The best man in the Democratic race for President — the smartest, the most pragmatically left-centrist and the most generationally dynamic guy to potentially succeed Donald Trump in 2021 — hasn’t the faintest prayer of winning because of African-American voters. A CNN poll released on 7.1 showed that Pete Buttigieg, the South Bend, Indiana mayor, has “continued to receive zero support” from this constituency.
By the same token Senator Bernie Sanders was also zotzed by African-American voters, particularly after winning only 14% of the black vote vs 86% for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 South Carolina primary. (In an inter-campaign memo read by the N.Y. Times, Sanders staffers wrote that “the margin by which we lost the African-American vote has got to be — at the very least — cut in half or there simply is no path to victory.”)
Basic math tells us that Buttigieg’s situation is even worse.
And so, because of African-American voters, we have three admirable but vaguely unsettling choices — Joe Biden, Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren. All are fine in terms of who they are and the humanist policies they’d pursue, but a seat-of-the-pants feeling tells me that Warren and Harris, admirable as they are, might not prevail against Trump (although they also might), and that Typewriter Joe, if he wins, will be at best a doddering one-termer. Biden is a good man and a far better human being than Donald Trump, but he’s the wrong guy to steer the sip in the 2020s. Because baby, baby, baby he’s out of time.