Hot Air

Biden caves to special interest group in exchange for endorsement

Joe Biden scored two big endorsements (for Democrats) on Monday. Both the League of Conservation Voters Action Fund and the Congressional Black Caucus PAC weighed in with their support of Biden’s presidential bid. While neither endorsement is particularly unusual, given both always endorse Democrat candidates, it is interesting that both waited until there is no other choice before offering their official endorsements.

In order to get the endorsement nailed down from the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) Action Fund, Biden is moving even more left than he already has done in order to secure the votes of environmental alarmists. His campaign promises have been tweaked and Biden is agreeing to “meaningfully engage” with more voices of the climate change movement. That is nebulous language but it appears to have satisfied the activists.

“I outlined a bold plan to lead a clean energy revolution and fight for environmental justice. But the best policy work is continuous, creative, and keeps reaching for greater ambition and impact. In the months ahead, expanding this plan will be one of my key objectives,” Biden said in a statement while accepting an endorsement from the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) Action Fund.

“I have asked my campaign to commence a process to meaningfully engage with more voices from the climate movement — including environmental justice leaders and worker organizations, and collaborate on additional policies in areas ranging from environmental justice to new, concrete goals we can achieve within a decade, to more investments in a clean energy economy,” he added.

The LCV members want Biden to agree to ramp up his original campaign aspiration of 100% clean energy sooner than 2050. They also want him to commit to rejecting new permits for fossil fuel infrastructure such as pipelines. LCV Action Fund’s senior vice president of government affairs, Tiernan Sittenfeld said that Biden will “immediately” put the United States on track for 100 percent clean energy and “restore America’s global climate leadership”. The part about climate leadership would no doubt be true of a Biden presidency. He has already proven to be a fan of meaningless global climate change agreements like the Paris Climate Agreement to which Obama was happy to commit the United States yet it couldn’t even get passed in Congress.

Carol Browner, LCV Board Chair, is pleased, too. Browner, you may remember, was the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency in the Clinton administration. She was a willing partner in Al Gore’s fanaticism on the subject. Her statement says Biden “will work tirelessly starting on day one as president and every day to protect our environment and the health of our communities and to combat the climate crisis.”

Just days ago, LCV Victory Fund announced preparations have begun for a $14 million ad campaign against President Trump. The ads will target a narrow band of swing voters who they think will be receptive to their message. Biden is counting on these special interest groups to spend big bucks on campaign advertising because it’s already been proven that Biden is less than a stellar fundraiser.

Based on polling and analytic modeling, the group identified 1.5 million voters in six battleground states — Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — who it thinks could be persuaded to vote in November in part, they hope, based on messages about clean water and air or the climate.

LCV Victory Fund, the league’s super PAC, will inundate those voters throughout the late spring and early summer with recurring digital ads and direct mail literature — the literature will arrive at voters’ mailboxes over six times before the parties’ national conventions in August.

The issue of climate change, though, isn’t even in the top ten issues according to Gallup polling, as ranked by voter enthusiasm. It doesn’t rank high in the most enthusiastic of Democrat voters, so good luck with that “narrow band” of swing voters.

The endorsement from the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) PAC fits in with the push to appeal to black voters. The Biden campaign is being pressured by black leaders like Rep. James Clyburn to increase hiring of African-American campaign staff to go and get out the black vote for November. Clyburn realizes that the Democrat candidate has to have the overwhelming support of black voters and get out enough of them to bring about a victory in November. Obama level black votes will likely not happen for Sleepy Joe, even if Barack and Michelle Obama campaign for him. He’s still just an old white swamp creature with forty years in elected office with not much to hang his hat on as any kind of legislative success. What if Anita Hill decided to make headlines with her continued refusal to completely forgive him for his behavior during the Clarence Thomas hearing? So far she hasn’t been willing to support him. That may carry some weight with female African-American voters, who are the majority of Democrat voters.

“There’s no question that Joe Biden is badly needed by this country,” CBC PAC Chairman Rep. Gregory Meeks of New York said in an interview with The Associated Press. “His leadership, his experience, his understanding on how to get things done and his ability to work and pull people together is needed now more than ever. We need someone that is a healer and not a divider, and that’s Joe Biden.”

The CBC PAC endorsed Hillary Clinton in 2016 over Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. When asked what will be the road map to winning the election this time after Democrats suffered a bitter defeat, Meeks said it’s simple: Listen to black women, who are among the Democratic Party’s most loyal voting bloc.

“Black women over-performed in 2016, and had we listened to them, we might not have the person that’s there now,” Meeks said.

But Meeks said he’s confident Biden will be able to drum up support among key demographics.

In the end, rollouts of endorsements don’t end up meaning very much in a presidential election, especially if they are ones that would be expected anyway. These two endorsements fall in that category. Neither is unexpected or out of the ordinary for a Democrat presidential candidate.

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