Here is the best evidence yet that Joe Biden, even a little more than a year away from the Democratic nomination, is the likely candidate who stands a good chance of defeating Donald Trump in 2020.
Here’s a blurb from Nick Confessore’s story in Monday’s New York Times:
Over the years, President Obama has made just one point about the economy: That without private sector prosperity, government’s program for the poor and unemployed is at a stalemate. This stood for most of Obama’s term, and was designed to isolate the GOP from an electoral judgment call: If the poor and disadvantaged got better assistance, or if the government played an even bigger role in spurring the economy, the Republicans would have to suffer politically.
Obama was on the right side of history, of course, but his message had a certain easy way of veering into socialism. (In fact, the phrase “ObamaCare” arose as a reaction to his stance.)
But that’s precisely what kind of government programs almost all of the candidates for the Democratic nomination for 2020 are proposing.
That was crystal clear from the Democratic debate of September 24, when the 15 candidates talked about the economy with remarkably similar language. To a person, the way these candidates talk about the economy is geared toward emphasizing the role of government intervention, especially in financing and subsidizing the “struggling middle class” and shoring up investments in infrastructure and research and development.
This is a lot like the approach Mitt Romney proposed in 2012: Infrastructure investment, to support growth; investments in research and development to promote economic progress.
It is not, in other words, “the Tea Party agenda,” which had real economic downsides but which still had enough strengths to make fiscal conservatives cheer — which is the key lesson of the Trump revolution, which doesn’t produce a single “base” argument.
For once, we have the opposite. If you are betting on the Republican nomination, you are betting that Donald Trump is the most likely of the dozen candidates to beat Trump.
But if you are betting on the Democratic nomination, you are betting that Joe Biden is the likely nominee.