Don't blow it, Joe.
After Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., resurrected your political life, you quote obscure Irish poets? Didn't you get in trouble once for plagiarizing a British politician?
A thrilled Joe Biden, after winning a bunch of Super Tuesday states, started quoting Irish poets as he almost always does in emotional moments, such as when he got the Presidential Medal of Freedom. But it's time to wax American.
Tell us a little more persuasively why you are the go-to guy for 2020.
Former Vice President Biden has miles to go before – and if – he can sleep peacefully in Milwaukee, where the Democratic convention will be held. His speech the night of Super Tuesday was not a good omen.
While Biden's chief Democratic competitor, Bernie "The Angry Socialist" Sanders, blew steam out of his nostrils and did his angry-old-white-man parody to perfection, Biden was, well, Biden. Sort of boring. Sort of incoherent. And when two crazies got past security and stormed the stage, Biden's wife Jill was left to defend her man.
Many Democrats have yet to realize that Donald J. Trump is poised to retake the presidency unless voters are given good, solid reasons by an electable Democrat to reject him.
After swiftly winning a handful of mostly Southern states, Biden used his prime-time TV slot on Super Tuesday, when many not-the-base voters are just starting to pay attention to an extremely important moment in U.S. history, to veer into an exuberant but slightly chaotic speech that had people, once again, scratching their heads.
Biden got his second chance because Americans know that this country, dominated unmercifully by Trump, is not ready to vote for a socialist who has never once explained how we can afford trillions of new spending for a bunch of free programs.
Let us not forget that Sanders, helped by Russia's determination to get Trump into the White House, helped give us the tragedy of the Trump presidency by pillorying Hillary Clinton, who, it must be remembered, ran an abysmal campaign.
Let us not forget that Sanders, 78, recently had a heart attack and has refused to release his health records (as has Trump).
Let us not forget that Sanders, a Senate veteran, has no major legislation that has actually helped the people of this country.
And let us not forget that Sanders wants the Democrats, even though he is not actually a party member, to give him their nomination even if he does not have the necessary 1,991 votes to win on the first ballot in Milwaukee.
In other words, Sanders wants to fight, not unite.
Sanders says that he would win in a fight with Trump because of a bunch of national popular vote polls, but he's forgetting the Electoral College. Trump won in 2016 by winning Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Florida. What has changed? (And don't forget that Trump will do anything – and has millions of dollars to spend and the power of the White House – to win.)
Biden wins in a head-to-head match against Trump – but, again, the Electoral College is how the presidency is decided, not the popular vote. And Biden still has to prove himself.
He is fighting passion – Sanders' tapping into Americans' angst and anger. Biden is a nice, civil guy who has run a poor campaign. Sanders is a revolutionist who disdains niceness and civility and has run a smart campaign. But revolutions are not easy to pull off without fertile ground on which the seeds can spout.
We have far to go. Mike Bloomberg now will help Biden, with organization and money. There's not much chance – and no evidence – that Sanders will put the country ahead of his own interests. But if Democrats are to defeat Trump, Biden has to pull something out of his soul we haven't seen much of – a rationale and discipline for winning that he hasn't quite persuaded the swing voters and potential crossover Republicans disgusted by Trump that he has.
The mood of the country is disquietude, and it is Biden's job to convince voters that he is the antidote. The longer and more intensely the sparring goes on between Sanders and Biden, the better off Trump is.
Spare us the quotes, Joe. Give it to us from your gut. Unite and fight. Convince a majority of voters that you can defeat Trump – with class – in what is certain to be a nasty, dirty brawl.
– Ann McFeatters is a columnist for Tribune News Service. Readers may send her email at firstname.lastname@example.org.