Dem Elites Are Already in the Tank for Biden

Photo: Getty

A Politico piece from this morning reports on the kind of intrigue that ought not to exist at all: Who will big donors back in 2020? Who do our elites love? Specifically, in this instance, who do the big donors who backed Obama love? (In a better world, our campaign finance system would eradicate these questions; in an even better world, there wouldn’t be super-rich elites with the power to dole out this kind of cash in the first place. But here we are.)

This particular dive into the minds of people who have purchased multiple boats through the exploitation of workers’ labor focuses on whether they’ll back Joe Biden—a logical choice for Obama donors, the article posits, since “a number of Obama’s funders count [Biden] as a friend and former coworker in the administration.”

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The reasons those interviewed offer for supporting Biden are as predictable as they are predictably wrong, with some of the Democratic establishment believing he’s the best person to take on Trump.

“His great strength is, he’s regarded as [a] very strong candidate to defeat Donald Trump and unite the party and the country,” Robert Zimmerman, a Democratic National Committee member and fundraiser, told the site.

Because if I trust anyone to know who’s electable, it’s Zimmerman, longtime Clinton friend and fundraiser. Steve Westly, a venture capitalist and former state controller of California, similarly told Politico that Biden is “best qualified” (that argument worked wonderfully last time!) and “has the stature and the experience to win the race.” Again, it’s just super that some venture capitalist Tesla investor fuck feels supremely qualified to not only decide who is electable and who isn’t but to also have vastly outsized power in influencing that decision on behalf of the party.

Denise Bauer, who was nominated as ambassador to Belgium after raising more than $4 million for Barack Obama’s campaigns, told Politico she has been “encouraging Vice President Biden to run. I think the country needs him and if he gets in, I will be with him!” Thanks, Denise! You’re a disgrace!

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Another top Biden donor, Joseph Falk, a lobbyist for the mortgage broker industry, told the site that Biden’s “fealty to the law, his honor, his ability to speak truth to power, his ability to not be an extremist on either side I think bodes well.” I love fealty to the law! I love honor, such as when the mortgage company where Joseph Falk was vice president had to pay a settlement for “engaging in illegal and deceptive business practices and charging exorbitant prices”!

It is incredibly telling that so many of the rich elite, with jobs like representing the mortgage industry or being ambassador to Belgium after raising millions for the president who appointed them, are in the tank for Biden. That alone should be reason for Democrats to stay well away from Biden, since heading back in that direction is the last thing the party needs as it toys with the idea of becoming kind of good.

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But wait—some of these Obama donors are totally fake friends! Others Politico spoke to are “drawn to the idea of backing a charismatic newcomer for president.” Blast those younguns! Who do these money men cite as their possible choice candidates? See if you can spot a pattern.

We have Beto O’Rourke and Pete Buttgieg:

They feel loyal to Biden and hopeful about the potential of his campaign — but they are simultaneously drawn to the idea of backing a charismatic newcomer for president, like the relatively untested O’Rourke or Pete Buttigieg, who has recently sparked intrigue among several Obama fundraisers.

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And even Jay Inslee:

Bill Stetson — who raised more than half a million dollars for each of Obama’s campaigns in 2008 and 2012 and aided the 2008 campaign on environmental issues— said he discusses the race and who to support every night after watching the news with his wife, Jane, a former national finance chair of the Democratic National Committee. For now, he’s giving to multiple candidates, starting with Washington Gov. Jay Inslee.

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So among the list of candidates being considered by the wealthy elite who propelled the last Democratic president to power, we have: Joe Biden, numero uno, top big bad dog; Beto O’Rourke, because ???; the mayor of South Bend, IN; and Jay Inslee, who’s running on a very admirable climate change platform and nevertheless/therefore doesn’t stand a chance.

Not on the list: any women. No Elizabeth Warren, no Kamala Harris, not even Wall Street and otherwise rich people-friendly Kirsten Gillibrand.

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I guess if you’re the kind of person who thinks only an old centrist with an abysmal policy record and a penchant for saying disgusting things to women is the only person who can beat Donald Trump, it might not occur to you to say a woman. Oh wait! One of them did.

“We’re very close to Joe Biden and we don’t know what he’s doing, and I like Beto, and I think a woman should be in the mix,” Stetson told Politico. “We have to think about the very big picture, and we need to heal this country right now.”

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See? A woman. Put a gal in the mix. Throw one of them broads on the pile, sure, why not.

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About the author

Libby Watson

Splinter politics writer. libby.watson@splinternews.com