In choosing a nominee for president this year, Democrats should pick the individual they believe stands the best chance of producing the support - not only within their party, but among independents and disgruntled Republicans - necessary to win the general election and deny Donald Trump a second term (yes, we anticipate the Senate will acquit him in the impeachment trial).
Because he is, in our view, the candidate best positioned to give Americans a competitive head-to-head matchup with President Trump (we remain open-minded about the November presidential election), members of The Journal editorial board today endorse the candidacy of Joe Biden, the former U.S. senator and vice president, in Iowa’s first-in-the-nation Feb. 3 Democratic Party caucuses.
Why do we believe Biden represents the best shot Democrats have within this field to get the ultimate prize they want? Three primary reasons:
* He possesses a greater breadth and depth of knowledge on issues domestic and foreign - experience forged over more than 40 years of elected office in Washington, D.C. - than his rivals.
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* He articulates moderate positions on issues more in line with the nation as a whole. Unlike some candidates in this race, he doesn't guarantee a world he can't deliver and most Americans don't want. On health care, for example, he proposes to build upon the Affordable Care Act with inclusion of a public option instead of a government-run, single-payer health care system with a pricetag in the trillions and trillions of dollars at a time when the nation’s debt is more than $20 trillion. We believe many more Americans would consider the former approach than would consider the latter.
* He combines respect from both sides of the aisle and the political and personal skills necessary to unite conflicting positions behind common-ground solutions to complex issues facing our country. We view Biden as a pragmatist - and we believe his pragmatism is an attribute. We refuse to believe middle-of-the-road compromise should be or is a relic of the past. This nation is too diverse for any one side to insist on everything and employ an all-or-nothing approach. We believe leaders who embrace the greater good remain important, if not essential to our national dialogue today. If the Democratic nominee emerges as the winner in November, he or she will need to work with others to meet America's challenges at home and abroad.
For some of these same reasons, we view the candidacy of Sen. Amy Klobuchar positively, as well. In fact, if Biden is the nominee, we urge him to consider Klobuchar as a running mate. We believe the two of them together would be a formidable team.
President Trump talks often, unflatteringly and almost obsessively, about former President Barack Obama and about Biden, Obama's vice president of two terms. We believe the nation would be well-served by a spirited contest between principles and ideas from the Obama-Biden years and the strikingly different ones of the Trump-Mike Pence years.
When Iowa Democrats gather at individual caucus sites across the state in a little more than one week to get the nomination process started, they should send that message to the rest of America.