The Corner

Elections

Biden Buckles

After several weeks, Biden was finally browbeaten into an apology, or semi-apology, over his remarks about working with segregationists as a young senator. The original remarks were incredibly maladroit, but there are a couple of problems with the apology: 1) If he was going to say sorry, he should have said it after the initial furor instead of coming out strong and calling on Cory Booker to apologize for his criticism of him; 2) He is basically apologizing for something he didn’t do—praise segregationists (this is why the “if some people were offended” formulation of his apology, usually a dodge, was the most accurate way to put it); 3) He is only apologizing because he was completely unprepared to defend himself from Kamala Harris’ calculated, highly effective attack at the debate. Maybe Biden will manage to retreat to more easily defended ground and improve his performance in the next debate, but nothing in how he’s conducted himself that last few weeks speaks of a strong, self-confident front-runner.

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