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Ben Shapiro: Joe Biden, political spinner

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Joe Biden is not a person of principle or character. He is a lifelong politician who has spent decades changing his positions on almost every important issue. If one were to define Biden's political worldview, it would simply be this: follow the Democratic herd and try desperately to position yourself dead center in the middle. Joe Biden is, in short, a political pinwheel, who takes note of the prevailing winds in his own party and seeks to channel them in his favor.

This strategy made Biden a career as well. After all, who wants to follow a follower? Biden never achieved any level of national popularity on his own: his presidential bids imploded embarrassingly in 1988 and 2008. His saving grace was, in fact, his blandness and inoffensiveness: thanks to these peculiarly counterintuitive qualities , Barack Obama made it his vice. president There, Biden thrived as a vice president who presided over little real policy but happily floated trial balloons for the administration and acted as a rah-rah cheerleader for his more popular boss.

Obama himself had so little faith in his vice president that he passed him over in 2016 in favor of the much-maligned Hillary Clinton. After Clinton lost, Biden threw his hat into the ring, and thanks to the extraordinary incompetence of some of his opponents (Kamala Harris and Amy Klobuchar), the extraordinary dilettantism of others (Pete Buttigieg and Michael Bloomberg) and the bewildered racism of others (Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren): it prevailed simply by fulfilling two conditions: first, it was alive (barely); second, it wasn't any of the other lumps.

So Joe Biden became president.

He posed as a moderate politician. But there is a difference between principled moderation and simple balance, like a cork, on the eddies of domestic democratic politics. Moderation sometimes requires a Souljah Sister moment, a moment when you push the radicals away and embrace the mainstream. Acting as a political wheelbarrow does not foster this force. In fact, it encourages the opposite: caving for all interests, all the time.

And so Joe Biden has tried to be everything to everyone, and ended up being nobody to anyone. Biden has zero passionate followers, because his positions are all ersatz; he hardly has any passionate enemies, since so few of his opponents believe him he believe everything he says on the spot. His constant waffle has won him little loyalty and no notable victories (and no, spending trillions of dollars on waste isn't a victory; it's just the way government is done).

Biden's waffling has cost Americans dearly. Caught between a Modern Monetary Theory left and more fiscally moderate liberals, Biden has halved the baby, opting for big spending and interest rate hikes. Caught between a post-American left and traditionally interventionist Wilsonian liberals, Biden has veered between militaristic support for Ukraine and slow aid. Caught between an Israel-hating left and pro-Israel liberals, Biden has declared his support for Israel in its goals of rooting out Hamas and then pressured Israel to put Hamas in its place by promoting Hamas propaganda and embargoing critical weapons

Turns out the presidency is a bad place for pinwheels. The closest thing to a pinwheel president we've had in recent decades was Bill Clinton, but even Clinton knew he had to stay on a course once the course was set. Biden swings wildly between positions, even overnight, leaving the rest of the world confused and bewildered.

Americans don't like it. In fact, they don't like it so much that polls show that Joe Biden would be a one-term president if the election were held today, and that he would lose to the man they declare a threat to democracy. Because? Because there is one aspect of character on which Donald Trump surpasses Biden by leaps and bounds: leadership. As a result, there is no substitute for leadership.

And Joe Biden has never been a leader.

Ben Shapiro, 39, is a graduate of UCLA and Harvard Law School, host of “The Ben Shapiro Show” and co-founder of Daily Wire+. He is a three-time New York Times bestselling author; his latest book is “The Authoritarian Moment: How the Left Weaponized American Institutions Against Dissent.” To learn more about Ben Shapiro and read features from other Creators Syndicate writers and artists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at


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Ben Shapiro: Joe Biden, political spinner
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