It’s somewhat disappointing that the Democratic presidential primary has been boiled down to two viable candidates as quickly as it has.
A couple of weeks ago, pundits were speculating about a brokered convention, in which four or more candidates would do well enough to hang in there until the party convention this summer.
Joe Biden’s dramatic resurgence ended that, thanks to the heavy support of black voters he received, most critically first in South Carolina, then across several states this past Tuesday, when about a third of the delegates were awarded.
It’s now down to a race between Biden and Bernie Sanders. Mississippi’s Democratic voters will get to weigh in Tuesday on which candidate not only has the right vision but also has the best chance of beating Republican incumbent Donald Trump.
On electability, it’s no contest. Biden is the only one of the two with a chance to win in November. It would be suicidal of the Democrats to nominate Sanders, an avowed socialist who sounds like a communist at times. With his past affection for failed states such as Cuba and Venezuela, his class-warfare ideology that would heavily tax success while letting the indebted off their financial obligations, his expensive proposals such as Medicare for All that would exponentially increase the nation’s already onerous debt, there is no way Sanders has a chance to beat Trump. He scares more than half the country, and fear is a powerful motivator.
Biden also philosophically is where this nation needs to head — not to the extreme of either political spectrum, but somewhere toward the middle. He would, for example, try to address the nation’s continuing problem with rising health-care costs not by replacing the Affordable Care Act, as Sanders espouses, or dismantling it, as Trump has tried, but by improving it. That’s typical of Biden on a host of issues, from gun control to immigration. He seeks the middle ground, trying to forge a consensus that, while it may anger purists at both ends of the political spectrum, is closer to where most Americans’ sentiments hopefully lie.
We would have preferred a centrist candidate with fewer years on him or her. It is bothersome that the Democrats, with four years to work on it, couldn’t develop someone from an earlier generation who had enough smarts and pizzazz to last more than a month into the primary season. A national cross-section of voters has decided, however, that a race between septuagenarians is its preference.
Although Biden and Sanders are about the same age, they are far apart in philosophy and personality. Biden is hopeful and congenial, Sanders aggrieved and scowling.
Which one is best-suited to challenge Trump and, if successful, to lead the country? Easily that would be Biden.