Writing in the Washington Post this Wednesday, Max Boot recounts how the Democratic primaries seemed "designed to disprove every commonly held notion of how you win a presidential race," and ultimately vaulted Joe Biden to be the likely Democratic nominee -- a candidate who had "just about everything going against him."
"He is old, inarticulate, uninspiring and gaffe-prone," Boot writes, referring to Biden. "He doesn’t have a radical agenda. He isn’t a new face; he has been involved in national politics longer than the median American has been alive. He had little money or organization (Sanders raised nearly three times more money in January). He finished fourth in Iowa and fifth in New Hampshire, and since 1972 no candidate has won a major party’s nomination without finishing at least second in one of those states."
Ultimately, according to Boot, Biden rose to the top because people like "Uncle Joe" -- and that's a fact that works in Biden's favor, historically. "Both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton had terrible favorability ratings, but a Rasmussen poll in June 2016 found more voters would rather have a beer with Trump than Clinton," writes Boot. "Barack Obama was more likable than Mitt Romney and at least as likable as John McCain. George W. Bush was more likable than Al Gore. Bill Clinton was more likable than Bob Dole or George H.W. Bush, who in turn was more likable than Michael Dukakis. Ronald Reagan was more likable than Jimmy Carter or Walter Mondale. Carter was at least as likable as Gerald Ford."
It's this dynamic that made Trump more eager to face Bernie Sanders in the general election, according to Boot. "Biden is Trump’s worst nightmare: a Democrat who is far more likable than he is."
Read his full op-ed over at the Washington Post.