Joe Biden has been dealing with all sorts of competition. He’s not the shoo win that many expected him to be for the Democratic National Committee. It turns out that Democratic Socialist Bernie Sanders may be the kryptonite for the former VP, whether he wants to admit it or not.
Sanders has quite the arsenal behind him, especially as many progressive organizations are standing by to attack all of the moderate contenders. Sanders has been going in strong, attacking Biden more frequently on the debate stages. There’s no friendship left between the former Senate colleagues and it’s becoming more and more evident.
Biden has tried to brush the comments off, telling reporters recently that he doesn’t respond to the “ridiculous comments” of sanders.
In public, Biden brushes Sanders off because that’s what he has to do for his image. He gives the impression that Sanders doesn’t bother him a bit.
However, his tactics and rhetoric paint a very different picture.
There are a number of signs that show that the former VP is very concerned about Bernie Sanders and what it means for his time in the presidential run.
The Biden campaign has been endorsing community leaders for their endorsement and Iowa for quite some time, and more specifically, those who backed Bernie Sanders in 2016. They’ve also been working to combat how Bernie Sanders has recently been rolling out a number of star surrogates who have a list of their own surrogates, such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Sanders has AOC and a number of other progressives in his corner, shouting from the rooftops the major changes that Sanders can bring. Who does Biden have? No one really, except for his son who has made bad business deals and his stripper grandbaby mama making the headlines for him.
It’s no surprise that Sanders is the kryptonite for Biden, either. They’re going after the same demographic and that demographic can only vote for one of them. The working-class voters want to see change. Sanders is promising that while Biden is only regurgitating the same thing that Obama promised for eight years.
As a senior strategist for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Simon Rosenberg, says, the Biden campaign has to force Bernie Sanders to address some of the obvious challenges. Clinton took a “gloves off strategy” that didn’t work – and it’s not going to work this time, either. One of Clinton’s biggest issues was that she underestimated Bernie Sanders. Biden has not underestimated him, but he’s not doing anything to take him down, either.
This is definitely a kryptonite situation because it’s as if Biden doesn’t even know how to get anywhere near Sanders without having a complete meltdown.
There are still so many presidential candidates in the running that Biden can’t afford for any more votes to go to Sanders then absolutely necessary. There are plenty of holes in which to attack Bernie Sanders, starting with Medicare for All. However, Biden doesn’t seem to be taking the hits where it’s necessary.
Things are a bit different than in 2016, particularly because of the crowded primary field. Sanders and Biden are both hitting Iowa strong, but it seems Sanders is doing a better job with fundraising and achieving loyalty from his backers.
Additionally, polls have shown that Sanders is the only one coming close to Biden when it comes to appealing to minority voters as well as working-class voters. He’s a bigger threat than Biden’s campaign may even realize, which is the truly devastating aspect of the whole thing.
Biden has been doing something right: sharpening his message to make sure that he identifies himself as the best candidate to work with Republicans and “heal” a divided country. This is certainly a contrast from Sanders given his socialist ideals that would pull the country apart even further.
The caucus in Iowa is going to be the biggest tell to determine whether Sanders continues to be competition for Biden or whether Biden will be able to charge forward leaving his Democratic-socialist rival in the dust. Only one of them can win the vote in Iowa, and with so many being a part of the working-class, it’s all a matter of who can prove that they have the chops to provide for this demographic.
And while Sanders views AOC as the shiny new toy to tout to constituents, many are over the media whore’s antics.
Now that Biden has acknowledged the threat of Sanders, it will make it easier for him to deal with it in his quest to win Iowa.