In spite of a series of gaffes and missteps in the last couple of weeks Joe Biden entered the first debate of the primary season as the clear frontrunner.
Biden felt emboldened by the heretical belief shared by most Democrats that the Democratic presidential hopefuls shouldn’t attack each other lest they weaken the eventual nominee. But politics ain’t beanbag and the natural order reasserted itself as the first debate saw most of the candidates takings swipes at the consensus leader.
But it wasn’t Bernie Sanders as expected who dealt the fatal blow, it was Kamala Harris who eviscerated the old doddering politician in a calm and strategic manner. “I do not believe you are a racist,” Harris told Biden, as she unveiled her attack, preemptively protecting herself from attacks by his supporters that she was accusing Obama’s veep of being a racist. She went on to say “it’s personal and it was actually hurtful to hear you talk about the reputations of two United States Senators who built their reputations and career on the segregation of race in this country.”
Throughout Harris’ scolding Biden had the chastened look of a Catholic schoolboy being reprimanded by a nun brandishing a ruler. Biden’s response is inconsequential and irrelevant, Harris did to Biden what Lloyd Bentsen did to Dan Quayle.
The most humiliating experience in Biden’s political career could have been avoided if he had simply apologized and admitted he made a mistake immediately after invoking segregationists as an example of being able to get along with everyone. Refusing to apologize only works for one politician, namely Donald Trump, because his base will forgive him for anything, literally anything.
“Anyway, my time is up,” Biden said, as he finished his dramatic interaction with Harris. He obviously meant that his allotted time from NBC moderators was up, but the television audience was thinking: Your time is up, you doddering old fool! We need a young, preferably minority woman to face off against Trump.
When a Democrat running for president invokes segregationists as an example of getting along with political foes his time is up! When a Democratic politician uses states’ rights to defend his position on busing his time is up. When a presidential hopeful is 76-years-old and seemingly incapable of speaking coherently his time is up!