Bill Clinton’s epic financial and personal debt and his unorthodox decision to leave the White House rather than to take a third term as president have added an unusually huge burden to what is now the plan by the most likely Democratic candidate, Joe Biden, to run in 2020. But the fact is that it’s a burden that he will have to overcome to win: All else being equal, as my colleague Ron Brownstein notes, Mr. Biden is doomed to lose if he is outspent on the airwaves by either former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton or the self-styled Trump-as-Abraham Lincoln Republican congressman from Tennessee, Marsha Blackburn. As the right-wing wonk and Washington Post correspondent Timothy P. Carney says, the prediction that Democrats would win big if they just spent enough money, combined with a supposedly accurate prediction from a Clinton pollster, have undermined Mr. Biden’s purpose and raised doubts about his viability. But if Mr. Biden fiscally prudently meets his super PAC’s undisclosed fundraising goals, he can be competitive. Lacking a mega-donor, he’ll have to lure voters who haven’t been talking about him. And those voters — whether in a state like Iowa or in New Hampshire, where an even game with Mr. Biden’s dynamic history would be good news for Democrats — are likely to want to hear.
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