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Dem insider: 'The inevitability of Joe Biden is over'

I’ve been loath to criticize Joe Biden for a couple of reasons:

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  1. I like him, more or less. He has a certain avuncular charm, and he’s definitely not an evil guy. Maybe he's a little out of touch and backward-looking, but he’d be a marked improvement over Orange Palpatine.
  2. He could very well be our nominee, and I'd rather not tar and feather him too much, lest some of that tar stick to him through November 2020.

That said, the idea that he’s going to coast to the nomination by dint of his age, experience, and moderate Democratic bona fides is nonsense, and people are starting to realize it.

A new Politico story quotes several Democratic insiders as agreeing that the race has broken open since the first Dem debate. Biden still leads, but the faux aura of invincibility he had after surging out of the starting gate has dissipated. 

After an eventful month and the conclusion of the first round of Democratic debates, there is a new top tier — and a sense among many campaigns and Democratic operatives that Biden and Sanders are suddenly within reach in a race that has broken wide open.

“Bernie and Biden were largely living off of inertia,” said Colin Strother, a veteran Democratic strategist.

Now, he said, voters are becoming aware that “other [candidates], they have a lot of other things to offer.”

Personally, I think Biden could very well be Jeb! 2.0 — the establishment candidate who seemed inevitable but fumbled away his advantages. Fortunately, we have no Trumps waiting in the wings to steal the brass ring. And for every Tulsi Gabbard we have numerous qualified progressive candidates, whereas for every Marianne Williamson, there are several serious-minded contenders offering well-researched, deeply considered plans.

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And for every Joe Biden, we have lots of alternatives who can not only beat Trump but also advance a true progressive agenda.

Biden’s debate blundering appears to have pierced any remaining notions that the former vice president was on a glide path to the nomination. Advisers to at least six other presidential campaigns told POLITICO that Harris’ successful ambush of Biden, in particular, suggested an opening for other candidates, as well.

“I just feel like the inevitability of Joe Biden is over,” an adviser to one mid-tier candidate said.

I’m going to go out on a limb (okay, maybe it’s not the flimsiest of limbs, but bear with me) and say that Joe Biden will not be our nominee. I think his time has passed.

Full disclosure: I’ve been Team Kamala from the start, and I’m starting to really like what I see from Elizabeth Warren. In fact, I’ve been (somewhat) secretly hoping for a Harris/Warren or Warren/Harris ticket.

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But even if neither of those candidates ends up on the ticket, we’re in good shape, with or without Joe Biden.

As for electability — I can see any number of our candidates beating the ocher abomination. He’s an awful person, his foreign policy is a putrescent goulash of bad to terrible ideas, and I smell another patented Republican recession on the horizon.

We can win this. We just need to fight for our nominee and, most importantly, get out and vote.

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