by Jeffery Rendall
“But Barack, I want to run, I need to run…”
The words hung in the air as Joe Biden clung to the edge of his chair in the Oval Office in late 2015. The vice president fiddled nervously waiting a response from the president, a normally impatient man who’d just spent fifteen minutes methodically droning on about how it was Hillary’s turn to rule now and every Democrat recognized it, blah, blah blah… That’s why Clinton is practically unopposed within the party this year, Obama insisted – who could realistically challenge her, that doddering idiot Bernie Sanders? He’s not even a Democrat!
Pfft. Obama mused. “Let’s just keep peace in the party, Joe. When I knocked the ‘likeable enough’ Hillary off her pedestal in ’08 we all agreed she’d get the next go-round after I’d finished fundamentally transforming the country. If you get in now it’ll ruin everything.”
Biden sighed and submissively stared out the window, obviously unpersuaded by the man who’d failed miserably to halt the rise of the oceans and unite the entire world.
Obama thought to himself, ‘Here it is, I’ve tucked away my enormous ego for that old bat and now my left-hand man is bugging me to go against my own instincts to challenge her. Life isn’t fair. Can’t we just serve out the last year of our command, retire to the riches we’ve earned and let the Clintons deal with all this crap for the next eight years?’
‘Besides, Joe can’t do this job. He puts his foot in his mouth every time he opens it. Do you think he could get away with the same gaffes I did? He’s white as snow and dimwitted as a doorknob. The press will eat him alive.’
“But Barack, I promised Beau…” Biden blubbered as he suddenly emerged from his self-imposed semi-coma.
Again the words seemed to hit the floor before reaching their intended target. It was true, Biden’s son’s dying wish was that his dad be president, something everyone in the family felt was Joe’s destiny. Biden surveyed the man nearly 20 years his junior with a contempt he usually saved for Republicans and their Supreme Court nominees.
‘What the heck would Obama know about destiny,’ Biden reasoned to himself. ‘He’s only where he is today because he was able to convince millions of gullible people that he alone could bring about ‘Hope and Change.’ What a load of malarkey it was. A dead squirrel could’ve beaten warmonger John McCain and airhead Sarah Palin that year. And Romney would’ve ousted us in 2012 but for a timely hurricane and fatso doofus Chris Christie’s campaign saving photo-op hug.’
‘Obama’s nothing special – he’s just lucky.’
Seemingly having run out of things to say to each other the two men sat in silence and avoided eye contact for an interminably long time. At long last, Susan Rice barged in unannounced to break the stalemate. She blurted out something about having to speak to the president alone – and it was too important for just anyone to hear. Biden rose to his feet and stormed out, the matter settled. He wouldn’t run. Obama had quashed his dreams.
‘But if Hillary loses next year there’s always 2020…’ Joe comforted himself with the notion.
–Who knows whether the above dramatized scene actually ever took place, but as we get closer to the certain to be epic 2020 presidential campaign, the mystery of whom Democrats will select to take on President Donald Trump only intensifies.
Many sources indicate Biden did want to run for the Democrat nomination in 2016 only to be talked out of it by Obama. Maybe it was due to Hillary, or perhaps it was because the ego-centered former president wanted to keep his legacy all to himself. Whatever the reason, some believe Biden will definitely jump in the race next year – and that he’d be a formidable opponent for Trump if/when he does (assuming he would win the Democrat nomination, of course).
Brandon J. Weichert wrote at The American Spectator, “Biden has a long track record of advocating for the very same kind of economic populism that Trump called for in 2016. Remember, during the 2012 campaign, Biden went around erroneously chanting that ‘Bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive’ because of his and Obama’s leadership. Like Trump, Biden is politically incorrect (though his political incorrectness is less intentional than Trump’s), and his working-class roots run deep. Biden is a known and well-liked quantity among many of those former ‘Reagan Democrats’ Trump needs to win in 2020…
“Time will only tell if Joe Biden is the next Lyndon Johnson to Donald Trump’s Barry Goldwater (or if Biden is just another failed consensus candidate, like John Kerry). But, Trump should not get complacent about Biden. After all, according to Biden, the blue-collar middle-class voters love him more than they do Trump. It’s going to get nasty out there if Biden is the Democratic nominee and his prediction about blue-collar workers is true.
“Personally, I can’t wait for the inevitable tweet storm between the two septuagenarians over whose campaign rally crowd sizes are bigger.”
Weichert appropriately titled his piece “The Battle of the Blowhards: Trump vs. Biden” and laid out the case for the former vice president’s potential candidacy – not advocating for Joe but suggesting Biden wouldn’t be as easily vanquished as Trump might have us believe. Biden does (originally) hail from a region of the country that Trump desperately needs to hold onto – Pennsylvania – and the long-time Delaware senator has unimpeachable credentials with the leftist social issue crowd (where he’s seen as more liberal than even Obama).
“Lunch bucket” Joe also appears to carry weight with the white working class, the one-time Reagan Democrats who proved so crucial to Trump’s electoral success two years ago. If Biden could manage to peel off a certain percentage of these would-be Trump voters it could conceivably make a difference – assuming all other factors from 2016 remain the same.
Trump will have a four-year record to run on at that point, however, and things are looking pretty favorable economically speaking. Biden certainly wouldn’t be able to get away with the usual Democrat “everything is awful and people are dying in the streets because of Republicans” line of argument. Unemployment is at or near record lows, Trump is representing the country well abroad, the economy grew at over 4 percent last quarter and there are signs it could get even better.
There are also indications Trump’s tariff strategy is paying dividends in the form of greater free trade. Roger L. Simon wrote at PJ Media last week, “They [the media] must be … trying to figure out how to downplay the agreement Donald Trump just made with European Union President Jean-Claude Juncker, but it’s not going to be easy. This is the beginning of a massive free trade deal between Europe and the U.S. with zero tariffs outside the auto industry. If even half of it comes true, there will be a (okay, why not?) YUUUGE growth in trade benefitting both sides of the Atlantic…
“The Dems and their media lackeys are not going to have the tariff issue to kick around anymore. Turns out it was what anyone with the proverbial IQ in triple digits knew it was — a bargaining chip…
“Making matters worse for the Dems, this new deal entails growing sales of liquid natural gas by our country to Europe. Who does that most affect? Well, duh, Comrade Putin, of course. Thought experiment (actually you don’t even have to think to answer this one): What do you suppose would trouble Putin more — the U.S. cornering the LNG market or Trump calling him a bunch of nasty names?”
There was precious little coverage of the deal in the news last week. Who knows why – maybe the establishment media thought the Michael Cohen tapes were more interesting because they insinuated Trump’s a liar (and that he actually knew about the stupid meeting Don Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort had with a Russian nobody at Trump Tower in June, 2016).
Liberal news outlets can’t tolerate the notion Trump’s tariff strategy may be working and their beloved socialism-loving Europeans are caving to the pressure applied by the new regime. Simon is correct – if Trump is successful in selling U.S. produced liquid natural gas (and soybeans) to the EU it will pull the economic rug out from under the hated Vladimir Putin. And needless to say, zero tariffs (except on autos) will benefit the efficient American producers.
It’s obvious Trump does believe in free markets and free trade – he just sees temporary tariffs as a means to get them. Growing U.S. trade deficits with the rest of the world are a major problem, not only for displaced American workers but also for the government in terms of lost tax revenues. In contrast, if the United States exploits its relatively newfound energy production supremacy it will bring vast wealth to this country (and not so coincidentally harm our enemies, many of which are oil and gas exporters themselves).
Tariffs and an America-first orientation are beneficial to our interests. It’s been true historically and it’s true now. Patrick J. Buchanan wrote at The American Conservative, “Free trade propaganda aside, what is the historical truth? As our Revolution was about political independence, the first words and acts of our constitutional republic were about ensuring America’s economic independence…The first major bill passed by Congress was the Tariff Act of 1789.”
In fairness to the free trade-at-all-costs promoters, Congress first levied tariffs because they were seen as the best means to raise revenue for the new national government. There was no income tax in those days and the hundreds of money-confiscating taxes that exist today weren’t around back then either. So, the Founders recognized the government needed money somehow…why not have foreigners pay for it?
In his piece Buchanan lays out the history of tariffs and protectionism in this country, making it sound like the practice is solely responsible for the United States’ remarkable emergence as the world’s dominant economic power (we won’t talk about China here). In the process there’s little doubt an America-First political orientation has paid dividends over the centuries – and one wonders why so many reputable conservative free-traders today won’t at least acknowledge there’s a credible argument in favor of tariffs.
Buchanan concluded, “Economic patriotism put America first, and made America first.
“Of GOP free traders, the steel magnate Joseph Wharton, whose name graces the college Trump attended, said it well: ‘Republicans who are shaky on protection are shaky all over.’”
It should be noted many of Trump’s rabid free-trader critics are also partial to the neoconservative foreign policy point-of-view, suggesting America needs to be a “leader” in the international realm and set a good example for the rest of the world by allowing other nations to protect their own industries while pillaging ours with their virtually unlimited access to our markets and consumers.
The problem with this view is if the world rises at the expense of America it won’t be long before our own manufacturing base erodes to the point it disappears. Trump’s enemies accuse him of using naked populist appeals to the “deplorables” and their anger on the subject – but his words definitely contain quite a lot of truth.
Plus, the man knows how to negotiate. All Trump asks for is time for his policies to work.
The end result will be a happy American population – and a healthy Republican party as well. 2020 Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale wrote in the Washington Examiner, “President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have already been campaigning hard for Republican candidates in key battleground states throughout this year, and will do so through Election Day. Since March, the president has appeared at Trump rallies in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Indiana, Tennessee, Minnesota, Nevada, North Dakota, and Montana; and will host rallies in Florida and Pennsylvania again [this] week.
“The president is dedicating immense time and resources to help his fellow Republicans because he needs strong leaders in Washington who will protect and support his America First agenda.
“Indeed, too much is at stake this election for anything less. After all, the Democrats would reverse the progress Trump has made and do irreparable harm to our country.”
One would expect Parscale to be biased. Trump’s campaign leader discussed the financial support they’re providing to GOP candidates at the federal and state levels. No doubt the Trump people will do everything in their power to ensure the party retains its majorities. So much for the doubters who claimed Trump wouldn’t take care of his fellow Republicans once in office.
Time will tell whether Joe Biden does run for president and if Trump will retain his solid hold on certain Democrat voting constituencies. For now, Trump’s trade policies appear to be paying off with economic wins and new achievements. As for the rest, let the political games commence.