Biden is the least electable candidate — here's why

For months now, it seems that every pundit has been telling you Joe BidenJoe BidenGOP senators balk at lengthy impeachment trial 2020 Democrats make play for veterans' votes 2020 Dems put focus on stemming veteran suicides MORE is the most electable candidate on the Democratic side. We are told he is likable and the country is comfortable with him because he’s already been vice president.

Walter Mondale was also vice president. Did that make the country more comfortable with him? Did that make him more electable? In case you don’t remember, he lost 49 out of 50 states.

If Biden is not Mondale 2.0, he most certainly is Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham Clinton2020 Democrats make play for veterans' votes The Memo: Democrats confront prospect of long primary Manafort sought to hurt Clinton 2016 campaign efforts in key states: NYT MORE 2.0. He just told a room full of wealthy donors, “No one’s standard of living will change. Nothing would fundamentally change.” This is the exact same problem the Clinton campaign had. It also promised to preserve the status quo and provide no change. You could not find a more unpopular message in America.

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I don’t know if Biden remembers the placards Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaThe Memo: Democrats confront prospect of long primary George Conway: 'If Barack Obama had done this' Republicans would be 'out for blood' George Conway to take part in MSNBC impeachment hearing coverage MORE had in 2008. They read “CHANGE.” The country just voted for a reality show clown because it was so desperate for change. Isn’t it amazing that this message still has not resonated with the establishment?

Most of the pundits on television like to focus on superficial reasons Clinton lost. She ran a bad campaign, she should have held rallies in different states, the Russians, James ComeyJames Brien ComeyThere are poor ideas, bad ones and Facebook's Libra Trump has considered firing official who reported whistleblower complaint to Congress: report Broadcast, cable news networks to preempt regular programming for Trump impeachment coverage MORE, etc. While all of those contributed around the edges, they are ignoring the No. 1 problem she had — people didn’t like her message.

On The Young Turks, we would often send our reporters to different places in the country and interview average American citizens and get their thoughts on the race. One particular guy stands out. His name was Nic Smith. He was leading a strike for higher wages at a Waffle House in western Virginia, and he told us that at least Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP senators balk at lengthy impeachment trial Warren goes local in race to build 2020 movement 2020 Democrats make play for veterans' votes MORE had the decency to lie to them and give them hope about how things were going to get better for them.

Both Clinton and Biden don’t understand this problem because they spend all of their time with the donor class. Wages have barely increased in the past 40 years. And here is Biden promising the richest people in the country that nothing will change. In other words, your wealth will continue to go up, and wages for everyone else will stagnate indefinitely. This is what happens when you’re hooked on donor money. In fact, Biden went on to tell the well-to-do donors, “I need you very badly. I hope if I win this nomination, I won’t let you down. I promise you.”

That doesn’t sound like the most electable person in the race. It sounds like the least electable. Why on God’s green earth would we make the same mistake we made last time? Just about the only way you can lose to Trump is if you run a campaign geared toward the rich and the establishment — just like last time!

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Finally, is Biden likable? If you like bear hugs and whispered stories, then he has the trappings of likability, but if you look at his substance, then you have a different story altogether.

I didn’t find the Iraq War likable. I wasn’t happy that we lost thousands of our service members and trillions of dollars — and killed nearly a million innocent Iraqis. I found that deeply unlikable. In fact, voters found it so unlikable they picked Obama over Biden and Clinton in 2008.  

I didn’t find the 1994 crime bill likable. It imprisoned millions of our fellow Americans, mostly people of color who suffered a great injustice. I don’t find it likable that Biden says he is still proud of it. I don’t find it likable that he bragged it would impose the death penalty on everything but jaywalking.

I don’t find it likable that he voted to deregulate Wall Street and then made sure that the middle class couldn’t wipe away their debts through bankruptcy. I’m pretty sure not a lot of voters like the fact that he helped credit card companies that were his top donors while screwing over the average American family. Trump could still find a way to wipe out his loans in the six different bankruptcies he had, but thanks to Biden, students can't get rid of their student loans if their lives depend on it.

But in order to judge him on the content of his votes and actions, you would have to care about policy. Unfortunately, so much of our mainstream media coverage is devoid of that substance. It also pushes its own version of “alternative facts” in which running a centrist Democrat against Trump was a good strategy and the American people like the establishment.

Neither one of those things is remotely true. The most electable candidate will be the one who taps into the frustration of Americans and gives them a hopeful alternative rather than one who promises the continued oppression of the status quo.

Cenk Uygur is the CEO founder, and host of The Young Turks and co-founder of Justice Democrats.