The second hardest job in the country right now might belong to Tom Perez, Chair of the Democratic National Committee.
The most difficult job, of course, is fighting the Chinese-manufactured coronavirus, an effort shared by the president, his task force, and countless doctors, scientists, and essential workers. The second hardest: finding a Democratic presidential candidate capable of taking on President Trump.
In Hindsight, It Was A Team Effort
Perez fought hard and dirty to drag Joe Biden across the finish line. Bernie Sanders was thwarted yet again by an entire cast of characters, who, in retrospect, appear to have been on Team Biden all along. First it was Pete Buttigieg, whose backers designed the flawed voting app used in Iowa. The confusion over who won the first primary blunted Bernie’s early momentum. That cloud followed Sanders, despite winning the first three primaries.
Perez went AWOL during this blatant abuse of power and party meddling. Dodging media for three days, he finally called for Iowa to re-canvass.
Michael Bloomberg sucked any remaining oxygen out of the room even as he failed to win any contest other than American Samoa. He too stayed in the race long after it was clear his brand wasn’t selling. Ultimately, he spent over $1 billion to land a few body blows on “socialist millionaire” Sanders.
But it was Elizabeth Warren who deftly delivered the coup, knifing Sanders from behind. Warren refused to pull out of the primaries prior to Super Tuesday. Always a popular candidate among country club Democrats, she commanded double-digit vote percentages that would have likely fallen to Sanders, her ideological cousin.
In the end, everyone did their part to stop the guy who wouldn’t take Big Money. And then…so did Sanders himself, endorsing Biden in an ugly, scraping gesture. Finally, Barack Obama put his imprimatur on his former VP in a tepid, pre-taped endorsement.
In the midst of all his furious scheming, Perez failed to notice that his horse isn’t fit to race, he’s closer the glue factory than the winner’s circle. The sheer effort of selling a pro-China, pro-corporation, pro-open-borders candidate to the public and party bosses blinded Perez to the frailty of his charge.
Polls that claim Biden leads Trump are published daily, the hoarse, insistent cry of nakedly corrupt media.
Perez also must face the fact that even Biden’s supporters don’t care deeply for him. Time was, Trump would post something like the video below and his comment section would be flooded with invective from screaming liberals. Go ahead and look–it’s mostly laughter and praise from supporters now.
Biden is indefensible. Not one scandal on his mile-long list has gone away. Worse, even the media are having trouble covering for him. A candidate needs to able to speak to the public, and Biden is only ever a moment away from a gibberish attack. Hardened media veterans struggle to maintain straight faces when Biden loses his train of thought, which seems to happen daily.
And there was this.
Biden cannot be salvaged. “Damaged goods” is too kind by half. Logically, it would fall to Perez to swap him out for a less embarrassing option.
How should he do it? Biden can’t simply be discarded. A senator for nearly 40 years and two-term vice president, he commands respect within his own party. He has secured all the required endorsements. Thus, his withdrawal must appear to be voluntary, the white flag wave of a doctor’s note, a somber speech, an apology for failing to meet the call. Next, his successor must be picked beforehand for the sake of continuity.
A former candidate is virtually out of the question. One can’t breathe life back into a defeated campaign. All the players who rushed the stage, their story arcs are over.
Michelle Obama’s name pops up quite often in Dem circles. She might work as a vice presidential candidate, but she has zero experience as a politician, a businesswoman, or as a community leader. Plus she swears up and down she won’t run for office. More to the point, her roommate and handler, Valerie Jarrett, says she won’t.
All roads lead back to Hillary Clinton. Unless Biden can discover a tonic that consistently delivers the mental acuity of his younger years, she is the most likely to take the nomination. In a brokered convention currently scheduled for August 17, be it in person or virtual, Clinton would be named.
Call it even money for now.