"No schadenfreude will be had": Biden coasts as opponents face firing squad

Heading into Wednesday’s debate, Biden advisers and allies hope he can use the breathing room to portray himself as the battle-tested Democrat whom President Donald Trump is most afraid to face — and as the only candidate who has built a diverse, nationwide coalition of supporters.

“He’s been the center of attention, the center of a firing squad,” said Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.), a top Biden campaign surrogate elected in 2010 to his old Senate seat. “I think the dynamic of the campaign has changed. There are more vigorous questions being posed about the policy positions of other candidates or about [their] background and record.

“No schadenfreude will be had,” Coons added, now that candidates other than Biden are drawing heat.

A Biden adviser pointed out that the former vice president has stemmed his slide in national polls. At the same time a pro-Biden super PAC is set to drop ads in Iowa and other early states. Biden received another boost during Tuesday’s impeachment hearings when a Republican-called witness, Ambassador Kurt Volker, dismissed Trump’s claims of corruption against Biden as “conspiracy theory.”