They can see a hard-Left target that allows him to run to the middle.
One such target was in full view this week as Biden took on fellow 2020 candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) over her derision of him after he made noises about uniting the country and working with Republicans.
Warren made the hit against Biden in a speech at St. Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire, on Thursday, as some media outlets noted.
She commented, “We know that one Democratic candidate [referring to Biden] walked into a room of wealthy donors this year to promise that ‘nothing would fundamentally change’ if he’s elected president. Unlike some candidates for the Democratic nomination, I’m not betting my agenda on the naive hope that if Democrats adopt Republican critiques of progressive policies or make vague calls for unity, that somehow the wealthy and well-connected will stand down.”
Biden was quick to respond to that during a campaign stop in Palo Alto, California, also on Thursday.
“I read a speech by one of my — good person — one of my opponents, saying that, you know, ‘Biden says we’re going to have to work with Republicans to get stuff passed.’ I thought, ‘Well, OK — how are you going to do it, by executive order?’ … And last time I knew it, a president is not allowed to say, ‘This is how I’m changing the tax structure; this is how I’m changing the environment,'” Biden went on. “You need to actually get a consensus in the constitutional process. And we can unify the country.”
If he actually gets the opportunity to put it into practice, this would be a new and interesting governing approach for Biden.
Because the Obama administration, in which he served as vice president for eight years, regularly bypassed Congress. It used the power of executive orders to enact measures they knew would not pass a congressional vote.
Biden hit Warren hard on all of this because he understands that with several 2020 Dem candidates dividing up the hard Left, if he runs to the center Left, then he can take about 35-40 percent of the Democrat primary vote and leave the others to divide up the rest between them.
This would ensure that none of the others likely receive more than 20 to 25 percent.
His ability and possible preference to run to the middle now — meaning center Left in a national context — makes him a dangerous candidate for President Donald Trump to face in November of 2020, regardless of gaffes, in this analyst’s view.
If Biden were to run a hard and smart campaign on that ideological basis, then Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan would not be terribly far from his grasp and with them — the presidency.
There is a tendency in the GOP to underestimate Biden right now because of verbal controversies and persistent communication missteps on the campaign trail, not to mention the controversies connected to his son, Hunter Biden, including the money Hunter raked in for sitting on the board of Burisma when his knowledge of energy policy and more was likely little or nil.
Many Americans are also confused about what Biden actually stands for — and why he’s even running. Many wonder: Hasn’t he done his time in government?
But the Republicans should beware. Many fervent and Trump-hating Democrats believe that anyone is better than our current president.
And Biden — if he keeps going after far-Left opponents such as Warren — might just be too appealing, problems and all, to resist.