It’s likely that former Vice President Joe Biden – and his run for president – will be the real casualties of the impeachment and Senate acquittal of President Donald Trump. It comes down to “electability,” elements of which – race, gender, and more – nobody is quite sure how to measure. But the impeachment drama’s focus on Ukraine may turn out to be a body blow – possibly fatal – to the Joe Biden campaign.
To see this, Democrats and their leadership, such as it is, need to look beyond the primaries to the general election campaign. What happens in Biden-Trump matchup? Everyone knows how Trump operates so that’s not hard to figure out. It goes like this, according to Trump:
“The whole thing was a witch hunt. They didn’t find anything. Look, at the Senate vote. They voted. I didn’t do anything wrong. There was nothing there.”
And he continues:
“They’ve got to look at Biden. What he did. He was in charge of Ukraine for Obama and his kid got a $50,000-a-month job there with a corrupt natural gas company. How do you suppose that happened? Joe did it. There’s a big conflict there. They’ve got to investigate that.”
This will be repeated over and over and over by Trump and his surrogates if Biden is the Democrat’s candidate. And, no, it doesn’t have to be true. It only needs to create doubt, particularly doubt among the large number of voters who never thought the phone call to the Ukraine president was such a big deal and never quite followed the impeachment process. And this Biden stuff, that looks like a real conflict of interest, influence peddling, right?
By seeding doubt about Biden and opening the way for thoughts like that, Trump likely can destroy a Biden candidacy, convincing voters that Joe and the Democrats don’t have a claim to the moral high ground. That could be enough for Trump to win. And it’s an “electability” cloud over Vice President Biden that Democrats need to ponder.
Already, hoping to somewhat minimize the problem, Biden’s son, Hunter, has admitted (on “Good Morning, America”) that getting involved with Burisma, the Ukrainian company on whose board he served, was “poor judgment.”
In Trumpworld, that won’t cut it. Heck, they’re already starting. Sunday Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst suggested to Bloomberg news that if Biden were elected he should be impeached for his past connections to Ukraine, a statement she made citing widely discredited claims about Biden’s actions while Vice President.