Is your memory long enough (or are you enough of a political geek) to remember Sen. Thomas Eagleton? If not, he was easily the least successful choice of running mate in major party history, given that he didn’t last an entire month on the ticket.
Eagleton, a Missouri Democrat, was selected by George McGovern — the unlikely winner of the 1972 Democratic nomination — after an extensive search to find anyone willing to associate with the far-left South Dakota senator’s doomed campaign.
There was some great irony in the selection, in that Eagleton was the source of an off-the-record quote about McGovern that would haunt McGovern’s legacy long after the campaign was over. (“McGovern is for amnesty, abortion and legalization of pot,” Eagleton told columnist Robert Novak, adding that when “middle America — Catholic middle America, in particular” finds that out, “he’s dead.”)
But wait, it gets worse! Eagleton didn’t disclose to the McGovern campaign that he had been treated with electroshock therapy for “nervous exhaustion,” as The New York Times noted in his obituary. After 18 days and consultations with Eagleton’s doctors, McGovern forced Eagleton to withdraw.
The controversy wrecked an already ill-starred campaign and left a flailing McGovern desperate for anyone to run on the ticket with him. (He would eventually pick Sargent Shriver, former ambassador to France and first director of the Peace Corps, whose major qualification was being related to the Kennedys by marriage.)
I mention that because former House Speaker Newt Gingrich thinks that the Joe Biden-Kamala Harris ticket will quickly “move into the 1972 George McGovern range of isolation from the American people.”
In an Op-Ed for Fox News, Gingrich noted that this time, it’s the man at the top of the ticket who many Americans believe is showing potential unfitness — and his second-in-command is the unpalatable “radical” (or at least, someone who embraces radical positions when it suits her).
“Biden-Harris ticket will collapse between now and election due to these 3 factors,” the headline of Gingrich’s piece read.
The first has to do with questions over Biden’s cognitive and physical health.
“I received an email from the Biden-Harris headquarters which showed a gif of Biden and Harris coming out of a doorway. Both were looking down or away and not interacting with anyone (including each other),” Gingrich wrote in the piece published Wednesday.
“The email asked, ‘Have you ever seen two people who look this ready to lead on Day 1?’ I was flummoxed. They didn’t look ready to do anything.
“The question was a parody of their problem, and the image was embarrassing. I was astounded because the material had been made by the Biden campaign which had total control of the product. Biden does not look like he is ready to lead. He is looking down like he wants to make sure he doesn’t fall down.”
Gingrich cited a Rasmussen Reports survey which found 38 percent of likely voters thought Biden was experiencing cognitive decline and another poll of likely voters by Rasmussen which found 59 percent thought Biden’s veep choice would become president during his first term, were he to be elected.
“That included 49% of Democrats, 57% of independents, and 73% of Republicans,” Gingrich wrote.
“When nearly six out of every ten Americans think you are not likely to finish a four-year term, it is hardly an endorsement of your fitness. The more Biden has to campaign and actually appear in uncontrolled environments, the bigger this problem will become.”
Then there’s the second problem — whether or not Americans are willing to embrace Kamala Harris.
“Harris will prove to be the most disastrous vice presidential nominee since Sen. Tom Eagleton, D-Mo., had to resign from the McGovern ticket when it turned out he had been subjected to shock therapy treatments for mental issues (I am not criticizing mental illness or its treatment, but in 1972, Americans simply did not want to think of a potential president having mental illness),” Gingrich wrote.
“As a presidential candidate, Harris had wavered between embracing the most radical positions and then opportunistically changing to more moderate positions when she got blowback,” he added. “She was as unreliable in her policy positions as she was in her attacks on Biden. She aggressively attacked Biden on four different occasions and has since repudiated her own words. If Biden is exhausted and hiding in a basement, his running mate is energetically bouncing all over the place with no consistency or reliability.”
Also, if Democrats thought Harris was going to energize black voters, they should think again.
“Democrats (and propaganda media) believe that she will be powerful in attracting the African American vote,” Gingrch wrote
“This is undermined by the objective reality that in November 2019, after months of campaigning, a Quinnipiac University poll showed Harris was fourth in attracting Black voters. Biden had 44%, Sanders had 10%, Warren had 8%, and Harris was down to 6% of the Black vote. When Biden was drawing nearly eight Black votes for every vote Harris was getting, so why would the Democrats think adding her to the ticket was a smart idea.”
Finally, Gingrich said, voters will become alienated with the ticket once “the depth of radicalism of the Biden-Harris platform and the Chuck Schumer-Nancy Pelosi legislative agenda become clear to the American people.”
“Importantly, the real danger to the Democratic ticket is not the general allegation that Biden-Harris is a radical ticket. The real danger to the Democrats is the item-by-item alienation of different groups of Americans based on adopting positions that please radicals but are deeply opposed by most Americans,” he continued.
These items included a push by Democrats to force suburbs to accommodate low-cost housing, their commitment to use taxpayer money to pay for abortions through the ninth month, their support for giving COVID-19 relief funds to illegal immigrants, Biden’s promise to pursue Beto O’Rourke’s gun control plans, calls to defund the police and the Democrats’ deference to the teachers unions on the issue of reopening schools.
“The list goes on, but these first six radical, alienating ideas give you some notion of how rapidly the support for Biden and Harris may fade,” Gingrich wrote.
“The propaganda media has done (and will likely continue to do) all it can to protect Biden in the basement. He has quietly slipped further and further to the left under their protective non-coverage.”
Gingrich also talked his theory on the Fox News morning program “Fox & Friends.”
So, is Kamala Harris the new Thomas Eagleton? It’s worth noting, again, that the roles are reversed.
This time, it’s Biden who seems unsteady and unfit. Meanwhile, Harris is the potential radical — particularly since she seems aligned with the younger wing of the party, which is more willing to embrace left-wing ideas outside the American mainstream.
Either way, the contrast between President Donald Trump and Joe Biden couldn’t have been made more clear by the convention and the fact that the Democratic standard-bearer now has to come out of the basement.
Will the ghost of Thomas Eagleton haunt the campaign? It’s exceptionally unlikely that Biden will be searching around for his own Sargent Shriver.
On the other hand, that means he’s stuck with Harris — and that could make Shriver look pretty good. Stay tuned.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
Source: Gingrich: 3 reasons Biden-Harris ticket will ‘collapse’ before Election Day