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Reince Priebus Throws Biden-Shaped Wrench in Clinton Machine

Reince Priebus Throws Biden-Shaped Wrench in Clinton Machine

Do “Nice Guys” win the White House?

Are you ridin’ with Biden?

If you’re reading articles on Legal Insurrection, probably not; but I’d be willing to wager anyone spending as much time as we have analyzing the Republican field isn’t planning on voting for Biden, Hillary Clinton, or any other candidate with a “D” after her name. When news started sprinkling down about the very real possibility of a Joe Biden presidential run, I saw a lot of conservatives expressing serious tongue-in-cheek (or not? Time will tell) excitement about what that campaign would look like.

That excitement wasn’t political—not by any means; it was purely the type of anticipation you feel before the lights go down in the movie theatre. But if even conservatives are ready for a Democratic palette cleanser to wash away the bitterness that has been Hillary Clinton’s campaign thus far, how must Democrats be feeling?

RNC Chairman Reince Priebus talked to the Today Show’s Savannah Guthrie about the one quality that could put Joe Biden over the top in the Dem primary—likability.

Watch, via Mediaite:

“Certainly Joe Biden is far more likable,” he said, comparing the sitting VP to Hillary Clinton. He also characterized Biden as a “tougher” opponent for Republicans. “Hillary Clinton has a lot of problems. I think she is an opponent that’s easy to define.”

“I think Joe Biden is someone that a lot of people, whether they like his politics or not, they like him, and likability – you can analyze politics all you want, likability is probably the number one issue on the ballot,” Priebus added.

“Likability is probably the number one issue on the ballot.” True, or false? I think that idea could go a long way this cycle—much further than it has in previous cycles, in fact.

In previous cycles, we’ve seen a sharp decline in how much control campaigns have over both messaging and candidate optics. The advent of Twitter, Facebook, and other very public platforms has brought about the end of the tightly controlled types of campaigns we’ve come to think of when we think of a Presidential race. These candidates are exposed—which means that people aren’t just expecting policy stump speeches and pretty, soothing TV spots.

They’ve consumed the message; they’ve gotten the point; they want to know who the person is.

Priebus is right about Biden—there’s something innately human about him compared to Clinton. Where Clinton uses the fullest extent of her political machine to cover up her mistakes and foibles, Biden blows through his like a labrador puppy on Pixi Stix and Mountain Dew.

There’s a reason we’ve seen candidates like Lindsey Graham, Ted Cruz, and Rand Paul making ridiculous, over-the-top, make-you-laugh videos—since when are presidential candidates supposed to make us laugh? There’s a reason Marco Rubio takes pains to roll up his sleeves and personalize his mass messaging—since when do presidential candidates talk to me, personally?

Politics has become human, and Joe Biden has a human quality that puts people at their ease. Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, is wrapped in bubble wrap, sealed in a canning jar, and passed from person to person so that everyone can see how successful and powerful she is. That doesn’t resonate.

Human resonates—and in 2016, that could put candidates like Hillary Clinton at a huge disadvantage.


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Henry Hawkins | August 5, 2015 at 1:30 pm

Earlier this year this writer informed us that the advent of social media such as Twitter, Facebook, etc. allowed candidates to more tightly control their campaign messaging.

But that’s all over now apparently:

“The advent of Twitter, Facebook, and other very public platforms has brought about the end of the tightly controlled types of campaigns we’ve come to think of when we think of a Presidential race.”

Please pick a meme and stick with it.

Also, the assertion that only in this presidential cycle do voters “want to know who the person is.

Please remember that many of us were born before 1985 and recognize this as bullshit on sight.

buckeyeminuteman | August 5, 2015 at 1:33 pm

“Just buy a shotgun!”

Like nobody knows who “Gropin’ Joe” is as a “person”.

He’s Barracula’s comedy-relief sidekick.


    Estragon in reply to Ragspierre. | August 5, 2015 at 4:02 pm

    A pro politician turns problems into advantages. Hence, Joe’s new slogan:

    “Ready from Day One to be a Hands-On President!”

Henry Hawkins | August 5, 2015 at 1:49 pm

Priebus is highlighting Biden because there are dozens of cringeworthy videos of him saying and doing stupid things, plus… ever seen a table of Joe Biden’s foreign policy positions over the past 25 years? He’s been dead wrong on virtually everything.

    Not A Member of Any Organized Political in reply to Henry Hawkins. | August 5, 2015 at 3:01 pm

    From everything I’ve seen, Biden is Hillary’s long-lost fratneral twin brother!

    Biden is just as bad and craven as Hillary in my opinion!

    Just call him Billary H. Biden!

The Executive Branch has become an autocratic…
The U.S. is a Democracy in print only…
The First Amendment is now being used to shut down the First Amendment…
And, if we as a nation elect Goofy we will end up with Goofy.

Reince Priebus stirring up trouble for Democrats? On purpose?

Well, the Chamber of Commerce will soon yank the RNC’s chain and put a stop to that….

Juba Doobai! | August 5, 2015 at 2:51 pm

Amy, the first and most significant error of your piece is your acceptance of the premise that Biden is a “nice guy”. That leads to a flawed conclusion supported only by the LSM depiction of Biden. Biden is a nasty partisan hack who attempts to mask this with his goofery and aw shucks regular Joe BS. Go do some research on Biden. Look back to a certain SCt Justice and elsewhere.

The first rule of thumb: nev accept anybody’s premises. Always formulate your own. That way, you stand a change of building an argument and winning a debate.

    Not A Member of Any Organized Political in reply to Juba Doobai!. | August 5, 2015 at 3:03 pm

    Bravo! Bravo!

    RE: “Biden is a nasty partisan hack who attempts to mask this with his goofery and aw shucks regular Joe BS.”

    You cand judge Biden by his bad seed and fruit he has borne……

Likeability? Joe “Roamin’ Hands” Biden likeable?

The easy mistake is to look at Biden and laugh. But problems don’t get solved by crossing off solutions before you analyze the problem itself.

The problem is Hillary, who is a terrible candidate. She could coast on her name and sex if she were not also so corrupt and unlikable. But she is those things, and the chickens are coming home to roost. Even “Slick Willie” can’t talk his way out of obvious bribes and violations of law on classified materials. Look at Sandy Berger’s sentence – he got off light for mishandling five documents – of $10,000 and surrendering his bar license.

– –

At this point, Democrats don’t have any secret candidate to come in and save the day. Midterm losses have decimated what bench they once had. It’s no longer about winning a third White House term, which has only been done once since WWII.

It is now about salvaging as much as they can of the down-ticket, and that means avoiding a complete party meltdown when Hillary finally walks into the bucket of truth-water and melts like the Wicked Witch of the West.

– –

Biden prevents a civil war. He is okay with the left, a loyal Obama drone, never made an enemy of the Clinton Machine, and keeps Big Labor on board.

Turning to Biden isn’t playing to win. It’s the politics of survival for the down-ticket.

Besides, if the GOP is dumb enough to run Trump, Joe might win anyway.

    Very good analysis. But cannot agree with the statement on Trump.

    Trump has contributed more the “opposition” cause in one month then every GOP leader has in the past 15 years.

    Even if he implodes, his contribution in de-pussyifying the middle-right was astounding.

    Barry in reply to Estragon. | August 5, 2015 at 11:17 pm

    “Besides, if the GOP is dumb enough to run Trump, Joe might win anyway.”

    Well, I guess those smart GOPers could run Dole or McCain or Romney.

stevewhitemd | August 5, 2015 at 4:51 pm

RNC Chairman Reince Priebus is not one of my political heroes, but props to him for this one because it’s just sheer genius.

Everyone knows that Joe is a dummy, a plagiarizer, a little creepy, a little sleazy, and did I mention he’s a dummy? The genius is Priebus turning those into positives: yes, the creepy plagiarizer is preferable to Hillary! Vote for Slow Joe! There ya go, Democrats!

Reince earned his pay today.

    ‘Genius’ and ‘Prebus’ do not belong in the same sentence.

    Not even the same paragraph.

    Not even the same website.

    Prebus is a failure – an unimaginative hack and a follower and enabler of corrupt fools. He channels Trump and throws one dart and hits an easy target like Hillary Rotten Clinton, and he’s a ‘genius?’ Where the hell has this ‘genius’ been for the past 7 years?

    Prebus is a putz on the scale of John Boehner, and is, indeed, one part of the Boehner/McConnell/Prebusa trio of putzes.

    Sheer genius? He’s a sheer backstabbing, rotten failure.

You’d be surprised who reads Legal Insurrection. I’m a life-long democrat, and I stop by at least once a day.

This website is excellent for balanced and nuanced legal analysis. I’m a pro-cop democrat, so I’m looking forward to your coverage of the upcoming Baltimore trial and the further adventures of the hapless Ms. Mosby. In addition, this website is generally the first place I go to when Supreme Court decisions are announced because of the legal insight and expertise of your writers.

I’m also strongly pro-Israel, anti-BDS, and extremely worried about the rise of antisemitism, especially in France. For the record, I’m not Jewish, but I do have ties to that country. Thanks for your frequent updates on a troubling trend both abroad and at home.

So to recap…

    Barry in reply to gdaddo. | August 5, 2015 at 11:20 pm

    “I’m a life-long democrat”

    I’m sorry.


      gdaddo in reply to Barry. | August 5, 2015 at 11:34 pm

      That was very clever, Barry, but I don’t come here to talk about my politics or to troll yours, for that matter.

      Let’s just put it this way. Democrat isn’t a monolith any more than Republican is. There are issues that matter to me, and Legal Insurrection does by and far the best job of covering what the MSM ignores.

        Barry in reply to gdaddo. | August 6, 2015 at 11:35 am

        “Democrat isn’t a monolith any more than Republican is.”

        Perhaps not, at your level. But at the upper party level, democrats are almost all Marxists and crooks.

        With the R’s we have everything, Marxists to crooks to actual conservatives at the upper levels of the party. The base however is overwhelmingly conservative, and starting to figure out what is at the top…

It’s safe to say that Biden was picked as VP because BHO could not stand having a light as equally bright or even brighter than his. It’s also safe to say that BHO would support a Biden campaign over Hillary (in the primaries) because the dim bulb was a loyal soldier. (And his animosity for all things Clinton)