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OpinionColumnistsWilliam F. B. O'Reilly

For Democrats, Biden's the one

Former Vice President and Democratic presidential candidate Joe

Former Vice President and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks at a rally with members of a painters and construction union on May 7, 2019, in Henderson, Nev. Credit: AP/John Locher

Dear Democrats:

I apologize for not having written sooner, but I’ve been working hard these past 30 years trying to defeat your candidates for public office with varying degrees of success. It was just business, as they say, not personal.

We’re all Americans — right? LOL!

Typically, I stay in my lane when offering advice, but as a beleaguered Never-Trump conservative, I am presuming the prerogative to make an exception here. I beg your pardon in advance if you consider this an intrusion.

To be blunt, your party would be nuts to nominate anyone other than former Vice President Joe Biden to run against President Donald Trump in 2020. You should clear the field for him as quickly as possible.

Many of you want a female presidential candidate, especially after Hillary Clinton’s excruciating 2016 loss, and others want a younger, browner and more left-leaning candidate regardless of gender to excite the base, but trust me: if you want any chance of picking up disaffected Republicans and independents — which you must do to win — Biden’s your man. Geographically and temperamentally, too, he’s the candidate you need to win back swing rust belt states like Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin. No other Democratic candidate running can credibly make that claim.

Polling suggests you don’t need the likes of me to arrive at this conclusion. Biden is trouncing every other Democratic candidate in survey after survey. Second-place contender, Democratic Socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders, is way behind Biden — Secretariat-at-the-Belmont-Stakes margins — and all other candidates are in single digits. You might not want to hobble your front runner by hurling mud at him for the next 15 months, however surreptitiously.

There’s a school of thought that says Biden is ahead because of the name ID he’s acquired during 36 years in public office. We’ll see whether that’s true when televised debates begin and candidates get better known. But as someone who’s watched his own party go off-kilter from the top down these past few years, Democrats en masse should hope Biden’s appeal runs deeper than simple familiarity.

Biden’s real advantage is stability. He’s offering it to his party at a seminal moment in its history. Most of your other candidates are freaking regular people out. Gender obsession, slavery reparations and free everything? That’s not going to cut it with a majority of Americans. It’ll drive potential voters reluctantly into Trump’s arms.

I understand that party progressives have the momentum right now, but your brand will be in jeopardy if you nominate a super left-wing candidate like Sanders or Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Party brands are precious. You don’t want to squander what’s left of yours.

You might not have cared for President Richard Nixon, but you give him his due. He recognized that there is a powerful, multimillion-fold army of quiet, everyday Americans who adhere to common sense. They are typically older, wiser and less formally educated than those blood-stirred compatriots who chant at protests and fire off letters to the editor. That “silent majority” within the Democratic Party will be needed in next year’s caucuses and primaries if the party is to remain identifiable.

Thanks for the chance to communicate these thoughts. With all best wishes, I will now return to my oppositional lane.

Funny, I used to poke fun at Joe Biden.

William F.B. O’Reilly is a consultant to Republicans.