Two columns by Quin (with links to the full pieces embedded in the headlines).

Why Biden’s choice of Kamala Harris will be a flop (Aug. 11). With the choice of Kamala Harris as his running mate, Joe Biden has taken another large step toward blowing the election.

To swing voters — suburban soccer moms turned off by President Trump, a swath of white laborers, family-oriented Hispanic women — Harris will prove to be anathema. Her crusading leftism, hard-edged personal style, and facial sneer will make her like 10,000 fingernails on 1,000 loud chalkboards, amplified by a boom microphone so strong it can be heard for hundreds of miles.

As my colleague Tim Carney noted two weeks ago, Harris “tanked in the polls as soon as she got national exposure during the Democratic debates. Throughout her presidential run, Gallup never found her to have higher favorables than unfavorables. … They’re still bad. Among independents in [a recent] poll, for instance, Harris was underwater with 33% unfavorable to 25%.” And even among Democratic voters, “in an April poll, Harris had the highest unfavorables of the potential running mates mentioned (20%) and the highest “very unfavorable” (7%).”…

The Gipper warned us against Joe Biden, by name (Aug. 11). Ronald Reagan had Joe Biden pegged. Reagan’s assessment was not complimentary.

I happen to be reading Ronald Reagan’s presidential diaries right now. Just last night, I came across a concise gem of insight into what and who Joe Biden always has been.

Reagan’s diaries were hand-written, often in a sort of shorthand and with rushed, sketchy spelling, but they are insightful and illuminating about the life, schedule, and portfolio of a president. Even in private diaries, Reagan’s sunny personality and quick wit shine brightly. Even his criticisms of his political opponents usually lack harsh edges.

But Biden really rubbed Reagan the wrong way. The key entry came on June 15, 1987. This was just three days after perhaps the single most famous speech of Reagan’s presidency, the one where he stood in front of Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate and said, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” It was the signature moment encapsulating the “Reagan doctrine,” which asserted that Soviet communism could be not just “contained” but actually rolled back and eventually defeated.

On the most important issue facing statesmen in Biden’s entire apparently never-ending career, Biden was completely wrong. He opposed Reagan at every step. And right after Reagan’s “wall” speech, Biden again took the line that Reagan shouldn’t dare to provoke the Soviet bear.

Thus, on June 15, Reagan wrote in his diary about a meeting with some of his top aides: “[There was] some talk about Sen. Biden — now candidate for Pres. I saw him on CNN last night speaking to the John F. Kennedy school at Harvard U. He’s smooth but pure demagog[ue]….


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