Joe Biden was the perfect presidential candidate.
It’s likely that no other plausible Democratic nominee would have defeated Donald Trump in 2020. Biden’s friendly and decent demeanor was the perfect contrast to Trump’s malignant, vulgar image—and that made it nearly impossible for Trump to demonize him like he did Hillary Clinton. If shamelessness was Trump’s superpower, Biden’s was being utterly likable. Likewise, Obama’s faithful number two—who was too old and out of touch to be aware of, much less fall for, “woke” Twitter—was uniquely able to thread the needle by appeasing the left of his party while assembling a “Biden coalition” of white men. Lastly, and as macabre as it sounds to say this, name any candidate who would have benefited more from a pandemic that forced him to campaign from his basement. In short, Biden was perfectly cast to defeat Trump in the weird year that was 2020—and even then, the election was still too close for comfort.
But being the right candidate to beat Trump did not make Biden the right candidate to actually become president. If this wasn’t already clear, it is now. The hopes and dreams of a Biden presidency that would remake America are beginning to crumble. Talks of being the next FDR now seem naive and hubristic. Indeed, my warnings about aspiring to be LBJ suddenly look eerily prophetic (be careful what you wish for). Trump’s evil insanity made many people cling to the hope that Biden would be some “Jesus meets JFK” savior, as opposed to a predictable rebound relationship.