According to left-wing CNN political commentator Van Jones, former Vice President Joe Biden’s weighty victory in South Carolina has both vindicated him and also proven that loyalty matters (a lesson that former President Barack Obama clearly has yet to learn).
“To me, it’s very simple: Joe Biden stood with the first black president, and black voters stood with Joe Biden,” Jones explained late Saturday shortly after Biden was announced as the winner of the South Carolina Democrat primary election.
“This is his night. He had a strategy that a lot of us doubted. I doubted it very, very loudly that he could have a firewall where African-Americans would stand with him while everybody else ran away from him.”
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Just a day earlier, the CNN commentator had slammed Biden for his “dead man walking” campaign.
“He doesn’t have the grassroots enthusiasm,” he’d said. “He’s not filling stadiums like Bernie Sanders. He’s not vacuuming in money from the top. He doesn’t have a grassroots operation. It’s just felt like a dead man walking campaign for a long time.”
But less than 24 hours later, Biden had seemingly proven that he knew what he was doing.
“He was correct,” Jones continued. “He was vindicated tonight. He proved that loyalty matters — being there with the community for years and years matters.”
It should be noted however that the first black president, Barack Hussein Obama, has for his part not stood with Biden by refusing to endorse him for the 2020 race.
Regardless, with Biden having rebounded and billionaire candidate Tom Steyer having dropped out, the race now boils down to two chief candidates, Jones argued.
“There are now two candidates that have proven they can put together multiracial coalitions. One is Bernie Sanders with his reliance on the Latino vote, and now you have Joe Biden with his reliance on the black vote,” he said.
“Those are the two that meet the threshold of being able to put together a multiracial coalition. But Joe Biden vindicated himself. This strategy was pummeled by everybody including me. He was right. I was wrong.”
But was Biden’s victory — he earned 48.4 percent of the vote versus Sanders’ paltry 19.9 percent — a sign that he’s a real contender after all, versus a “sleepy” distraction?
It depends on who you ask. On one hand, the hashtag #BidenHarris2020 began trending late Saturday and lasted through Sunday morning, suggesting that everyday Democrats were finally beginning to view Biden’s chance of winning the nomination as a serious possibility:
Big news today, Biden won the South Carolina Primaries, Tom Styer ended his presidential race and #BidenHarris2020 is trending
— Ali Dahmash (@AliDahmash) March 1, 2020
#BidenHarris2020 is the ticket to 16 years of a Democratic Presidency.
— Hal Sparks (@HalSparks) March 1, 2020
— Tricia O’Kelley (@TriciaOKelley) March 1, 2020
— Jon Cooper ?? (@joncoopertweets) March 1, 2020
— Telvin Griffin (@TelvinGriffin) March 1, 2020
So, in South Carolina, looks like turnout has surpassed 2016 levels, and approaches 2008 levels.
— ⚖️ Bernie Doesn’t Like Babies or Dogs (sus) ⚖️ (@KHiveQueenB) March 1, 2020
The problem is that one election victory one alone doesn’t make for a guaranteed nominee, as noted by Republican National Committee chair Ronna McDaniel.
“After more than three decades of trying, Joe Biden finally won a presidential primary state, but this win does not equal momentum,” she said in a statement.
“Today’s result all but guarantees that this primary process isn’t ending anytime soon. President Trump will beat whichever socialist the Democrats — eventually — nominate this November.”
All that Biden’s victory has done is a guarantee, as McDaniel pointed out, that the primary process has a while to go before it zeroes in on a nominee.
After more than three decades of trying, Biden finally won a presidential primary state, but this win does not equal momentum.
It all but guarantees that this primary isn’t ending anytime soon.@realDonaldTrump will beat whichever socialist the Democrats eventually nominate!
— Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) March 1, 2020
What matters next for Biden is Super Tuesday, and it just so happens that he reportedly hasn’t campaigned in a single Super Tuesday state for over a month.
“Interviews with party leaders in half a dozen Super Tuesday states suggest that the same vulnerabilities that plagued Mr. Biden beginning in Iowa — subpar organization, limited outreach to local Democrats and a late start to campaigning — are holding him back in the states that next week will dole out a third of the total delegates in the Democratic primary,” The New York Times reported last week.
“Aside from fund-raising, he has not campaigned in a Super Tuesday state in over a month. … After the disastrous first two contests, the Biden campaign also moved staff members from Super Tuesday states to Nevada and South Carolina to provide extra manpower there.”
It doesn’t help either that Biden will be competing with billionaire candidate Michael Bloomberg for “moderate” voters.
“Biden is going to be, I think, really harmed on Tuesday because Bloomberg is going to take votes and delegates,” former Obama administration White House adviser David Plouffe has predicted. “Not all of that would have gone to Biden, but I think it’s fair to say a lot of them would.”
Were “Mini Mike” to withdraw from the race, Biden could avoid this pitfall. But as it stands, he clearly has no intention of dropping out:
Super Tuesday will mark the 100th day of our campaign.
In those 100 days, we’ve been mobilizing the country and building a movement to defeat Trump.
To defeat him, we have to win Tuesday. And we can’t win without you.
— Mike Bloomberg (@MikeBloomberg) February 28, 2020
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