The Biden Inversion

Joe Biden speaks at an event at the Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds in Davenport, Iowa, June 11, 2019. (Jordan Gale/Reuters)
The Democrats’ presumptive presidential nominee ran as a centrist in the primary. Now he’s taking a turn to the left before the general election.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE F or the longest time, presidential campaigns followed a pattern: In the primary, the candidate ran to the wings in order to court the party faithful and then, having secured the nomination, ran to the center in order to appeal to as wide a swath of the general electorate as possible. The value of broad coalition-building was understood: In 1984, Ronald Reagan was the candidate of William F. Buckley Jr. and the Teamsters — a winning combination that carried the Republican candidate to a 49-state landslide.

Joe Biden has inverted that model: a centrist in the primary who is taking a turn


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