The debate was a bust, Bernie’s momentum hit an Elizabethan buzz saw, the Russians hacked Burisma, Lev Parnas claimed Trump’s Ukrainian shakedown was all about the Bidens, there are good new polls and more endorsements from the House Democrats’ most valued front-liners — could things have gone any better for Joe Biden this week?
Rapturous celebration in Bernie World, when he ranked first in the all-important Des Moines Register poll just days ago, was cut short when other surveys then placed the former vice president at the top, and Biden has now slid into first place in the RealClearPolitics average of national polls, New Hampshire polls, Iowa polls, Nevada polls, South Carolina polls and the betting odds.
But the Register poll results capped an alarming period when the establishment realized their silence was helping Bernie’s surge, and panic had set in. Jim Messina, campaign manager for President Obama’s reelection in 2012, gave an interview days ago saying socialism would help reelect Trump, and that Sanders was the candidate Trump would be most excited to run against. Then CNN reported this week on the pie-in-the-sky-high-price tag of a Sanders agenda, the precise cost of which isn’t even calculable, according to an extensive study of his plans by former Treasury Secretary and chief White House economic adviser Larry Summers. The assessment showed his agenda would more than double federal spending, with increases larger than any Republican president has sought to cut it by. Jim Kessler of the centrist Third Way group noted that not only had Hillary Clinton given this subject a pass in 2016 but no current rival had questioned the outlandish cost of Sanders plans yet this cycle: “He’s allowed to skate. He gets graded on a curve. But if he were the nominee, the curve is over. The Republicans will spend a billion dollars picking apart every one of his plans.”