George Will has a new column out where he makes the case that Michael Bennet is the Democratic candidate who has the best chance to defeat Trump. Will argues that Bennet is progressive enough for the Democratic base while, at the same time, not being so crazy that he would turn off the swing voters. Though Will doesn’t specifically say it, his column portrays Bennet as being Joe Biden without all of the baggage and the distracting Bidenisms that are currently threatening the latter’s front runner status.
It is debatable how much influence George Will’s endorsement is going to do anyone running in a Democratic primary. At this point, it probably wouldn’t do that much good for someone running in a Republican primary either. Will, like many intelligent people, is currently stuck in the political limbo of being insufficiently liberal for Democrats but also not enough of a Trump booster for the GOP. For the record, I was not impressed with what I saw of Bennet at the debate but, whether you agree with his conclusions or not, Will’s column is still worthwhile because it reveals far more about Bennet’s background and character that we’re going to see in a news cycle that’s dominated by Biden, Harris, Warren, and Sanders. Underneath that bland facade, it turns out that Bennet has an interesting story to tell.
What truly struck me, as I read Will’s column, is that Michael Bennet is the type of blandly competent politician who probably would have been a strong candidate in the days before the office of the presidency was elevated to quasi-religious status. Times have changed, though, and now the President is expected to be transformational figure. Simply having the potential to be good at the job is no longer enough.