I was wrong. For many weeks now, the perspective laced into these posts—sometimes overtly and sometimes subtly—has been that Joe Biden is the wrong candidate at the wrong time for the Democratic nomination for President. When Biden announced his candidacy, I asked: “Can someone in their late 70’s with a half-century track record be nimble enough and nuanced enough to capture territory in a field where so many traps lay hidden?” and as recently as mid-February, I dismissed the former Vice President’s campaign as being in “precipitous decline.”
The past four weeks have been a roller coaster for political junkies like me. Just before the Senate rendered a not guilty verdict in Donald Trump’s impeachment, Iowa held its caucuses. The still-unsettled results catapulted the unlikely candidacy of Pete Buttigieg into the headlines. A week later, after a solid debate performance and a top-three finish in New Hampshire, the talk was all about Amy Klobuchar. Then Bernie Sanders, on the strength of a solid performance among Latinos, had an overwhelming victory in Nevada. Week-by-week, someone new could claim the title “front runner.”
But then, the upheaval in the Democratic political world went into overdrive with the endorsement of former Vice President Joe Biden from Congressman Jim Clyburn (D-SC). That was just one week ago! It was followed by Biden’s resounding victory in South Carolina, his endorsement from three prominent rivals—Buttigieg, Klobuchar and Beto O’Rourke—and his sweeping victories with a broad-based coalition of voters in Super Tuesday states. (Biden’s tribute of Buttigieg on the Mayor’s endorsement was one of the most touching things I’ve ever seen in politics). And in addition to electoral victories, Joe Biden’s humanity emerged as his principle asset.
In his South Carolina victory speech, he said, ““For all those who have been knocked down, counted out, left behind, this is your campaign,” I believe this was one of the most pivotal (and underplayed) moments in Biden’s resilient comeback. Who among us have not been in that position? At that moment, he connected with us all. And he connected in ways that the current occupant of the White House seems unable to do. This depth of empathy drew a huge turnout to the polls and—if his message holds—will launch a successful effort against Donald Trump in the fall.
Under Biden, I believe we may be able to secure a future where healing replaces a past of hating that has infected our society in the age of Trump. If Joe Biden is able to maintain this energy, then I acknowledge I was wrong in doubting his viability as a candidate. I am grateful he didn’t listen to people like me, hung in there when everyone counted him out, maintained his integrity along the way and persevered when all things seemed against him. Going forward, he has my full support in his effort to lead a resounding victory over Donald Trump in the fall.
Don’t Touch Your Face
In the series of split-screen realities in which we live, as results from Super Tuesday are being analyzed, the coronavirus epidemic continues to spread. Last week’s post needs significant updating. Written just one week ago (about the time Jim Clyburn was endorsing Joe Biden), I reported that there were more than 81,000 cases worldwide, with 2,700 deaths. Today, just one week later, the totals are 95,000 cases, with more than 3,200 deaths, including nine in the US.
I also I failed to give many specifics about how to prevent getting coronavirus. Subsequently, I found the World Health Organization’s website most helpful, and an article in the Washington Post that focused on one preventive measure especially significant—the need to stop touching your face–and why this change in habits is surprisingly so hard. So, dear readers, if I can communicate one practical piece of advice in these uncertain times, it is “Don’t Touch Your Face.” Try it; it’s not as easy as it sounds. But it may make the difference in whether or not you come down with coronavirus.