How, if at all, would any of the other 2020 Dem candidates be doing better than President Biden?

Inspired by a discussion starting here: The Biden Administration - the first 1,500 days [NOT an Afghanistan discussion] - #471 by Guest-starring_Id

I know, I know, it’s only been fifty-some days since the Inauguration as I post this. And of course it’s sheer speculation. But, assuming one of the other Dems had won the job, how do you think she or he would improve upon ol’ Joe’s performance, so far or going forward?

I don’t think you could have designed a better person for the moment in a lab. Experienced, empathetic, folksy, history of tragedy, centrist, bipartisan leaning but happy to go solo, likeable to the gut no matter how hard you want to pretend otherwise, and has dogs.

Yep. We needed someone likeable and who looks like you shoudl trust him to beat trump.

The issue is that Moscow Mitch has shown he is gonna go full obstructive. He played that card too early, IMHO. This relief bill should have been Bipartisan.

I assume we’re also assuming that the makeup of Congress remains the same as it is now? I’m having a hard time seeing how Sanders or Warren get elected without a significantly different electorate than turned out on November 3 – an electorate that would have swept significant Democratic majorities into power.

Thanks, EH, for the thread - curious, though, if it’s predicated on being able to beat Trump in an election, because in that instance, Biden would be the best bet.

Right now I can only do a quick fly-by on some of the other candidates, though, that make me raise at least a couple questions as to whether Biden would consider any of their policies at any point, like considering Yang’s UBI income or nuclear power initiatives, or with Warren - where do I start - I really wish she was in, with her vast experience. I’ll believe it when I see it if Biden follows up on any of EW’s policies, like on eradification of private prisons, incrementally firing up the mimimum wage, bringing back Glass-Steagall, toughen election security.
I doubt Biden would’ve planned to overhail the SC like Buttigieg, along woth Social Security reforms, (had not the latter gone the Secretary of Transportation path).
Sure, a lot of overlap with Biden and Harris, but with Hillary denied in '16, I was hoping the US might be ready for a female president, but…
And with Booker, I’m glad that Biden is already tackling the Iran Deal, which was important to CB, who also espouses cap and trade taxation to fight climate change, which I’d like to see Biden follow up on, as well as the First Step Act, a bipartisan criminal justice reform bill.
I was a little brash in the other thread proclaiming that the above candidates would do be more effective going forward, and so at this early stage in the game, I realise such a speculation may not pan out.

This would make a great SNL bit as we watched Bernie yelling at Covid to get off his lawn, or Yang handing out stimulus gift cards on the street, and just flat-out slipping Republicans a Franklin each on the Senate floor for their votes.

But even though I had favorite candidates that I liked more than Biden, I’m willing to admit that none of them would have done as well so far.

(It’s not fair that I couldn’t vote: “Biden for the first four months, then Warren 'til she starts slowing down, followed by Pete for the rest of the term.”)

Biden was not my first or even second choice of the Democratic primary candidates, so I was not inclined to expect great things from him, but I thought he would at least be willing to consider some more progressive proposals if it was clear there was wide backing for them. (I believe I described him as “fungible”.) In retrospect, it seems I seriously underestimated his devotion to pushing a far more progressive agenda than I thought would be possible. He’s been adamant about the pandemic relief bill, and ended up getting practically everything that was laid out save for the $15/hr minimum wage. I know that isn’t everything that ‘true progressives’ wanted, and it certainly isn’t everything that the nation will need to both recover from the economic downturn of the pandemic and to deal with coming changes in employment and education, but it is vastly more than anything Hillary Clinton ever dared propose, and Biden pushed that agenda without being bombastic or championing it as ‘his’ win, because he’s actually compassionate and empathic instead of self-serving and grandiose.

Quite frankly, even though I don’t think he is the best president hypothetically possible, it is hard to imagine a better person to be president in this particular moment in history, and he has so far done a good job in laying a path forward for the Democratic party and a successor (presumably Harris) should he choose not to run for re-election in 2024. The Republican attacks on him thus far have been essentially, “Well, he mumbled during his speech…and his dog nipped someone in the White House,” which is really half-hearted even compared to “Tan Suit” and “Dijon mustard”. Biden seems to have the knack of being too busy dealing with actual problems to give a fuck about what some Fox News flack said about him, and has surrounded himself with people who seem to feel the same way and are focused on doing their jobs. I was fully prepared to see a delay as the Biden administration shifted into their roles and dealt with obstructionism in getting his cabinet nominees approved, but they’ve hit the ground running and have argubly accomplished more in three months than Obama did in his first year, and of course way more than Trump managed in an entire term.


But would either of them have been able to get those policies implemented within the first 51 days? The relief bill is massive.

Could Yang, a political neophyte, or Warren, on the left of the party, have been able to put their policies through by now? Would they have been able to get Manchin onboard?

(I appreciate that Biden couldn’t get the relief bill without Nancy and Chuck, but there again - could Yang, Warren or Bernie got their policies implemented by now ?)

Thanks for starting the thread, Elendil_s_Heir. When that Biden thread turned into the progressives-bashing thread, I took my leave from it.

One thing Andrew Yang said in an interview with Michael Tubbs, former mayor of Stockton,CA , had me thinking about how things could have been different.

Yang noted that only something like 14% of the $2.2T Cares Act was designated for direct cash payments to people. If the entire $2.2T went out as cash payments, that would have been enough to give every adult $1K/mo for 6 months.

Add the Biden $1.9T package to that, and there might have been enough money to give every adult $1K/mo for a year. Yang said that there was double the amount of direct payments in that bill, so something like 28%. But that’s far short of what it could have been.

If every adult in the country was given $1K/mo for a year, the economy might look very different at this point. The income inequality might have had a small chance not to have ballooned as much as it has during the pandemic.

Yang said that when he was campaigning for President, the biggest question everyone had about UBI was where was the money coming from. But now that question has been answered. There’s always money to bail out corporations.

I don’t think Yang could have gotten elected. He saw that himself which is why he backed Biden. But the policies he was advocating could have made some difference, IMO.

I don’t think this can be stressed enough. Wherever you are on the spectrum of Democrats, you have to admit he’s staffing the govt with people who actually want to (and can) do the job!

I recall a discussion I had with a friend who was disappointed when Biden won the nomination. Assuming someone else could have won the election kind of misses the entire point of Joe Biden.

Anyway, I think he is smart. He is as progressive as reality allows. I mean that in the political sense. Winning the Senate allows Biden to be more progressive so he is, but there are still constraints.

Just because Candidate X wants X or promised Y doesn’t mean he or she would be able to achieve X and Y. Biden is existing in the reality of our country’s divide. While I agree with a lot of progressive desires, I recognize the political reality. Joe Biden is president, not dictator., and he is behaving accordingly.

None would be doing better. I’ve had only the most minor quibbles with Biden, but he’s keeping his on completely on Covid and the economy, just as I’d want any president to do

Joe Biden’s dogs sent home to Delaware after ‘biting incident’

I agree with the rest :grinning:

In hindsight, any of the “preferred” candidates of most of my Democratic friends would have lost to Trump.
Whether deserved or not, the others would have been more vulnerable targets for the shit slinging that was the Trump campaign. I know my mother wouldn’t have voted for either Warren or Sanders (she wouldn’t vote for a woman or a “socialist”).
My mother has voted for the winning candidate in every presidential candidate since 1996. She’s the ultimate swing voter to me. Given how susceptible she is to complete balderdash that’s not very reassuring but it’s a good reality check for me.

None of the others would have won. So they’d be on the outside and couldn’t do a damn thing. If by some miracle Sanders won, the GA runoffs would not have had the same result. The GA GOP would brand the races as the last stand against socialism. Ditto with Warren. Both would have had a hard time getting the Dem Senate caucus in line to vote for a covid relief bill. Klobuchar may have had the best chance to work with Congress among the others. Wang- nope. We saw what a disaster it was to have a rich guy with no government experience win the presidency.

Biden has way, way exceeded my expectations, and it’s hard to imagine anyone else doing better at this point. He was near the bottom of my list during the primary, but it seems that maybe he was the man for this moment. Hopefully this continues.

Agreed. The affability and his history of centrism and bipartisanism has helped him immensely here. So when the Rescue Act doesn’t get a single Republican vote, Biden can quite easily point out that he’s spent his entire career working with the other side - therefore the GOP looks more unreasonable than Biden does. And absolutely no one else could sell a very progressive bill as reasonable, necessary and centrist as Biden can. No one really thinks Biden is a raging leftist, so he really has shifted the debate by portraying these actions as centrist, necessary steps.

I hope Biden continues to illustrate how the Republicans are the part of obstruction, willing to harm the American people or economy just because they cannot bring themselves to do the work of governing.

Why are you posting obsolete news?

As with everyone else, I have to reject the hypothetical in the OP. Biden was the anti-Trump during the election and he’s been the anti-Trump since. His persona fills in the holes in public polity left by Trump in a way no other candidate could possibly manage.

There’s been huge numbers of articles in the left-wing media about how right-wing news is going crazy that nothing about Biden is reducible to mindless attack points. He has not made major gaffes, nor stumbled hilariously in speeches, or smelled anyone’s hair. His policies are almost ridiculously favored bipartisanly in these partisan times. And you can’t overlook the simple fact that he’s a old white straight Christian male, which blocks most of the triggering mechanisms of the right-wing bigothood.

The world will change in four years and these early impressions may be obsoleted at any point. Still, it’s four months since the election and there has not been a moment I wished that any of the other candidates had won. And, no, Biden was not my original preference. He earned my admiration, though.

Biden is like the positive photographic print to trumpy’s negative.