The East Coast chattering class has been idly speculating this past week or so about a Joe Biden run.
coronation primaries are in a dull phase heading into the traditionally slow month of August, especially compared to the demolition derby going on with the other guys. How on earth can a pundit reignite interest in a primary season that regular Americans have basically forgotten about?
Starting with Maureen Dowd, all the usual suspects started the rumor of a possible Biden run, perhaps hoping to smoke out a response from the Clinton machine to help liven up their columns and allow them to talk about something, anything, besides Trump. Vain hope: that’s simply not how the Clintons work, as they always prefer to operate in the shadows, letting whispered promises or threats do their work or failing that, allowing their legions of flying monkey “surrogates” to tear down Biden for them. There was no reason to believe Hillary was concerned about Biden without such hatchet jobs evident.
And behold! An anti-Biden hit piece surfaced today in Politico, regarding a vote that took place 32 years ago over school integration. There is no mention why, exactly, this article happened now, in 2015, long after Biden’s last campaign and without school integration anywhere in the news. Why could this be? Hmm.
Author Jason Sokol, who is white, is a professor of history and African-American studies, writing infrequent pieces like this for the popular press. In 2007, for instance, he wrote an article for the Cornell Daily Sun, where he discusses in passing both Clinton and Obama. The tone is generally favorable towards both.
But in Jan. 2008, when the Clinton-Obama battle had become white-hot, Sokol wrote this revealing piece comparing Obama, unfavorably, to MLK. As it was offered as an “analysis” piece rather than a straight editorial, his opinions are more muted. But he furnished the following quote from a 1960s figure: “Being able to vote for an articulate Negro is the cheapest kind of conscience-clearer. Electing Brooke [a black politician of the era] is a much easier way to wipe out guilt feelings about race than letting a Negro family into the neighborhood or shaking up a Jim Crow school setup.” The implication against white Obama voters is clear.
It may be contrasted with what Sokol wrote about Obama’s opponent: “Hillary Clinton recently offered a childhood recollection, as one “transfixed and transformed” by King as he “had burst through the stereotypes and the caricatures.” This ability to transcend categories lay at the heart of King’s interracial appeal.” In other words, he was saying that Hillary Clinton was a truer bearer of MLK’s vision than Barack Obama!
So, is Sokol a Clintonian flying monkey, writing today’s piece as part of a calculated strategy? Or is he someone merely wanting to be a flying monkey, with this piece serving as his job application letter? Or does he just really not like Biden for his own reasons? That is impossible to know. The piece was clearly triggered by the Biden speculation, and the man is clearly a fan of Hillary.
But it is consistent with how the Clintons operate. Deeply cynical, amoral and, in the case of Hillary, misanthropic, the Clintons go for jungle warfare as their default way of handling anything. Let’s face it: if a computer repair guy messed up her Macbook, he would start to see random people 1-starring him on Yelp, followed by co-workers complaining to the local newspaper about his sexual harassment, followed by a reporter asking him questions in the street about a 2002 arrest, followed by David Brock going on CNN to thunder about the national plague of racist, sexist computer repair guys. As opposed to, you know, herself calling to complain.
If Sokol really is a flying monkey, or a would-be one, then expect to see further such anti-Biden hit pieces mysteriously appear in various media outlets. And if a top-ranked Clintonian enforcer like Brock, Blumenthal, or Stephanopoulus started making anti-Biden noises, then that’s the signal that Hillary is in full-blown panic mode. Things you would NOT see include Hillary or her campaign manager saying anything, or for her to even reach out to Biden personally. The latter would have been the sane move, incidentally. It’s not like ol’ Sharktooth is good at holding back his thoughts.
Contrast Hillary to her opponents like Sanders, or even most of the GOP’ers other than her counterpart Jeb Bush. If Rand Paul or Ted Cruz or Rick Perry (let alone Trump!) thought someone was coming after them, then they’d go on FoxNews personally, or at the very least send their campaign manager, to blast back. That’s right, I’m actually saying that Hillary Clinton makes Republican politicians look honest and forthright by comparison!
Now, I don’t think Biden would jump in unless the Establishment were truly abandoning Hillary. Which is hard to picture, as the Clinton family is the most important clan of the Democratic Establishment… but that won’t stop the endlessly scheming Hillary Clinton, more paranoid than Nixon and more cynical than Kissinger, lashing out at the perceived threat. And this is the person most likely to be our next president.