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Joe Biden was brilliantly and gloriously adequate

Dana Milbank on

A Quinnipiac University poll this week found him getting 34 percent support among Democrats, 19 points ahead of his nearest rival. His lead is even greater than it was before he announced his candidacy in April.

Biden's triumph over mediocrity has a ready explanation. Correctly or not, voters believe this nonthreatening old white guy of moderate leanings is the one to beat President Trump. In the Quinnipiac poll, fully 51 percent of Democrats said that Biden has the best chance of doing so.

On Wednesday, Biden trotted onstage and joked to Harris: "Go easy on me, kid."

But that wasn't in the cards. De Blasio, the mayor of New York, used part of his opening statement to attack Biden and his "wealthy donors."

Soon after, Harris was telling him "you don't know what you're saying" on health care.

Later came Julián Castro scolding him on immigration: "One of us learned from the problems of the past, one of us hasn't."

 

Booker taunted the front-runner: "You're dipping into the Kool-Aid and you don't even know the flavor."

For more than two hours, Biden parried the unrelenting attacks.

To Harris: "You can't beat Donald Trump with double talk."

To de Blasio: "To compare [Obama] to Donald Trump, I think, is absolutely bizarre."

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