From the Left



Democrats might not fall in love with Joe Biden, but they'll need to fall in line

By Clarence Page, Tribune Content Agency on

We've seen that maxim in action most recently in the 2016 presidential race. Remember how fiercely Trump's rival candidates opposed the interloper who trolled his opponents with insulting nicknames, scoffed at "political correctness" and refused to swear loyalty to the party's nominee unless it was him? Remember how rapidly their opposition evaporated after he began to win primaries?

Remarkably, the party bigwigs fell in line behind Trump, albeit begrudgingly. Sen. Ted Cruz, the last major holdout, was literally booed off the stage at the party's Cleveland convention for refusing to give a full-throated endorsement of Trump, who had insulted members of Cruz's family.

Democrats have their family feuds, too, but a bigger factor these days may well be their quest for another Barack Obama, who endorsed Biden on Tuesday in a video message. Remember how he captured the party's hearts in their 2004 convention when, by his own account, he was better known as "the skinny kid with the funny name?"

He was a tough act to follow, as Hillary Clinton found in 2016 after Trump's widely unexpected victory.

Now it's Joe Biden's turn to try his third attempt to win the White House and hope it's a charm. After winnowing down the field from more than two dozen initial candidates, the Democratic Party has ended up with one of its most familiar -- and longest-tenured -- figures, who has to contend with speculation that he's too old for the job.


Well, as Trump likes to say constantly, we'll see what happens. After all the flash and excitement of the racially, gender and ideologically diverse candidates who entered the race, Biden's victory shows a general consensus that he represents, at least, a return to a traditional presidency after years of the colorful, changeable reality-TV Trump.

In that sense, Trump has become as unifying of a figure for Democrats as Clinton was for Republicans.


(E-mail Clarence Page at




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