STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Joe Biden is a man of heart and purpose. But he shouldn't be president

Article Image

CNN's Erin Burnett asks Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden if he believes his son Hunter should have to testify in open impeachment hearings.

Posted: Nov 12, 2019 1:40 PM
Updated: Nov 12, 2019 1:40 PM

If anything was clear from Joe Biden's CNN town hall on Monday evening, it is that Biden has served his country honorably -- and that he should not be president of the United States.

There were a handful of bright moments for Biden during the town hall, beginning (and perhaps ending) with foreign policy, a weak point for many of his opponents. Asked whether we need so many US troops overseas, Biden differentiated between bases abroad and troops in combat, outlining a hope to scale back foreign wars without making America retreat from the global stage. It was the kind of lucid and thoughtful answer that has earned Biden the trust of so many Democratic voters, and that stands in such sharp contrast to the current President.

But after that moment of coherence, things went downhill. Over and over again, Biden's answers were rambling and discursive, digressing into only tangentially related side stories and aborted half lines. Over and over again, he failed to answer the questions asked of him. Over and over, he sounded like exactly the man he should be: An elder statesman who had his time in office and now is sitting back and sharing stories of the good old days when politics were kinder and he made the world a better place.

Instead, he's running for president.

Joe Biden is an affable guy. It's no secret why people like him, and why so many connect with his story of familial love and loss. He's a comforting figure, especially in a time when the world seems topsy-turvy and we have a President who has steered America so far away from our ideals. President Trump breaks things -- norms, the rules of American democracy, possibly even laws (though he denies this) -- while Biden promises to patch it all up. Of course a great many voters, according to recent polls, are attracted to that promise of calm and stability, of a return to business as usual.

One problem, though, is that business ceased being usual well before Trump -- something Biden himself witnessed during his time as vice president, but seems to have forgotten (he mentioned Merrick Garland, but didn't seem to draw the right conclusion from that debacle). And another is that Trumpism has severely damaged our democracy.

We need someone who will fight not just to right the ship, but to set it on a better course. Biden made clear in his town hall performance that he just doesn't have his eyes on any particular horizon. On health care, he has values and ideas about what we can't do, not clear and ambitious policy proposals of his own. Medicare for All, he says, will be too expensive (a fair point), but he didn't convincingly articulate why his own policy would be superior. Same with the environment: While he offered up a great start (more trains, more electric car charging stations), he didn't paint the kind of big picture we need to deal with a global emergency.

What Biden was clear on was entitlement: "I'm more of a Democrat from my shoe sole to my ears than about anybody running in this party," he said. Elizabeth Warren in particular seems to stick in his craw. He called her "elitist" for her plan to get everyone health care, accusing her of telling other people what to do -- never mind that that is, in part, the job of a president.

Joe Biden was a good vice president. He is a man of purpose. But he is not a man of vision. He would be head and shoulders better than Trump -- so much better it's laughable and borderline offensive to even compare the two -- but the current race is between Democrats. And this town hall made clear that Biden is not the person who should win.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 150664

Reported Deaths: 4008
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion24697784
Lake13220352
St. Joseph8877159
Elkhart8469132
Allen7880222
Hamilton5962113
Vanderburgh559360
Tippecanoe354714
Monroe320738
Hendricks3183130
Johnson2995128
Porter297848
Clark285461
Delaware282074
Vigo252637
Madison229593
Cass222021
LaPorte215557
Warrick188464
Kosciusko176823
Floyd174867
Howard158866
Bartholomew139758
Dubois135125
Marshall132526
Henry122628
Grant120939
Wayne119327
Boone118848
Hancock114145
Noble113533
Jackson108713
Morgan92240
Dearborn91628
Daviess84033
Gibson83411
Clinton81616
Shelby79429
Lawrence78534
LaGrange76715
Harrison74024
Putnam71016
Knox70310
DeKalb69411
Posey6796
Steuben6008
Fayette58517
Miami5845
Montgomery57222
White56815
Jasper5624
Greene51837
Scott50813
Decatur49839
Adams4725
Clay4346
Whitley4316
Sullivan42812
Ripley4228
Wells4155
Starke3937
Wabash3919
Orange38725
Huntington3785
Spencer3706
Franklin36525
Jennings36013
Washington3592
Randolph3398
Fulton3362
Jefferson3305
Pike31913
Carroll31413
Perry29514
Jay2876
Fountain2863
Tipton26823
Parke2203
Newton21811
Vermillion2181
Rush2044
Owen2021
Martin1950
Blackford1923
Crawford1491
Pulaski1471
Brown1303
Ohio1227
Benton1070
Union1040
Switzerland890
Warren751
Unassigned0233

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 185639

Reported Deaths: 5083
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin30978635
Cuyahoga19436675
Hamilton16234338
Montgomery10083186
Lucas8175370
Butler8028123
Summit6555261
Warren406360
Stark3696178
Mahoning3635283
Marion335149
Pickaway296946
Delaware281127
Lorain266689
Fairfield257856
Licking248865
Wood244681
Clark242454
Clermont234937
Trumbull2221134
Greene219640
Columbiana210187
Allen203873
Miami195656
Lake188357
Medina180242
Portage156167
Mercer147128
Ross133833
Wayne131568
Richland128624
Tuscarawas123622
Athens11742
Erie113853
Darke110151
Madison103514
Hancock103023
Auglaize95116
Putnam91527
Lawrence90725
Shelby86814
Muskingum8434
Geauga83650
Scioto8059
Belmont78427
Union7343
Ashtabula72148
Huron69910
Sandusky69422
Preble59517
Seneca58514
Holmes57010
Ottawa56830
Fulton5056
Jefferson4564
Henry45317
Defiance44413
Jackson4417
Clinton43613
Fayette4328
Crawford4308
Highland4024
Logan4023
Champaign3873
Ashland3735
Brown3683
Knox36215
Perry35411
Washington33323
Morrow3312
Hardin32113
Williams3194
Coshocton29812
Pike2880
Guernsey2878
Wyandot28413
Gallia27913
Van Wert2333
Meigs21012
Adams2036
Carroll1917
Paulding1901
Hocking1899
Monroe15218
Noble1210
Vinton903
Harrison793
Morgan740
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Clear
57° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 57°
Angola
Broken Clouds
55° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 55°
Huntington
Clear
56° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 56°
Decatur
Broken Clouds
55° wxIcon
Hi: 60° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 55°
Van Wert
Broken Clouds
55° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 55°
Morning Rain Wednesday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events