What a difference 31 years makes.
I first cut my teeth in big time politics back in 1988 in the early stages of the Bush-Quayle campaign. As a bright-eyed bushy-tailed college kid, I got a great chance to watch, from my vantage point as a low, low, low-level peon, some brilliant political minds wage the battle to extend The Reagan Revolution for at least four more years. (What we ended up getting was a different story.)
The Republican primary was highlighted by a pretty nasty row involving senator Bob Dole and Vice-President George Bush. The Democrat fight was highlighted by a tussle between Massachusetts governor Mike Dukakis and Senator Joe Biden.
Operatives for Dukakis caught Biden on tape giving a speech about the hardships of working in the coal mines with his dad while growing up to make ends meet.
The problem? Biden’s upbringing was upper-middle class. His dad owned a Pennsylvania car dealership. Unless he stepped into the dealership’s service department to talk with the mechanics, the elder Biden’s hands didn’t get dirty.
It turns out senator (and candidate) Biden had given — verbatim — a speech by then British Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock, who was then leading the opposition to conservative British prime minister Margaret Thatcher. (Kinnock had actually worked in coal mines while growing up.)
Some might have passed this off as mental illness. (What would you think of someone who recited — say — The Gettysburg Address and claimed it as their own?)
But the drive-by media, then cheering and propagandizing for Dukakis, ran Biden out of the race — claiming he did not possess the “character” to be president. (If Biden becomes the 2020 nominee, the Trump campaign should collect and replay all that 1988 drive-by footage bad-mouthing Biden’s lack of character.)
Biden continued to serve in the Senate. Outrageously enough, after that whole plagiarism row, Biden was allowed to sit beside Ted Kennedy and question and attack the character and morality of now-Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas.
As we got into the 1990s, we started hearing buzz about what an interesting choice Biden might be as a Democrat nominee for president. (Never mind that, just a few years earlier, the drive-by media had told us he did not have the character to be president.)
Fast forward to 2008. Biden was running for president under the approving eye of the drive-by media. He made some pretty outrageously-insensitive comments about Indian business-people, but the chattering classes laughed that off and said “Oh, that’s just Joe.”
Barack Hussein Obama chose Biden as his running mate in 2008. Biden got treated as a serious player, while Sarah Palin was laughed off the stage.
We’ve seen and heard evidence about Biden’s handsy approach in dealing with females. Drive-bys fell back on their “That’s Just Joe” defense, and the complaints have vanished into the ether. (Meanwhile, scores of Republicans have been run off and out of civilization for comparable offenses.)
Today, we heard Joe Biden will be running for president in 2020. The man was in elected office continuously from 1970-2017. (He spent one year as a private practice attorney.) He’s been in Washington non-stop since 1972. He was one of the chief mess-makers for 35 years. Are we to seriously believe he has any answers for improving the state of our nation?
Biden’s announcement featured a criticism of Trump for his reaction to the Charlottesville mayhem of 2017. This from a guy with a history of joking about Indian convenience store clerks. *Mister racial sensitivity. *
The revival of Joe Biden is a clear-cut example of how amazingly “forgiving” the drive-by media can be when you are conveniently in the right place at the right time.