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Three keys to Biden's miraculous comeback

Obama's campaign guru, author of "A Citizen's Guide to Beating Donald Trump," says Biden won his Super Tuesday races 'solely on the wings of momentum.'

Posted: Mar 5, 2020 10:51 AM
Updated: Mar 5, 2020 10:51 AM

Former Vice President Joe Biden's resuscitation on Super Tuesday has already entered the history books as one of the most astonishing since Harry Truman's election in 1948. Or, come to think of it, even since Lazarus.

How to explain it? His miraculous comeback defies any single theory. For my books, there were three keys:

1. The black community in South Carolina turned out in force to support their longtime friend and champion. It's hard to remember a time when black voters have risen up to save a white political leader. But it appears they did it Tuesday.

2. When Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont surged to the front of the pack, Democrats seemed to finally pay serious attention to what his nomination might mean. At minimum, Republicans could persuade undecideds that radical socialists had captured the Democratic Party. More to the point, Democratic strategists panicked that they might well lose the White House, Senate and House, giving President Donald Trump unfettered power over the next four years. They were right to panic.

3. One has to give credit to Biden himself. He came alive in the past week, starting with the debate Wednesday night. He was even more impressive in a town hall the next night, speaking movingly with Anderson Cooper about his life and dreams. (The town halls these past few weeks have been much more revealing about the candidates than the crowded and chaotic debates.) His sweep in South Carolina suddenly gave him the aura of a winner, not the loser he had started to seem to many. Biden showed he had the grit to reach deep inside himself and find his core strength -- an important asset for any political leader.

There were other factors, to be sure. Some argue that Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts did Biden a favor with her attacks on former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg.

But to me, the big factors were the huge support of the black community, pervasive fear of a Sanders nomination and Biden's resilience.

Of course, there is still a long road ahead to the nomination. Whether Biden can deliver knockout blows to Sanders without antagonizing Sanders voters will be crucial to pulling the party together. Many veterans of the Hillary Clinton campaign four years ago remember well how infuriating it was that Sanders and his followers went into a sulk after losing the nomination to her.

Looking ahead, Biden must also come up with new strategies to appeal to young people and Latinos, two significant groups who have tended to gravitate toward Sanders.

Biden needs to mobilize some heavyweight surrogates who can come up with innovative ways to build bridges. One imagines, for example, former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg coming up with initiatives that would appeal to millennials and Gen Z'ers — a national service program, for example.

Biden must continue to reach deep inside, finding the strength and confidence to continue his upward journey. Trump will try to stomp on him, as is his wont. Little attention was given to a Trump rally speech in South Carolina, portraying Biden as feeble-minded and destined for a retirement home in the next four years. Trump delighted in Biden's recent verbal slips: calling Super Tuesday "Super Thursday," remarking that he was running for the Senate, and asserting that 150 million Americans have been killed by guns since 2007.

Biden no longer needs to feel defensive on stage. He has created one of the great comeback stories. Now he can allow himself to talk and act more like a president, showing the dignity and warmth that is so lacking in the Oval Office these days.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 662750

Reported Deaths: 12623
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion907691647
Lake48461880
Allen35897638
Hamilton32121398
St. Joseph30032513
Elkhart25403417
Vanderburgh21261379
Tippecanoe20050203
Johnson16362360
Porter15987270
Hendricks15835300
Clark11976181
Madison11756319
Vigo11625230
Monroe10343163
Delaware9842179
LaPorte9778197
Howard9059198
Kosciusko8567111
Bartholomew7464147
Warrick7422151
Hancock7409132
Floyd7217170
Wayne6640192
Grant6432157
Boone610088
Morgan6096125
Dubois5916111
Dearborn548368
Cass545099
Marshall5427104
Henry542593
Noble509778
Jackson465067
Shelby460790
Lawrence4186113
Gibson401381
Harrison400464
Clinton396153
Montgomery387283
DeKalb385878
Miami357563
Knox357485
Whitley349537
Huntington345777
Steuben338855
Wabash331876
Putnam330559
Ripley327162
Adams323549
Jasper316643
White297352
Jefferson295074
Daviess285496
Fayette271956
Decatur270988
Greene261580
Posey261231
Wells258375
Scott250850
Clay241644
LaGrange240970
Randolph225476
Spencer218030
Jennings215344
Washington211627
Sullivan203339
Fountain201642
Starke188251
Owen182353
Fulton179037
Jay177928
Carroll176518
Perry173235
Orange171250
Rush165122
Vermillion160842
Franklin159435
Tipton146741
Parke139316
Pike127832
Blackford120627
Pulaski106644
Newton96532
Brown95139
Benton92213
Crawford90713
Martin80114
Warren75814
Switzerland7548
Union67210
Ohio53711
Unassigned0431

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 968874

Reported Deaths: 17346
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1119871212
Cuyahoga957051750
Hamilton73287974
Montgomery47254892
Summit40184957
Butler35456473
Lucas35279767
Stark29356843
Warren22381276
Lorain21994391
Mahoning19444544
Lake18379305
Clermont18346212
Delaware16437136
Licking14967200
Fairfield14506160
Trumbull14315465
Greene13568214
Medina13370219
Clark12246336
Wood11506194
Portage11008160
Allen10768235
Richland10278206
Miami10011190
Muskingum8169131
Columbiana8120183
Pickaway8041104
Tuscarawas8029236
Marion7982137
Wayne7857219
Erie6872184
Ross6130137
Geauga6057129
Hancock5981114
Ashtabula5959147
Scioto5933104
Lawrence524974
Union512352
Darke5026124
Belmont491889
Huron4797118
Jefferson4790108
Sandusky476196
Seneca4671103
Athens463733
Washington462287
Mercer4582101
Auglaize455499
Shelby440970
Knox401686
Putnam3986101
Madison392147
Ashland379195
Fulton378664
Defiance3714102
Brown369242
Crawford357496
Logan354060
Preble352671
Clinton340064
Highland327756
Ottawa323267
Williams301878
Jackson289356
Champaign286646
Guernsey286234
Fayette268144
Perry267744
Morrow259225
Henry245765
Hardin244457
Holmes2430104
Coshocton235547
Van Wert229249
Gallia221846
Adams216032
Pike215228
Wyandot209353
Hocking194049
Carroll180828
Paulding160023
Meigs135037
Noble128742
Monroe116436
Morgan100834
Harrison100433
Vinton76715
Unassigned00
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