To the editor,
Anyone who knows anything about sailing knows when the seas get choppy and barely navigable and a storm front is closing in, you do two things: lower your sails, and motor to the nearest safe harbor.
Forgive the analogy, but former Vice President Joe Biden is looking more and more like that safe harbor as Democrats face increasingly choppy seas on the way to choosing their 2020 standard bearer to defeat President Donald Trump, and all that he stands for.
To say the least, I was very disappointed when I learned of the abrupt cancellation of his campaign by Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who I supported, and have even become a delegate candidate for. He trimmed my personal sails in endeavoring to journey to Milwaukee in July by pulling out so abruptly. I am still struggling to regain my footing. In seeking to regain my balance in turbulent waters, a few things are becoming clear to me.
Joe Biden is the nearest safe harbor for Buttigieg-minded Democrats. He clearly strengthened his mooring in the South Carolina primary. He looms as the largest, safest dock for all other candidate ships still afloat in an effort to consolidate the Democratic middle against the Democratic extremes. Therefore, I am feeling bullish on Biden.
Joe Biden is far from perfect. I would have preferred a younger, exciting alternative for the presidency, but as the old saying goes: any port in a storm. Joe Biden is that port.
The Democrats are facing two challenging storm fronts. First is Bernie Sanders and second is Donald Trump. If we can sail through the Sanders storm, we will be increasingly emboldened to meet the onslaught of the Trumpy seas ahead with vigor, determination and unity.
Unity will be hard to achieve with the Bernie Bros, many of whom are Bernie-or-bust supporters. If we can lure back a majority of Sanders supporters, while holding the middle and increasing turn out in the black and Latino communities, there may be a victorious path forward after all.
By choosing a younger and exciting running mate, Joe Biden could seal the deal. Politics is a fascinating subject to study and there are never any clear empirical formulas for success. The Democratic Party is a party, not a movement, as Bernie Sanders likes to categorize it. He has spent his political life outside its circle. He is an Independent. He has never been truly a Democrat, but in the same way Donald Trump hijacked the Republican Party and subsumed its agenda into his, so too is Sanders trying to commandeer the resources of the Democratic Party in support of his crusade. We simply can’t let that happen. The stakes are too high.
Take note, Senator Warren and Mike Bloomberg. Senator Amy Klobuchar already has. The winds have shifted, and changed our course. Time to come into the harbor.
John T. Sullivan Jr.