Opinion | Joe Biden- Closet Republican – By Frank Bruni – The New York Times

He’s the liberal Bob Dole, the looser Mitt Romney, the supposedly safe bet who’s owed a shot.

Frank Bruni

By Frank Bruni

Opinion Columnist

Joe Biden on Saturday at a campaign stop in South Carolina.CreditDemetrius Freeman for The New York Times

“It didn’t come to me right away, but finally I recognized the model for Joe Biden’s unusual campaign, the former president whose pitch Biden’s most closely resembles:

George W. Bush.

I’m referring to Bush’s first presidential bid, in 2000, which is remembered mostly for its surreal climax: the seesawing returns on election night, the Florida recount, the Supreme Court ruling that effectively decided the contest in his favor. To the limited extent that political junkies recall his slogans and stump speeches, the phrase “compassionate conservative” comes quickest to mind.

George W. Bush, here with his father, former President George Bush, in 2000, sold himself as a traditional Republican brand.
CreditRick Wilking/Liaison, via Getty Images

But Bush’s strategy and success arguably hinged less on selling himself as a new kind of Republican than on being seen as a tested, trusted, traditional brand. His surname did much of that work, and he augmented it with a sustained oratorical emphasis on propriety. He pledged to “restore honor and integrity” to the White House in the wake of Bill Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky and subsequent impeachment. He would end the melodrama of the Clinton years and expunge the shame by having the nation essentially pick up where it had left off — with a Bush at the helm.”

David Lindsay Jr.
Hamden, CT |
Draft Two. Frank, I think very highly of you, you are one of the best prose writers at the Times. But I disagree with you on this one. Especially the title. For me, the election is primarilly about climate change, and who can win the electoral college. I agree with David Leonhardt, that Pete Buttigieg and Elizabeth Warren are fabulous leaders, but they have to produce poll numbers and results in the red states! Joe has the lead now, in red states, and a lot of progressives are in apparent denial that that is extremely important.The IPCC and the US National Climate Assessment of last October? both found that we only have 10 years to turn our economies around, or we will face a 2-4 degree celsius future. There won’t be anything for progressives to make progressive if that happens. David Lindsay Jr. is the author of “The Tay Son Rebellion, Historical Fiction of Eighteenth Century Vietnam” and blogs about the environment and the world at InconvenientNews.net.

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