The Corner

Elections

It’s Not Just the Press That’s Skeptical of Biden

Joe Biden walks with supporters at a pre-Wing Ding march from Molly McGowan Park in Clear Lake, Iowa, August 9, 2019. (Gage Skidmore)

Ryan Lizza of Politico reports that the Biden camp is frustrated by its media coverage. The former vice president’s advisers attribute this mix of ambivalence and hostility to the generation gap. A “well-known Democrat backing Biden” tells Lizza, “You have a press corps in which most of them were in college when Barack Obama ran for president and they have fundamentally no understanding and experience in how politics works.” Lizza adds: “To Biden world, it’s the media’s cultural affinity for this New New Left that explains why the Biden-will-soon-collapse storyline has such staying power.”

It’s not just the cool kids who are unenthused about Biden, however. Plenty of the un-woke Democratic establishment is, too. They worry, in private conversation and occasional public comment, that at some point the Democratic frontrunner’s many liabilities, on display for close to half a century, will crash his candidacy. Just the other day, David Axelrod groused that Biden is “creating a more damaging meme” by “serially” distorting his record. Recently a veteran pollster told me of his skepticism that Biden would even make it to Iowa.

Biden might not care about the media narrative. What matter more are the anxieties of Democratic elites, many of whom will be super-delegates — excuse me, “automatic delegates” — to next year’s convention. It will be they who, in a closely divided three-way race, may ultimately decide the party’s nominee.

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