Biden has little chance of persuading Republicans to join with him
Joe Biden is making his bipartisan bona fides a centerpiece of his presidential campaign, boasting recently that he persuaded three Republican senators to support the economic stimulus that helped save the country from catastrophe.The world has moved on from Joe Biden and he is pushing for something that is no longer there. He is going to have a tough time winning an election and even a tougher time leading a government.
“It was my job to find them. To persuade them to vote for it. And I did,” he said in Philadelphia this weekend.
The only problem: Olympia Snowe is retired, Arlen Specter is dead and Susan Collins will be defeated if Democrats get their way next year.
So when the former vice president talks about the GOP having an “epiphany” and working with him if and when he beats President Donald Trump, lawmakers in both parties are skeptical.
“If anyone can do it, it would be Joe Biden,” said Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.). “But a lot of those people are gone. States have changed. Washington’s changed.”
The centrist wing of the GOP has been hollowed out not just by retirements and death but by the party’s sharp turn right in recent years. The number of Republicans eager to collaborate with a Democratic president might be relegated to Collins and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) on some days, and it would take more than them to build the 60-vote coalition Biden would need to advance his agenda.
And the Senate Republicans that remain in the relative middle of the GOP say that while their party may have changed, so has Biden as he runs as a standard progressive.
“He does have relationships, that’s true. But he doesn’t sound like the old Joe Biden that most of us knew when he was here in the Senate,” Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said.
“I love Joe Biden,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), one of the few GOP dealmakers who once worked with Biden. “I think he’s been wrong on most everything.”