- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 29, 2019

Add “failed presidential candidate” to New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s long and winding resume, which also already includes stints as “lawyer for Philip Morris,” “gun rights advocate and opponent of illegal immigration,” as well as “gun rights opponent and staunch proponent of the rights of illegal migrants.”

It was pure coincidence, I’m certain, that Ms. Gillibrand’s adoption of the latter positions coincided with her entering a 2020 Democratic presidential primary that is turning into a Woke Olympics.

The Democratic field is finally winnowing. Not only has Ms. Gillibrand bowed out, but Rep. Eric Swalwell of California and Seth Moulton of Massachusetts have too. Other candidacies that seem headed for the ash heap of history before long include those of Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey and Sen. Kamala Harris of California.

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There’s a thread linking most of the also-ran candidacies (some were too obscure to garner notice at all). Each comes across as a political chameleon, more interested in adopting positions cynically than running on a sincere platform.

Ms. Gillibrand was perhaps the worst offender, but she is far from alone. Mr. Booker, for instance, when mayor of Newark adopted a tough-on-crime policy. Today he bemoans those very policies he implemented and is positioning himself as a champion of “criminal justice reform.”

Ms. Harris has been particularly flexible, flip-flopping multiple times on whether her health care policy would outlaw private insurance. Ms. Harris also attacked Joseph R. Biden, the former vice president, for opposing federally mandated busing to desegregate public schools – a position, it was later revealed, that she herself holds. (Her attack on Mr. Biden was essentially “how can you trust a man who has the same awful position as me?”) But this phoniness is manifestly not selling. After a brief bump, Ms. Harris is again languishing in the polls.

The leading Democrats, meanwhile, evince nothing if not sincerity. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is a life-long Socialist who is banging the same drum he has since the 1960s. Nobody doubts his left wing bona fides.

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, another surging candidate, is certainly sincere in promoting a far more robust role for the federal government in the U.S. economy.

And Mr. Biden, for whom speaking a coherent, grammatical sentence is at this point a towering achievement, is frankly too doddering to be a phony.

With all three leading Democrats, what you see is what you get.

The triumph of the authentic over the fake shouldn’t surprise us, really. After all, the lesson of the 2016 election, both the GOP primary and the general election was this: Authenticity Trumps.

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