I’m blogging hurt today. I picked up a bug this weekend whilst being a second rate social butterfly. Initially, I wasn’t certain if it the finger of blame should be pointed at the elderly folks I was around on Friday or the toddlers I found myself surrounded by on Saturday. When in doubt bet on the kids, and that’s what happened. My favorite two year old hellion sat on my lap, drooled on my arm, and that was all she wrote. I thought I should warn y’all that I may make even less sense than usual today and that’s saying a lot. (Instant Illness Update: The drooling kid’s mother informs me that he spread a cold, not a stomach bug but my money is still on him.)
The political media was abuzz this weekend with the story that Joe Biden *might* run for President next year. It was spread as the gospel truth despite the *original* source of the story, the Madame DeFarge of the Gray Lady’s op-ed page, Maureen Dowd. MoDow took a short break from comparing Hillary Clinton with Tom Brady to float a genuinely melodramatic story that Beau Biden urged dear old dad to run while on his death bed. It evoked images of Bette Davis dying in Dark Victory or Olivia DeHavilland’s death bed scene in Gone With The Wind. My finely honed bullshit detector went off, especially given the source.
Is the story true? It might be, but the way it was floated and the reaction convinced me that it’s a staff driven trial balloon. The Veep’s spokesperson replied with a non-committal denial, which left some wiggle room for a possible run. It’s a pity that they didn’t rag on Dowd and her employer, both of whom have long specialized in hit pieces on the Clintons and other Democrats.
It’s feeling like the 1990’s all over again. Ever since the Times help take out Tricky Dick, they’ve been much harder on Democratic Presidents than Republicans: from the hapless Jimmy Carter’s “Lancegate scandal” to the NYT’s endless, and often inaccurate, Whitewater coverage. In contrast, Judith Miller helped the Bush-Cheney regime sell the WMD hoax. So much for the librul media being in the bag for the Democrats; not that any of you believed that.
I adore Joe Biden but the only way he can be nominated absent a real scandal (not the Benghazi or email nonsense) is to get in soon and run a scorched earth anti-Hillary campaign. Such a campaign would be contrary to his nature, and to his generally cordial relationship with the Clintons. It would also risk handing the White House over to the crazy party. Additionally, in the post-smoked filled room era, the nominee of the Democratic party is selected in primaries and caucuses, not in, uh, smoke filled rooms. If John Edwards had somehow managed to ooze his way to the 2008 nomination, however, a smoke filled room would have come in handy.
Every election cycle, I hope that the coverage will improve. It never does, as pointed out by the great Rick Perlstein at the National Spectator:
Never have so many done so much to reveal so little than in the collected journalism about presidential nomination contests. The personality-driven trivia. The hokey generalizations. The bogs of conventional wisdom. The day-by-day scorekeeping that ends up worse than uninformative; it is anti-informative. (Just ask Presidents George Romney, Edmund Muskie, Scoop Jackson, John Connally, Richard Gephardt, and Hillary Rodham Clinton.) The utter failure to inform the public of the actual, on-the-ground dynamics of the nuts-and-bolts process by which the parties chose their standard-bearers, and the larger dynamics that drive party trends from decade to decade.
The political press corps have come to resemble hyper-active hamsters on gigantic wheels. There’s a lot of peddling but no progress in their coverage. I think they even eat (believe) their own shit. Hence, the Trump phenomenon. I’m still waiting for the bubble to burst but they’re going to milk it for all its worth.
Back to Maureen Dowd and the dying Beau Biden story. It’s a perfect story for the MSM because it involves personalities, speculation, and melodrama disguised as hard news. Even if it’s true, it’s only a significant story if Joe Biden actually enters the race. The last national poll I saw that included him was not encouraging for Uncle Joe. It showed him running a poor third with Hillary at 56%.
Since the Onion Joe Biden does not exist, I don’t expect Joey the Shark to run. He’s already failed to secure the nomination twice previously and this time would lose as the sitting Vice President. I doubt he’s willing to be humiliated just to vindicate Maureen Dowd, who would immediately turn on him if he entered the race. It’s what she does. Don’t go, Joe.
I’ve typed the name Joe so much that this Colin Moulding penned XTC tune is stuck in my feverish little brain: