50-Year DC Insider Cries: The Elites Want Me Out!

AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

"Elites"? To quote Inigo Montoya: You keep using that word. I don't think it means what you think it means.

Just how desperate has Joe Biden's campaign has become? Biden's about to paint himself as a populist. Politico's Jonathan Martin reports on the new campaign strategy to salvage Biden's presidential nomination by claiming to be persecuted by the "elites."


Stop laughing. This is serious ... apparently:

As the president fights for his political life this week, and calls grow from party leaders that he withdraw his candidacy, he’s counting on the support of African-American Democrats and his union allies as his last line of defense. It’s a playbook Biden has turned to in the past, portraying his detractors as mostly elite white liberals who are out of step with the more diverse and working-class grassroots of the party. That’s what propelled his nomination after a string of setbacks in 2020.

It’s his only path to survival now. ...

Much as he craves the affirmation of elites, Biden is in his comfort zone donning the armor of Scranton Joe. It recalls Bill Clinton, facing impeachment and the condemnation of censorious Democratic elites, turning to the party rank-and-file and especially Black Americans in his hour of crisis.

Back to this in a moment, but first, let's take a peek at Biden trying out this strategy on Morning Joe:

Be careful what you wish for...

As for the strategy itself, it's a loser, especially in a party where the grassroots is behind the progressive elites. That's one reason that Bill Clinton is hardly analogous to Joe Biden. Bill Clinton came to the presidency as an outsider -- a governor from Arkansas who had made his bones as an actual moderate in a reddish state. He had been pushing back against the New Left within the Democrat Party as a key member of the Democratic Leadership Council, the Al From-led effort to find a palatable and moderate Democrat to run for President. And finally and most importantly, Bill Clinton was young -- and in fact is younger than Biden now.


Joe Biden is the opposite in every way. Biden came to Washington DC in 1973 and hasn't left since. He climbed the ladder of the elites in the Senate, bouncing back and forth between the poles of power to keep ascending. When the times called for sympathy to segregationists, Biden aligned with the Blue Dogs. When the progressives gained traction, well, Biden went there too. Biden went full woke during his 2019-2020 presidential campaign to become the highest of the elites. 

And ... it's very clear that Biden is not just old, but getting senile. That's not an "elite" problem; it's a cognitive problem, one that the elite class in politics and media have tried to cover up for Joe over the last four-plus years. Remember the "basement campaign" in 2020 and the media's studied disinterest in what might lie behind it? The same elites that Biden will now deride kept that cover-up in place until Biden and his team decided to challenge Donald Trump to a live presidential debate, apparently completely delusional about the risks it would entail.

If the elites are rejecting Biden now, chalk that one up to petards and self-hoisting.

According to Martin, Biden hopes to rally black voters into fending off any challenge to his nomination. That saved him in early 2020, when Rep. James Clyburn helped Biden win the South Carolina primary by getting black voters to back him. Will that work this time? That seems doubtful. First off, by the time of Clyburn's intervention, black voters had two options -- Biden or Bernie Sanders. This time, the question isn't Biden or Bernie, it's Biden or Kamala Harris, the first black woman VP who would very much like to be the first black woman president. Why choose Biden when black voters can choose a black alternative?


Second, it doesn't appear that Biden's making the sale in that demo any longer. Let's watch this man-on-the-street interview from the Free Press in Oakland, Harris' home town. Voters there seem oddly diffident about Harris, but younger voters are already walking away from Biden.

Finally, though, does any of this matter? Democrats have no way to push Biden off the ticket. If Biden doesn't want to go, and he refuses to withdraw so far, they're stuck with him. This new campaign to play populist victim shows that Biden -- or more likely Jill and Hunter -- have no intention of walking away from power. 

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