KT edit: Big Joe finds his mojo, Trump had better watch out

A long, drawn-out Democratic contest would have suited the president better.

Published: Wed 11 Mar 2020, 6:00 PM

Last updated: Wed 11 Mar 2020, 8:25 PM

Last week, on Super Tuesday, Joe Biden made a comeback. This mini-Tuesday, he widened his lead over Bernie Sanders. He looks like the eventual winner from his current position unless Sanders pulls off a miracle in the penultimate stretch of the Democratic primaries. Biden's dramatic recovery after being floored in the early stages of the party race has surprised both his critics and the pundits who were initially charmed by Mike Bloomberg's campaign that was bankrolled using his billions and Bernie Sanders's radical leftist positions that failed to hide a revolutionary zeal to change the system in a bid to counter Donald Trump's shenanigans.
Washington insider and former US vice-president Biden is promising to bring back steady leadership that Americans deserve, and which Trump is allegedly denying them in his hurry to drain the swamp. His messaging is working, at least with the Democratic establishment and his core supporters in the Black American community who could be the swing factor if Biden indeed gets past Sanders for the big match against Trump who is now busy containing the coronavirus crisis and the slump in the markets. For Trump, this Covid-19 crisis comes at the most inopportune moment of his presidency that has been a success on the economic front. US markets were booming, until now. Joblessness had hit record lows as more opportunities were created as the president worked his brand of nationalism. A steady Biden, who claims to be a know-it-all in Washington (he's been part of the system for five decades and this is his third shot at the presidency) versus a shaky Trump could be an exciting contest. But first, the former Veep must ensure he gets Sanders out of the way, which will give him time to sharpen his attacks against Trump who hadn't expected Biden to score such big victories after the early clobbering he received from a crowded Democratic field.
A long, drawn-out Democratic contest would have suited the president better. He could watch his opponents bleed to death and then go for the kill on fight night in November. His campaign team will be closely watching a resurgent Biden. At the time of writing, the former vice-president has bagged four states, including Michigan which Sanders won in 2016 against Hillary Clinton. The Vermont senator's surprise win in Michigan ensured he remained a strong contender against the Clinton war machine. The loss of Michigan this time will rankle, so will Idaho which Sanders had bagged with elan four years ago. These results show the party will stick with someone they know. 'Stable and steady' suit Biden best while Sanders is still viewed as an outsider who could shake things up in the liberal party that is happy embracing traditional liberalism. But that may not be enough to reshape the political landscape under Trump.
Sanders is seen as a progressive, his ideology defined by Democratic Socialism, which makes the Democratic establishment uncomfortable. The 'deep' Democratic party, the elite in the pack, have a bone to pick with him. In some quarters, he is seen as a maverick, a loose cannon whose moral politics could displace them from the ivory towers they had built for themselves. Distrust and suspicion are driving the Dem elite in their fight against Sanders this time, too. Biden, however, has a wider appeal among Democratic voters, these polls show while Sanders remains a favourite among the youth which isn't enough for a strong comeback in this race that may not go to the wire as predicted before. But it is still early to say that the race is over. Biden does not have unassailable lead over Sanders, but is getting there. The Democratic party is rallying behind the former Veep which will give added firepower to his campaign. Trump's woes, meanwhile, are piling up - Covid-19 and the sinking markets will keep him busy. Biden is sounding more presidential after scoring major victories. Big Joe is prepping for the Big Fight.

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