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Echoes of 2004 in the 2020 campaign

Victor Davis Hanson of National Review Online turns the clock back 15 years.

Democrats by 2004 had become obsessed with defeating incumbent President George W. Bush.

Four years earlier, in the 2000 election, Bush had won the Electoral College but lost the popular vote. Democrats were still furious that Bush supposedly had been “selected” by the Supreme Court over the contested vote tally in Florida rather than “elected” by the majority of voters.

By late 2003, Bush’s popularity had dipped because of the unpopular Iraq War, which a majority in both houses of Congress approved but had since disowned.

Bush was attacked nonstop as a Nazi, fascist, and war criminal. “Bush lied, people died” was the new left-wing mantra.

Talk of Bush’s impeachment was in the air. …

… Something similar is shaping up for the Democrats in 2020. The 20-candidate field is larger than it was in 2004 — and even weirder. Fifteen of the 20 are polling at under 5 percent.

Yet the left-wing favorites — Pete Buttigieg, Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren — are all running on agendas that do not earn majority support among the general electorate.

Strangely, many of the top contenders are critical of once-revered former president Barack Obama and his policies. Obama is now seen as too tame compared with the several of the neo-socialist candidates. …

… And then there is 76-year-old Joe Biden, the longtime senator and former vice president.

Biden, like Kerry, is an old political warhorse. For now, he poses as the Democratic establishment’s only safe bet.

Like Kerry, Biden has lots of flaws, is an erratic campaigner, and is gaffe-prone. Yet Biden continues to poll as the front-runner, mostly because most Democratic voters realize that none of the scary hard-left alternatives have any chance against the hated Donald Trump.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...