Republicans as racist white supremacists only goes so far before regular American voters sit up and say, hey wait a minute, if everyone is racist then no one is racist. So now the left is starting to hope for an economic recession to oust Trump from office. The media is going along and so far three out of four Sunday morning talk shows I’ve watched as I write this has led with pushing the there’s- a- recession- just- around -the -corner narrative. It’s like clockwork. The goalposts are shifting now to trying to talk down the successes of Trump’s economy.

Democrats are nervous. That is why they are talking about the polls that show Trump losing to other candidates. That is why Biden is such a gamble for them. There is a real question as to if Biden is up to the task. He concentrates on small events, mostly fundraisers. He is a gaffe machine. He looks like he needs a nap. There is real doubt as to if he can go the distance, defeat the others in the Democrat primary, and then beat Trump in the general election. Trump is the Energizer bunny compared to Joe Biden. That’s why Biden continues to try to be nice to Republicans. He thinks he’ll win over some votes. Color me skeptical.