December 20, 2019


Why Biden's Retro Inner Circle Is Succeeding So Far (RYAN LIZZA, 12/19/2019, Politico)

Since the start of Biden's campaign, he's relied on a core group of half a dozen people. Like any presidential campaign, Biden's is sprawling--more than 400 people across the country--and it includes key advisers with ideological and racial diversity and is outfitted with all the accoutrements of a modern enterprise. But when the upper echelons of the Biden operation assemble at campaign headquarters in Philadelphia's Center City, the group looks a lot like Biden: old and white and with long experience in Democratic party battles of a bygone era.

The average age of those six--Steve Ricchetti, Mike Donilon, Ron Klain, Valerie Biden Owens, Bruce Reed and Anita Dunn--is 62.

They are the key to understanding the big things about the Biden campaign: its centrist ideology, its old-fashioned view of the Democratic electorate, how the campaign came together and how Biden might govern.

Like Biden, those advisers came up in politics during the Reagan revolution, when Democrats were often taught that they needed to be ideologically cautious to win. Like Biden, they are contemptuous of the revolutionary left. Like Biden, they like to think of the Democratic coalition as still anchored in the white working class.

And a lot of smart people thought they, like Biden, would fail.

A year ago, Biden's retro campaign, with its retro staff and retro view of who Democratic voters are, was predicted to have a swift demise. It didn't happen. And it if it succeeds in the coming months, Biden and his team will have challenged everything people thought they knew about the Democratic Party in the age of Trump.

Posted by at December 20, 2019 6:12 PM