More than a few people have accused Joe Biden of living back in 2012.
I don’t think they meant it literally. They may want to consider that interpretation, however.
That’s because Biden apparently still believes he’s the veep — at least if one is to take his latest gaffe at face value.
According to the U.K. Daily Mail, the Democrat’s latest solecism involved him telling a reporter that he, along with the president, wanted to get environmental tax incentives passed.
Biden apparently didn’t quite remember that the current president isn’t really the environmental tax credit type, as well as the fact that he doesn’t like Biden one bit.
Biden was telling a reporter from the Telegraph Herald in Dubuque, Iowa, about a whole list of green tax credits he would push for were he in the White House, arguing he could help the country achieve carbon neutrality.
“It would also help people with housing, if you were able to continue to have what we propose, and I propose, and the president and I —” Biden said.
He then stopped, presumably comported himself and continued talking about how Americans need to “have, you know, tax credits for insulating homes, tax credits for making all businesses, all buildings energy-contained, et cetera.”
As the Daily Mail pointed out, the latest gaffe looked especially bad considering Biden was campaigning in the first state to vote, a state where he’s slipping further behind not just Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren but other candidates as well.
A New York Times poll released Friday showed Warren ahead of Biden by 22 percent to 17 percent. The bigger news, however, were the candidates in between Warren and Biden.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is still holding strong at 19 percent and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg is third with 18 percent. While that’s a tight field, it’s still not a good look for Biden.
Furthermore, it means that Biden might not end up winning either of the first two major contests.
“The survey is full of alarming signs for Mr. Biden, who entered the race in April at the top of the polls in Iowa and nationally,” The Times reported.
“He is still in the lead in most national polls, but his comparatively weak position in the earliest primary and caucus states now presents a serious threat to his candidacy. With the Iowa caucuses just three months away, Mr. Biden’s unsteadiness appears to have opened a path in the race for other Democrats closer to the political middle, particularly Mr. Buttigieg.”
The RealClearPolitics polling average, which compiles the results from various major polls, shows Biden in third in Iowa behind Warren and Buttigieg; Warren has 22.3 percent, Buttigieg is polling at 17 percent and Biden has 15.7 percent. Sanders is just behind with 15.3 percent, however.
Things also don’t look too much better for him in New Hampshire, where the polling average has Warren four points up, 25 percent to 21 percent.
Biden is up in the next two states to vote, although his lead in Nevada is slim without much polling to show for it.
Biden leads by 20 points in South Carolina, where his popularity with black voters should prove to be a massive asset.
However, that loyalty isn’t just based on the fact that he was Barack Obama’s vice president or the fact that he has decades of experience building relationships and campaign infrastructure within the Democratic Party.
It also has to do with the veneer of electability that still clings to Biden and his campaign.
Lose the first three major contests and that veneer will have thoroughly cracked and peeled off.
And that’s the problem with the gaffes.
The two words that I’ve found myself using over and over for Biden’s campaign are “diminishing returns.” No matter how much energy he puts into his 2020 run, it still looks like the “Sleepy Joe” moniker the current president chose to dub him with wasn’t the worst.
Distracted and bereft of energy or purpose, Biden continues to do the one thing he thinks will work: remind us all how he can beat President Donald Trump.
Not like this, he can’t. The gaffe-a-minute style doesn’t work when he’s not killing it in the polls and likely won’t win the first two major contests.
The Democratic establishment may have laughed off the “poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids” stuff when he was coasting with double-digit leads.
They’re not laughing now, not when Biden seems to think he’s still the vice president. (Which, by the way, isn’t the first time he’s suffered under that delusion.)
The president’s backers, on the other hand, are having a good giggle over it.
“Poor Joe,” one GOP operative told the Daily Mail. “He thinks he still has Mike Pence’s job! He’s definitely not getting Donald Trump’s.”
But accurate? Unfortunately for Biden, it would appear so.
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