A lot of you animals have been hounding me for my post, “20 Democrats for 2020,” because I made a slew of predictions about who I thought was running for president without offering you any cold, hard facts. Well, here is the thing about facts: they are tough to get a grip on. I honestly feel like Rocky chasing a chicken every time someone asks me if Medicare is solvent or what exactly the President of the United States does.
Anyway, if I am one thing before anything else, it is a ruthless capitalist. And one of the things I know about capitalism is that the customer is always right. So a few days ago, we gave you a deep dive on Senator Kamala Harris’s soon-to-be-announced Presidential campaign, which she is hiding almost as well as George W. Bush hid the Second Iraq War. Today, the subject is this guy, who loves to party:
To me, Joe Biden’s candidacy is the squirreliest on the Democratic side. Right now, the odds of him running are sitting in the mid-60s on PredictIt, which is extremely unattractive. This is because the Democratic primaries in 2018 were an absolute slaughterhouse for candidates like Uncle Joe, which Biden definitely knows. Generally speaking, Democrats picked candidates based on these four things, in order: (1) the most liberal; (2) the youngest; (3) the one with the fewest y-chromosomes; and (4) the one with the best identity politics story.
Fake News favorite Alex Ocasion-Cortez has stolen the limelight from this group, but there were some other races like hers that are making older, male, Democratic statesmen wet the bed. They were:
— Congresswoman-elect Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), who took out Rep. Mike Capuano (D-MA), a nine-term fixture in the Massachusetts (white) political machine, and who’s list of backers included Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-MA), Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), and a majority of Massholes serving in the House of Reps.
— Congresswoman-elect Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), a Palestinian-American and Democratic Socialist who defeated a leadership officer in the Congressional Black Caucus… in a majority black district.
— And in Florida, the state that is pretty much a crystal ball for the whole country’s political future, gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum (a young, black, Bernie Sanders) beat-out two 50+-year old white, establishment Democratic candidates to secure his party’s nomination for the governorship.
My point is that Uncle Joe is not a dummy. He knows where the wind is coming from, and right now the wind feels like hot air from the bellies of liberal Democrats, who are basically demanding that the DNC hire a casting director for this next election. Their requirements for the role of “Democratic Nominee” are at least two of the holy four: young, liberal, female, and diverse. On a good day, Biden is one of those. He knows that better than anyone, and has to be screwed-up in the head over what a brawl this primary is going to be if he decides to jump into it.
Is Joe Biden the most “electable” vs. Donald Trump? Probably. But primaries are dominated by loony voters who are more interested in ideas and morality than winning. I, personally, would rather get polio than crank some brewskies with that crowd, but there comes a point when a smart dude like Biden realizes that his path to the nomination is an absolutely brutal one.
How does Joe Biden score against the Kamala Harris 2020 Bullshit Baseline? Let’s see.
☑ Is this candidate campaigning in Iowa and/or New Hampshire.Yes. Biden campaigned for Congresswoman-elect Abby Finkenauer (IA-1). BTW, she is going to be a star.
☑ Is this candidate prioritizing his career over the party’s goals? Maybe, but in a weird way. Joe Biden has mostly stayed out of the day-to-day of politics– which has probably drained some moral credibility from the Democratic Party.
☐ Is this candidate denying that he has interest in the job? No, in fact, the internet recently exploded with joy/outrage/clickbait when Biden told a group in Montana that, “I am the most qualified person in the country to be president.”
So that quote means Biden is running, right?
Not necessarily. The Kamala Harris 2020 Bullshit Baseline™ puts a huge emphasis on candidates downplaying or denying their interest in running for president. To put it bluntly, our model works a lot like fraternity sexual consent policy: “no” means “yes.” So when Joe Biden runs his mouth about being, “the most qualified person in the country to be president,” the Bullshit Baseline™ actually scores that as him flexing nuts on his haters so that if he doesn’t run for president, people don’t think it’s because he was scared of Bernie Sanders.
There is one last thing to consider, and that is that Uncle Joe has a lot less to gain from running than the rest of these monsters. He is truly an old guy without a lot of good years left to live; and being president is an exhausting job. Basically, by the end of his term in office, Biden would look like this:
This also means that Biden has nothing to gain from losing. Compared to other bubble candidates, like Beto O’Rourke and Amy Klobuchar, Joe Biden can’t rationalize putting himself through the torture of running for president by saying, “well, if I lose, at least I can get my name out there and maybe be a VP or a cabinet secretary in the future,” because he’s already done those jobs. For Biden, it’s win or go home. And I’m not sure that I want to bet on which one I think he’ll do.
If the YES price dips into the 50s, maybe I’m in. But I think anything over 60 is overpriced, especially with literally dozens of other candidates to bet on whose incentives are more aligned. I’m sure Joe Biden wants to be president, I’m just not sure that he wants to go through the hell it’ll take to get there.