Joe Biden Is Not a Socialist
No amount of Trump tweets can make him so.
My take: Biden’s strategy of avoiding engagement with his Democratic rivals, not taking questions from voters, and running straight at Trump is getting under the president’s skin already and allowing Biden to avoid being defined by the incumbent as too left to win a general election. It is no exaggeration to say that if Biden stays disciplined and true to himself, he is the most likely next president of the United States. Trump’s campaign is counting on Biden’s failure to stay disciplined. They are underestimating the degree to which the media will root a lot harder for Biden than it did for Hillary Clinton.
Politico on Trump’s advisers — including reportedly Jared Kushner — wanting him to stop engaging Biden: “We’ve asked him — I’ve personally asked him — to stop. It’s not helping us. It’s helping Biden. We don’t think Biden can make it out of the woke Democrat primary. But he will if the president gives him oxygen.”
Washington Post on Team Biden: “Biden’s campaign advisers feel the president has played into their hands, effectively defining him for the moment as the candidate to beat. That is helpful to Biden, because it seems to confirm what Biden and his supporters are positing: that he is the Democrat most able to take on Trump.”
Essential reading: Rudy Giuliani trying to gin up negative media coverage of Biden’s son Hunter, Ukraine.
Buttigieg on the cover of TIME.
Michael Bennet expected to jump in today.
My take: The biggest question in the Democratic race right now is not who has the capacity to break into the top tier with Biden and Sanders. For most of the candidates, their first objective has to be to break into the second tier — and that isn’t easy in such a large field.
Sort of Snitty
My take: The only way the attorney general could navigate some of the harder questions at Wednesday’s hearing was to put distance between him and the independent counsel. That only heightened the reality in this multi-act drama leading towards the coming moment when Mueller explains himself in 3D, rather than on paper. And no one seems to know exactly what the cautious, by-the-book man in the white dress shirt will say when he finally appears on the Hill. Or when that will be.
Nancy Pelosi and Karl Rove Agree
My take: House Democrats have both a principled and political need to continue investigating the president. It will take a PR agility that neither parties’ congressional wing has shown in years to keep those hearings from hurting the chances of the eventual general election nominee to beat Trump.