vision 2020

Jill Biden to Democrats: If You Want to Beat Trump, Settle for Joe

“Settle for Joe.” Photo: Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Joe Biden and former Second Lady of the United States, knows her husband may not be your preferred candidate for president. She knows you may prefer Bernie Sanders and his commitment to revolution, or Elizabeth Warren and her depth of knowledge, or Kamala Harris and her prosecutorial sharpness. But she also knows polls consistently show her husband with the biggest head-to-head lead in a hypothetical general-election matchup with Donald Trump. So you should probably be prepared to settle for him.

“Your candidate might be better on, I don’t know, health care, than Joe is, but you’ve got to look at who’s going to win this election,” Dr. Biden told a group of teachers in New Hampshire this week. “And maybe you have to swallow a little bit and say, ‘Okay, I personally like so-and-so better,’ but your bottom line has to be that we have to beat Trump.”

She went on: “I know that not all of you are committed to my husband, and I respect that. But I want you to think about your candidate, his or her electability, and who’s going to win this race.”

It’s not the most inspiring pitch, and it might not be accurate, either. The idea that Biden is the candidate likeliest to beat Trump doesn’t hold up well to scrutiny. And the longer the Democratic primary goes on, the more the 76-year-old sticks his foot in his mouth. Trump has already previewed how he’d handle that issue in a general election, questioning Biden’s mental fitness in a tweet last week. But even if it were clear that the former VP is the best bet to beat Trump, “Settle for Joe” is probably not the best slogan to run with.

Jill Biden to Democrats: Settle for Joe