2020: Maybe I'll Just Move to Neptune

Hey, I know everything feels terrible right now and Donald Trump's presidency is a garbage nightmare hate-circus, but don't worry, everyone! Joe Biden is going to defeat Trump — with GIMMICKS!

Edward-Isaac Dovere at Politico: Team Biden Mulls Far-Out Options to Take on Trump in 2020.
Joe Biden knows that winning in 2020 would require a shoot-the-moon set of circumstances and luck. So his team is on the hunt for a moon shot.
Okay, I'm gonna stop right there, after the very first line of the piece, because I'm calling bullshit already. Joe Biden has spent the last year suggesting that Hillary Clinton should have easily beaten Donald Trump and that he totally would have won if he'd ran, but now all of a sudden it will take a "moon shot" to defeat Trump, even though voters will have had years to see that Trump is precisely the terrible president Clinton said he would be? Does not compute.

The thing is, I believe Trump will indeed be difficult to defeat, for all the reasons he was difficult to defeat in 2016: The Electoral College, voter suppression, Russian interference, media bias and incompetence, bigotry, dark money, at least sixty million voters who will reflexively vote for any wreck of humanity the Republicans put on their ticket.

But Biden has repeatedly shit all over Clinton for failing to overcome all of these challenges — and the additional challenge of being the first female major-party nominee — despite the fact that she commandingly won the popular vote, so changing his tune about how hard it will be now that it's "his turn" is breathtakingly hypocritical.

And, of course, responding to that reality by trial-ballooning a bunch of absurd gimmicks is deeply unserious politics in a time in which we desperately need serious leaders:
Between stops on his book tour and in the ramp-up for what will be a heavy midterms campaign schedule, a tight circle of aides has been brainstorming a range of tear-up-the-playbook ideas for a White House run, according to people who've been part of the discussions or told about them.

On the list: announcing his candidacy either really early or really late in the primary process so that he'd define the field around him or let it define itself before scrambling the field; skipping Iowa and New Hampshire and going straight to South Carolina, where he has always had a strong base of support; announcing a running mate right out of the gate and possibly picking one from outside of politics; and making a pitch that he can be a bridge not just to disaffected Democrats, but to Republicans revolting against [Donald] Trump.

They've also discussed an idea some donors and supporters have been pitching Biden on directly for months: kick off by announcing that he'd only run for one term. One person who's pitched the idea said Biden would try to sell voters on "a reset presidency." The former vice president would pick a younger Democratic running mate and argue that he'd be the elder statesman to get the country and government back in order post-Trump and be the bridge to the next generation.

Biden is "thinking through a million unconventional options, because there is an acknowledgment that this could be an unconventional campaign," said one person involved in the discussions.
I hate all of these ideas with the fiery passion of ten thousand suns. And among the many reasons I hate them is that Donald Trump, who is a full-tilt insult-generating machine, would make mincemeat of any of them in about 2 seconds.

You can't out-dipshit Trump. And, even if you could, why would anyone want to? Come to the table with the seriousness and gravitas this country needs or GTFO.

And, not for nothing, but Biden doesn't even seem to be contemplating one of his biggest potential challenges:
The discussions reflect realities that Biden and his team are facing as they weigh whether to get real about running. He definitely still wants to be president but knows that his age will be a factor (he'll turn 78 two weeks after Election Day 2020). As a guy who's been in politics for nearly 50 years, he recognizes how tricky it would be to run at a time of political upheaval. And he understands that if he runs, the regrets over Hillary Clinton's attempted 2016 coronation will guarantee a crowded primary field, which he'd have to both fully participate in and stand apart from.
He's worried about "Hillary Clinton's 2016's attempted coronation," but not Bernie Sanders' actual expected 2020 coronation? Whooooooooooops!

In case Biden hasn't noticed, maybe because he's been too busy shit-talking Clinton, Sanders is already maneuvering to split the Democrats again. He is absolutely prepared — and is currently laying the groundwork — to implode the 2020 Democratic primary if he isn't handed the keys to the kingdom this time.

What is Biden preparing to address that?

As far as I can tell, all he's got is aping Sanders' shtick of treating "identity politics" as though it's toxic and pandering to white men. But Sanders has got the Trump-has-a-point approach all locked up, pal.

Truly, the only smart play for Biden is not to run. Coincidentally, that's also the best decision for the rest of us, which is the kind of tough decision anyone contemplating being president needs to be able to make.

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