Convinced of his own wonderfulness, Joe Biden trots around the talk shows as if on a perpetual victory lap. What has he won? Who knows? It speaks to the embarrassing emptiness of liberal culture that such a buffoon is accorded the status of a victorious statesman. Encouraged in this delusion, Biden allows himself such modest musings as: “I have regret that I am not president. Because I think there’s so much opportunity. I think America is incredibly well-positioned.”
Still the blarney-ridden, puffed-chest phony with hair plugs of his empty senatorial days, Biden finds Trump very threatening to his manhood and likes to shadow-box him in the company of such tough questioners as Stephen Colbert. On the campaign trail last year, Biden said that he didn’t want to debate Trump but to beat him up: “I wish I were in high school, I could take him behind the gym. That’s what I wish.”
Hey, that is not very presidential. No matter; talk show hosts find Biden’s juvenile bragging impressive and treat him like he is Churchill in retirement for the great accomplishment of having served as the gaffe-ridden veep to a disastrous president. Crowds roar as he passes off the most feeble platitudes as profundities. The New York Times declares his new memoir “impressive” high literature in a fawning interview, adorned with a photo of a seated Biden looking sage.
One might have thought, given his creepy, handsy penchant for sidling up to women, young and old, and whispering in their ears, a feminist talk show host or two would give him a hard time. But they don’t. The Oprahs and Ellens treat him as impeccably avuncular. He is one of the good guys! No need to put his past under a microscope! Never mind the pictures of him cuddling up to female bikers (as other bikers glare at him angrily) and draping himself, Jimmy Savile-like, over the wives and children of senators and cabinet officials. In a nod to the tradition of immunity-through-politics, Biden proudly announced recently that he has teamed up with Lady Gaga to fight the scourge of male misbehavior. “Give me a break,” he says to his generation’s Don Drapers.
As for his 2020 ambitions, “something’s got to happen, man,” he says to Vanity Fair, hinting that he might yet grace America with the gift of himself again. According to Politico, Dems find this prospect exciting: “The chatter has gotten so intense in some corners that there’s even scuttlebutt among Democratic operatives that Biden could launch his candidacy with California Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate from Day One.” Biden is one of the hottest tickets around, says Politico:
With former President Barack Obama largely sitting out politics and many Democrats wary of reaching out to the Clintons, Biden’s appeal as a party leader has grown since January. He has received at least five requests for endorsements or events each week, sources close to him say.
Biden is planning to spend the first quarter of 2018 focused on fundraising for old friends in the Senate, with possible additional appearances for state parties or directly backing House candidates. Twelve of the 14 candidates he backed in Tuesday’s election won, including a Washington state Senate race that flipped the chamber to Democrats and the Manchester, New Hampshire, mayor’s race. He also supported, Danica Roem, the transgender candidate who won a seat in the Virginia House of Delegates. Roem first met Biden after traveling to Wilmington, Delaware, for the Beau Biden wake.
In the midst of all this smug progressivism, in the midst of all his bi-coastal jaunts — officiating at gay weddings, doing PSAs with Hollywood celebrities, picking up awards from climate-change activists — Biden insists that he remains “Scranton Joe,” the ideal candidate for blue-collar Dems disaffected by their party’s insularity. In response to Megyn Kelly’s comment that Trump won the Rust Belt, he said, “They love me more.… They call me ‘Middle Class Joe.’ I understand what built this country.”
Biden oozes “authenticity,” purrs the ruling class. How that accolade has crystallized around Biden is remarkable given that his first presidential run was blown up by plagiarism scandal in which he had to borrow the words of a British socialist to describe the meaning of his hard-scrabble youth in Pennsylvania. Biden has all the authenticity of a pol who urges his good friend “Chuck” to stand up without knowing that he is a paraplegic.
Well, it would be amusing — Biden vs. Trump, and even better if another empty suit like Kamala Harris joins him. Drunk on the media’s praise, Biden may take the plunge. (Saturday Night Live, to its credit, isn’t joining in this chorus, mocking the notion that “it’s Biden time” in a skit last week about a geriatric, stale Democratic Party.) But if he does run, one suspects his faux-pensive “regret that I am not president” would quickly give way to a real regret that he didn’t quit while he was ahead.