Tag Archives: DNC

Biden feeling the heat

(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

Joe Biden is feeling the heat.

Who does he select as a vice-presidential running mate? When does he make that decision? It’s coming at him fast and furiously.

U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, one of the House members who prosecuted Donald Trump’s impeachment in the Senate, says Reps. Val Demings of Florida and Karen Bass of California would be excellent picks. I guess he wants one of those House colleagues to join the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee on the party’s ticket. They are African-American, as is Jeffries.

Then there’s former Pennsylvania Gov. and former Democratic National Committee Chairman Ed Rendell, who says Biden must select someone right now. As in now, man!

Rendell’s demand makes me laugh. Joe Biden will determine when it’s time to make the announcement, to which I want to tell Rendell simply: Shut the hell up and let your party’s nominee go through the process with all deliberate care.

Biden laid down the marker early when he declared his running mate will be a woman. Whether it’s a woman of color or a white woman depends, I suppose, on what the former vice president determines is in the best interest of the nation he hopes to lead.

Indeed, the first and most critical criterion must be: Is the person with whom he runs equipped to lead the country?

Meanwhile, the pressure is building. Be strong, Joe Biden.

Chaos reigns!

You want chaos as it regards anything involving Donald J. Trump?

Try this on for size …

The Republican National Committee chose Charlotte, N.C., to stage its 2020 presidential nominating convention; then the coronavirus pandemic hit.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said he couldn’t guarantee that the health of convention goers would be protected from the fatal virus. So then the RNC moved the convention to Jacksonville, Fla., where Trump was supposed to accept the GOP nomination.

Then came word from the Republican sheriff of Duval County, who said he couldn’t guarantee the safety of those attending the gathering in Jacksonville. Trump then cancelled the Jacksonville event.

He moved it back to Charlotte, but with a wrinkle: There will be no media allowed to cover the event live. It’ll occur in the arena, but it will be done more or less in secret.

Eek, man! What’s going on here?

I can no longer begin to keep up with the machinations of what is supposed to be a grand political event. Granted, the pandemic has thrown a lot of it into a cocked hat.

Meanwhile, though, Democrats are proceeding Milwaukee, Wis., just as they planned to do when the pandemic started sickening and killing Americans.

Does all of this portend what another four years of Donald J. Trump would produce were he to actually win this presidential  election? I dread the thought.

Entering a new era of campaigning

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, has laid it on the line.

He is going to campaign for the presidency without any massive rallies. There will be none of those events with admirers crammed together, cheering themselves hoarse at pronouncements coming from their guy on the podium.

Donald Trump isn’t ready to make that pledge. Why? Because he prefers the campaign rallies where he is able to stand at a podium and deliver his incessant, incoherent riffs on this and/or that issue or perceived opponent.

I submit that the COVID-19 Pandemic Era has ushered in a new style of campaigning, with social media becoming even more prevalent than before.

Trump had that rally in Tulsa, Okla. He promised a huge crowd. It didn’t materialize. He had to take down an outdoor venue set up to handle an “overflow” crowd that never showed up. The sparse turnout angered Trump. It has created gossip about a campaign shakeup on the horizon.

Whatever. Biden’s view is that the age of big-time campaign rallies is over … at least while the nation fights the pandemic that so far is still running rampant from coast to coast to coast.

Just between you and me, we’ll be fighting this disease long after they count the presidential election ballots, which gives me hope that Biden’s strategy is the smart strategy.

There has been a lot of talk about the “new normal” arising from the pandemic. We’re wearing masks in public. We’re keeping our distance from strangers. We aren’t shaking hands when we meet friends. We aren’t embracing when we see loved ones.

Nor will we be standing shoulder-to-shoulder among crowds of strangers cheering the candidates of our choice.

To be frank, I am having trouble grasping how this will play out. I am still trying to fathom the notion of a “virtual” presidential nominating convention. Democrats will nominate Biden in a virtual event; Republicans will nominate Trump who will speak to a crowd in Jacksonville, Fla., after the GOP gathering was moved from Charlotte, N.C., because the North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper wouldn’t clear the event out of fear of spreading the virus.

But … here we are. It’s a new day in a new era and with a new set of circumstances that are far beyond our ability to control at the moment. It has changed the way our politicians campaign for public office.

Given that I am slowly becoming a 21st-century man, I welcome the change with hope that it will produce new national leadership.

RNC looks for a new cheering station

Donald John Trump is looking across the nation for a place to stage a political convention that will nominate him for a second term as president of the United States.

He faces a monumental task.

Trump has all but pulled the Republican National Convention out of Charlotte, N.C., because North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper cannot guarantee that the RNC can conduct a convention packed with screaming Trumpsters. Why? Too much danger from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Trump isn’t having it. He wants to take it to a more politically friendly place, given that Gov. Cooper is a Democrat.

I chuckled out loud this morning when I read the Dallas Morning News story that said Dallas County won’t be available to the RNC, even if the GOP wanted to move its convention to Texas. It ain’t likely to make the move here, either. Dallas County is undergoing a surge in infection from the viral plague; so is Texas. We’re out of the game.

These events take many months to plan. For the RNC to seek to change its convention venue at virtually the last minute provides the party with a task that even Donald Trump — the self-proclaimed master of everything and everyone on Earth — cannot complete.

Meanwhile, the Democratic National Committee, which is scheduled to convene its convention in Milwaukee, might turn instead to a “virtual” event that nominates Joe Biden as its nominee. He won’t get the cheering crowd, but merely might rely on telecommunications technology to get the word out to millions of voters as to why he is better suited to lead the nation.

I suspect the bungling, bumbling and blathering from Donald Trump over relocating the RNC might provide Biden with plenty of grist.

Trump might demand a GOP convention change of venue?

Donald John “Bully in Chief” Trump keeps looking for ways, it seems to me, to prove how incompetent, shallow and self-serving he can be.

Consider what he is threatening to do: He is now threatening to force a change of venue for the Republican National Convention from Charlotte, N.C. to move to another location at the last minute. His reason is a stunner.

He says North Carolina’s governor, Roy Cooper — who happens to be a Democrat — needs to declare its OK for GOP conventioneers to gather in the convention arena to cheer Donald Trump’s nomination for president.

Except that Gov. Cooper isn’t ready to make that declaration. He isn’t ready to say that the convention hall will be safe to stuff thousands of people under one roof while the nation fights the coronavirus pandemic.

I will stand with the governor on this one. No surprise there, right?

Still, Gov. Cooper is seeking to protect North Carolinians and those who are venturing to his state to take part in a presidential nominating convention.

What is troubling to me is that Trump would seek to coerce a governor who — along with his colleagues of both political parties — is trying to wrestle this killer virus into submission. Trump’s overarching concern is producing images of cheering convention attendees which, of course, he could use to boost his re-election chances.

Why not conduct a “virtual” convention, which is under serious consideration by the Democratic National Committee? The DNC is hoping to stage its convention in Milwaukee, Wisc., prior to the RNC’s event. However, as has become the norm in this fight against COVID-19, Democrats appear to err more on the side of health concern than their Republican colleagues … although I am certain GOP operatives are concerned about people’s health.

They’re just equally concerned about how to ensure Donald Trump’s re-election.

And the president is seeking to throw his weight around on an issue that well could put more Americans at risk.


DNC did not conspire to torpedo Bernie’s bid for POTUS

I do not believe in conspiracy theories.

Therefore, I do not believe the Democratic National Committee conspired to deny U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders the party’s presidential nomination for this year’s election.

What undercut Sanders’ bid to run against Donald John Trump was the quality of the ideas he was espousing. Sanders is an admirable man in many ways, but his far-left political platform was too far out of the mainstream for most Democratic primary voters to swallow.

That’s it, man! Medicare for all didn’t fly because it’s too expensive; nor did free college education; nor did his notion of vast wealth redistribution. Yes, he appealed to younger voters who became attracted to his tuition-free college education plan. They constitute a fraction of the total voting population.

Sanders had to surrender his bid for the party nomination because he lagged too far behind the guy who so far has gathered far more convention delegates, Joseph R. Biden Jr.

I happen to be a firm believer in the value of the “marketplace of ideas.” Biden’s ideas, which tilt more toward the middle, are more to the liking of Democratic primary voters. He wants to enhance and expand the Affordable Care Act rather than providing Medicare for all Americans; Biden believes granting free college education to every student in the country is too expensive; and he won’t buy into the wealth redistribution notion that Sanders has sought for as long as he has served in the U.S. Senate.

Conspiracy? I don’t think so. The former vice president’s ideas play better to a broader audience that those of the “democratic socialist.”

Let’s cool it with the conspiracy nonsense. That means you, too, Donald Trump.

Now … what about Bernie’s political future?

It seems oddly petty to talk about U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders’ next big political decision while Americans are fighting hammer and tong against the coronavirus pandemic that has sickened many thousands of us.

Still, I have to ask: Why doesn’t Sen. Sanders call it a campaign, step aside, cede the Democratic Party presidential nomination to Joseph R. Biden Jr., endorse the former vice president … and then make good on his pledge to do all he can to defeat Donald John Trump?

Sanders cannot win his party’s nomination. Biden has too many more convention delegates lined up than Sanders. It is impossible now for Sanders to catch up.

His campaign insists that Sanders is staying in, yet we hear of reports that the senator is “assessing” the status of his campaign. He can assess all he wants, but many of us already has issued our own assessment, which is that the fight is over.

Sanders fought hard. He has argued, with some justification, that he has won the argument over ideology. Biden has drifted a little to the left, but he’s nowhere near where Sanders is perched on the far-left end of the Democrats’ ideological ledge. That’s more than all right with me. I want a centrist to take on Donald Trump, not a candidate who calls himself a “democratic socialist” and who would be smothered by a Trump slime machine.

I don’t know what Sanders hopes to accomplish by staying in the fight. I do know what he has said is his No.  goal, which is to defeat Donald Trump. Where I come from, it looks like the better way to fulfill that mission is to bow out and line up alongside the candidate who can lead that fight.

Can the ‘Black Belt’ deliver for Biden in Alabama?

Take a look at this map. It is of Alabama. The blue counties depict those that Donald Trump carried in the 2016 presidential election; the counties in red show those that voted for Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The red swath across the middle of Alabama is what is known as the “Black Belt.”

Check it out here.

I became aware of the Black Belt while visiting my dear friend and former colleague, the late Claude Duncan, in 1985. I had attended a conference in Atlanta and I stopped for a brief visit in Tuscaloosa, where Claude lived. We went to the race track one evening in Green County, the heart of the Black Belt, to bet on some greyhounds. We were among the very few white guys in the crowd.

Duncan told me how this part of Alabama is as reliably Democratic as many parts of Texas used to be before the Lone Star State converted from Democrat to Republican.

I thought of Claude the Saturday night as I watched Joe Biden pile up that big win in South Carolina, carried over the finish line after lapping the field on the backs of the African-American vote that rallied to the former vice president’s cause.

And then I thought of how Biden might fare in Alabama, which is one of 14 states voting Tuesday in the Democratic Party presidential primary, aka Super Tuesday.

There was a lot of talk about Biden’s “firewall” of African-American support in South Carolina. I am wondering now if the ex-VP can parlay that black voter support into a big payoff in Alabama and in other states with large numbers of African-American voters.

Greene County voted 82 percent for Hillary in 2016, even though only 4,880 ballots were cast. The Black Belt, though, contains many other more populous counties, such as Montgomery County, that also voted heavily for Clinton over Trump.

If Joe Biden can parlay a 60 percent black vote in South Carolina into something similar in Alabama, Tennessee and Arkansas on Super Tuesday, he might be able to withstand the onslaught of delegates Bernie Sanders is slated to win in California and New England.

Early voting seems less relevant than ever this election year

I am delighted to be true to my belief in voting on Election Day, that I won’t cast my vote early out of fear that my candidates will do something foolish or drop out of the running.

The Texas Democratic Party primary is coming up next Tuesday. Texas is one of 15 states casting ballots. Collectively they will select about one-third of all delegates to the Democratic National Convention this summer in Milwaukee.

My guy is still in the hunt. Except that he’s got to win bigly in South Carolina, which votes on Saturday. If you want to the truth, I wish we voted on Saturday, too, but that’s another topic for another time.

I am longing to cast my ballot for a centrist Democrat, someone who knows how to govern, someone with a public service record that demonstrates an ability and a willingness to work with politicians on the other side. Yeah, that would be Joseph R. Biden Jr.

Now, if he flames out Saturday in South Carolina, he is likely to bail sometime after the Super Tuesday balloting. His name will remain on our ballot. However tempted I might be to reconsider my own vote, I likely will continue to stand behind Joe Biden regardless of the South Carolina result.

Still, waiting until Election Day gives me a touch of flexibility in the event someone else emerges from the shrinking field of Democratic presidential contenders.

I know this with absolute certainty: I will never vote for Donald John Trump. I don’t believe we need a radical change in political direction from this clown. I do believe we need someone in the Oval Office who knows what he’s doing, someone who understands the limits of his office and someone who can restore the dignity that the office once commanded.

I am not one of the ‘many, many, many’

Hillary Rodham Clinton has let it be known that, according to her, “many, many, many people” want her to run for president of the United States of America.

OK, here we go.

I would vote for her again, more than likely, were she to win the Democratic Party nomination against Donald J. Trump.

However, I do not want her to run. I do not want her to muddy up the water. Nor do I want her to offer herself up as a sort of piñata that Trump could pummel were she to seek another nomination.

Hillary Clinton had her moment in the sun. She won the Democratic Party nomination in 2016 with high hopes of cruising to her election as president. She made some terrible errors along the way. She got torpedoed by the FBI director, James Comey, who decided at the last minute to reopen an investigation into the email matter. Trump squeaked past her at the end of the long, bitter and invective-filled campaign.

The Democratic field has been set for some time. It might get another candidate, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Does it need Hillary Clinton 2.0? No.

Stay on the sidelines, Hillary. Speak out when you think it matters. Endorse the Democratic Party presidential ticket and then campaign for the two of them.

Do not listen to those “many, many, many” fans of yours.