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Joe Biden isn't the 'safe' option for the Democrats – he'd be a backwards-looking mistake

Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden all look down during a recent primary debate
The Democrats are beholden to northern baby boomers and obsessed with turning back the clock Credit: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Seventy-seven-year-old Joe Biden won South Carolina on Saturday and he looks resurrected from the dead. Literally. His hairline has moved, his wrinkles are gone and his teeth are pearly white. It’s a miracle! Has he had any work done? I have asked a couple of politicians this before and they tend to look surprised. God love them, it’s the only thing they can look.

Mr Biden’s victory shows how exciting and fluid a presidential race can be. This time last week, socialist Bernie Sanders had won three Democratic contests and was the clear frontrunner for his party’s nomination; Donald Trump was seen as a good bet for re-election. Then the coronavirus hit, which threatens a recession (bad for Mr Trump) and the Democrat contest moved to South Carolina, where the electorate is more African-American and more moderate. Biden won with 48 per cent of the vote and around two-thirds of those aged over 65 – projecting him into tomorrow’s round of voting with momentum and a natural advantage.

Six out of fourteen of the Super Tuesday states are in the moderate south, and voters who want to stop Bernie are now more likely to coalesce around Uncle Joe. Mr Sanders can be stopped. There might be lots of socialists bubbling away in the Democratic ranks but, in many regards, the party remains as risk-averse and deferential to elites as ever.

These primaries were always going to be a simple choice. Do the Democrats win back the White House by acknowledging that the world has changed and picking a candidate as disruptively Left-wing as Mr Trump is Right-wing? That path leads to Bernie2020欧洲杯足球即时比分. The alternative is to regard Mr Trump’s election in 2016 as a sort of “accident” – a technical victory because he lost the popular vote yet won the electoral college – and calculate that what Americans are looking for is a return to normal. That path leads to Mr Biden: Barack Obama’s vice president and part of the Clinton generation.

Mr Biden is actually five years older than Hillary and four years older than Bill, and if it sounds like I am unfairly obsessed with age, it is because there is an important issue at stake: the baby boomers have colonised the Democratic leadership and they still get to define what “electable” looks like. Apparently it is a rich, white liberal who comes from the north or north-east. The Democrats are still trying to put John Kerry in the White House, even though their only nominees who have won the presidency since 1964 have either been southern or black.

The general consensus is that Mr Biden would be the strongest candidate to run against Mr Trump because he offends the least people. This is a mistake. One should never make predictions, especially this far out from a general election, but I honestly believe Mr Biden is the weakest candidate precisely because he is as underwhelming as he is inoffensive – and by offering people a return to “normalcy” he also threatens to turn the 2020 election into a Trump vs Clinton rematch, which Mr Trump, of course, won.


Bloomberg's misspent billions

Mike Bloomberg has splashed $410 million (£320 million) of his own cash on television ads thus far and if he does not win a single state tomorrow, it will be a shocking waste – an embarrassing one, too. He has been accused of effectively buying friends: Mr Bloomberg has reportedly tried to hire activists for $2,500 a month.

Mr Bloomberg is favoured by some Democrats – probably New Yorkers in their 70s – because he is the anti-Trump, their very own billionaire who they imagine can buy back America. “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.”

The irony is that Mr Trump only spent $66 million of his own money in 2016 and still had cash in the campaign account at the end. According to one official report, nearly 74 per cent of his spending in the final stretch came from small donors. The conservative “bad guy” won thanks to the support of ordinary people, while Mr Bloomberg, the liberal darling, has relied to an absurd degree on his personal wealth. He should have spent it on something more worthwhile – like me.


A British solution to Covid-19

I am thinking the coronavirus might give me the Brexit I have always wanted: Britain in total isolation, no one gets in, no one gets out. We can all go back to holidaying in Devon. I recommend a visit to the Babbacombe Model Village in Torquay, where you can see the Statue of Liberty and a dragon, proof that there is really no need ever to go abroad.

2020欧洲杯足球即时比分The Government advises us to cover our mouths when we sneeze, which is sensible but I am surprised and a little horrified to discover that other people were not doing this already. Were we not all taught that “coughs and sneezes spread diseases?” The Health Secretary also suggests we try washing our hands, which, again, is quite basic stuff and it curdles the blood to think I am the only man in England who has been doing it for the past 37 years.

I suspect that if we all act like civilised Britons, and stop hugging and kissing each other when we meet, the virus will realise it has not got a future on these islands and go elsewhere.