A note to SubscribeStar subscribers: I will post an account of my recent trip to Universal Studios tomorrow, to make up for Saturday’s missed post. I will try to have Sunday Doodles posted for $5 subscribers later today, probably this evening. Thank you for your patience, and your support. —TPP
The Democratic primaries continue to get more interesting. First, Buttigieg surprised analysts with a near-victory in Iowa (in fact, I’m still unclear who actually “won” the caucuses there). Elizabeth Warren took down Bloomberg on the eve of the Nevada caucuses, herself going down in flames in South Carolina.
There’s an echo there of former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie taking down a robotic Marco Rubio in the debate just before the 2016 New Hampshire primaries. Christie had no chance of winning after New Hampshire, but he took Rubio down with him, exposing the would-be poster boy of the Republican Party as an overly-polished puppet. Similarly, Warren’s aggressive attacks on Bloomberg was the screeching harpies way of clawing Bloomberg down with her.
Of course, unlike Rubio, Bloomberg has billions of dollars at his disposal, and has pledged to keep spending big. That adds an interesting wrinkle, but I’ve held that Bloomberg is a very flashy red herring, and I’m not convinced he can buy primary victories. Super Tuesday will tell us a great deal, but I think the only winner from Bloomberg’s campaign will be television networks and social media outlets making a bundle from ad sales. I would love to get the commission on a Bloomberg ad buy.
Now, former Vice President Joe Biden has come back with a yuge win in South Carolina. Like every armchair commentator with even a passing knowledge of the South and black people, I knew that Buttigieg would struggle here. Black voters dominate the Democratic primaries in Southern States, and black people do not like gays. But I didn’t expect that ButtiBoy would drop out after SC.
In retrospect, it makes sense: there are a wall of Southern primaries coming up, and if Buttigieg came behind even Tom Steyer, there’s little hope for him. He’ll be drowned out by Biden in the South, and Sanders in the loopier States.
Biden picked up thirty-five delegates from SC, raking up a whopping 48.44% of the vote. That’s a massive haul in such a large field of candidates. Sanders picked up 19.9%, which is likely the white, urban-dwelling progressive vote—the college professors and tenured radicals in Columbia and Charleston.
The other story here is that Elizabeth Warren is toast. It turns out no one wants to be scolded by a shrill harpy who is also a liar and a plagiarist (her whole program is just Bernie’s “free-stuff-for-everyone” promises, with an added veneer of feminist rage). She came in fifth behind Buttigieg, and just ahead of Klobuchar.
That means the chicks—Buttigieg, Warren, and Klobuchar—are done, effectively leaving The Old White Guys: Biden, the senile weirdo; Bernie, the embarrassing Bolshevik uncle; and Bloomberg, the self-absorbed middleman who confirms every anti-Semitic trope ever conceived (he made his money making himself the middleman between financial institutions and market information, and is now using his cash to try to control/buy the presidency—yeesh!).
Bloomberg’s strategy has always been to go big on Super Tuesday. Because he wasn’t on the ballot in SC, we don’t know how well he’ll do, but I suspect those Biden voters in SC are going to show up for Biden in other Southern primaries. Bloomberg may eat away some of that support in tonier States—possibly Virginia—in the South, but the real progressive activists want Bernie.
My prediction, subject to revision: Biden is going to sweep the South, leapfrogging ahead of Bernie in the delegate count. Bloomberg will eventually tire of burning his cash on ad-buys, unless things really cuts in his favor on Super Tuesday. If Biden gains momentum, that might embolden wishy-washy supporters in other States.
Right now, I think it’s Biden’s to lose. Given his astonishing lack of sense, he may very well lose it, but he has a great deal of wind in sails at the moment.