In 1988 George Bush the Elder was reelected to the third term of Ronald Reagan. Bush himself wasn’t exactly a scintillating candidate and his campaign lacked zing, despite being run by Lee Atwater, who was the greatest field general the GOP has ever produced. Carville, but better.
But Bush was lucky that his opposition was Michael Dukakis, the liberal and hapless governor of Massachusetts, and that after eight years of President Ronald Reagan people were happy and had no problem entrusting the government to his second banana. So Bush was elected on Reagan’s merits and his opponent’s weakness, not on his own steam. When he ran himself four years later, even as an incumbent president/war winner with over 90% approval ratings the year before the election, he was beaten.
Biden is trying to duplicate Bush’s first win. He is running for Barack Obama’s third term.
However, to a large degree Hillary Clinton tried that in 2016. Didn’t work then, won’t work now. Even Obama acknowledged the tactic in 2016, saying he regarded Trump’s win as a personal repudiation.
And for once, the disgraced 44th president was right.
Does Team Biden live in such a NYC/L.A. echo chamber they think last minute palates of cash to the Iranians, U.S. sailors on their knees as prisoners of the same, an anemic jobless recovery, and far left social programs are necessary ingredients in the recipe to beat Donald Trump?
Can they ken the field day Trump and his team will have with the compare and contrast?
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If the Democrats were smart they’d try, again Bush ’88, the “kinder gentler” tune. They’d say, “Yes, Trump has had his successes. But aren’t we tired of the turmoil, the headaches, the controversies? Can’t we do better as a people?”
Now, of course, they’d be counting on the gamble that enough of the American people didn’t realize that the Democrats themselves were the source of all that turmoil, all those headaches, all the controversies. But there are plenty of moderate sob sisters and middle of the road pajama boys out there who would buy the message. It may also work with about the 7-9% of the GOP that doesn’t like the president.
That strategy would necessitate a Democratic Party that could see past its own nose and in house biases and truly want to win. We’re lucky to be safe from any possibility of that.
This piece originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.
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