- - Tuesday, March 12, 2019

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

That’s right, you heard it here first, folks: Joe Biden will be the 46th president of the United States.

The avuncular 76-year-old from hardscrabble Scranton, Pennsylvania, will waltz into office in November 2020. The only question is whether Barack Obama will come out of retirement to join Uncle Joe on the ticket.

He’s gonna go — you know he’s going to go. He’s not even really playing coy now, he’s just letting the other wannabes shoot themselves repeatedly in both feet before he jumps into the race.

And boy are they. The Democrats already in the field are promising free healthcare, free college tuition, free cash for everyone (even if they “choose” not to work). They’re promising slavery reparations, a top tax rate of 70 percent or higher, and one new member of Congress — whom the Democratic National Committee chairman has called “the future of the party” — is calling for the end of planes and cars, as well as farting cows.

Uncle Joe’s not going to play that game. He’s a career politician (he only held a “real” job for a few years in his 20s, and he’s been living off the public dole for nearly half a century). He’s run for president twice, in 1988 and again 20 years later, so he knows the game inside and out. And after a decade of political sniping, 2020 is tailor-made for a middle-of-the-road candidate, which fits Mr. Biden to a T.



Here’s the simple scenario: The entire Democratic field runs hard left, as they are now, embracing full-blown socialism. Mr. Biden will then roll up in a yellow Corvette — maybe wearing aviator sunglasses — and say “whoa, whoa, whoa, people, let’s not get crazy here.” The mainstream media will embrace him, voters is the middle will go, “yeah, I can see him as president,” and that’s all she wrote.

Sure, we’ll hear about all the things we heard the last two times Mr. Biden ran: the charges of plagiarism (which were accurate, both as a politician and a college student); the hair plugs that took forever to grow in; even his creepiness with women and young girls. We’ll hear how he once called Obama “the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean.” We’ll hear about the time he said, “You cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin’ Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. … I’m not joking.” And who knows, maybe he’ll reprise the charge he made against GOP nominee Mitt Romney, who he said wanted to put black people “back in chains.”

None of that will matter.

But here’s the real reason Mr. Biden will win: He’s a relatively normal person. He’s calm, thoughtful, even tempered, reasonable — heck, he’s downright folksy. “You know, my Grandpop Finnegan used to have an expression: he used to say, ‘Joey, the guy in Olyphant’s out of work, it’s an economic slowdown. When your brother-in-law’s out of work, it’s a recession. When you’re out of work, it’s a depression,’” Uncle Joe once said.

After four years of President Trump’s vitriolic rhetoric — everywhere, from the campaign trail to the Oval Office to Twitter — Americans are going to put an end to all that. With Mr. Biden, they’ll get a professional politician who has about as deep a foreign policy resume as you’ll find — and he won’t be writing snotty tweets, either.

Wait, there’s more. Mr. Trump flipped Wisconsin and Michigan and Pennsylvania in the 2016 election. But Scranton Joe’s appeal to blue-collar workers will likely flip them right back. He’s from Pennsylvania: He wins that in a walk. The DNC is holding its convention in Milwaukee: Mr. Biden will win that, too. And the blue-collar vote in Michigan will put him over the top there as well.

Mr. Trump, meanwhile, has major problems. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, a former top strategist for Bill Clinton and Obama’s White House chief of staff, laid them out in a recent Atlantic magazine piece. “Not only is he now underwater in the three states that pushed him to victory in 2016 — he’s now unexpectedly vulnerable in places such as Texas, Florida, and Ohio as well. His popularity rises to 50 percent or higher in states that total a mere 102 electoral votes. Probably of more concern to his campaign: He’s fallen below 40 percent approval in states encompassing a 201-electoral-vote bloc.”

The 2020 election will be a bloodbath for Republicans and Mr. Trump will lose just as big as he won in 2016.

But one last note to Democrats: Uncle Joe is the only winner you’ve got. Bernie can’t do it. Neither can Kamala or Cory or Pocahontas or Tulsi or Julian or Beto (but look for Mr. Biden to pick Julian Castro or Beto O’Rourke, both from Texas, as his running mate). And if you go with Hillary, you will lose worse than last time.

Of course, I could be totally wrong. I was once in 1983, my wife loves to remind me. But this race is Mr. Biden’s to lose — and let’s make something perfectly clear: He’s a two-time loser, so he knows losing. He might just snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory.

• Joseph Curl covered the White House and politics for a decade for The Washington Times. He can be reached at [email protected] and on Twitter @josephcurl.

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