If Buttigieg can moderate, sending signals that he would govern toward, if not from, the center, he could lure enough of that center to make this a real race. But it isn’t likely because the Democrats seem more intent on going full “Thelma and Louise” over the left cliff of U.S. politics. As the cliche goes, they mistook Twitter for the electorate, projecting their hatred of Trump on to the vast expanse of incredibly indifferent-to-politics America.
Twitter has damaged Democrats just as it has damaged journalists, revealing them as essentially members of exclusive clubs who luxuriate in their chumminess and have little in common with the average American. Twitter’s Democrats are bad enough online — it would be best if they never gather together in person. They’d make the wildest Democratic convention seem like a church board meeting.
It’s not fair that tribune of the common man Joe Biden has taken so many hits because consultants came up with his “No Malarkey” slogan, or because he talked in a video from 2017 about his hairy legs as a young man and a run-in with a “bad dude” in the 1960s called Corn Pop. But the new media environment puts zero premium on fairness. It’s not easy rounding into the stretch run to age 80. If Biden stumbles to the nomination, Trump would be almost as happy as though Sanders or Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) were the nominee.