Harrop: Biden should seek Haley’s voters and not his hard-left

Biden has more to gain by wooing non-Trump Republicans than he does placating the Democratic fringe.

By Froma Harrop / Creators.com

Barack Obama got it right. He refused to be held captive to his party’s left wing.

He adopted a strenuous policy of border enforcement, even as some Latino activists threatened to withhold their support for him. He had tense relations with Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu, but when anti-Israel protesters interrupted a Biden fundraiser over the Gaza conflict, Obama reprimanded them: “Here’s the thing, you can’t just talk and not listen.” And the hall broke into applause.

Should Biden worry about keeping members of the Democrats’ perpetually unhappy left on his team come November? Not to the extent that it costs broader public support; or goes against U.S. interests. The far left’s power comes not in its big numbers but in its members’ ability to bully Democrats into taking positions that cost them elections.

It’s happened time and again. During the 2000 presidential campaign, prominent leftists urged followers to vote for spoiler Ralph Nader instead of the moderate Democrat Al Gore. A handful of Nader votes in Florida delivered the presidency to George W. Bush. In 2016, Bernie Sanders and many followers slashed the tires under Hillary Clinton’s campaign, thus helping elect Donald Trump, who had cleverly egged them on.

Many of the disrupters waving Palestinian flags feel genuine despair at the Gaza horror. They have much company in this. But a lot of what they’re after is attention. Getting pats on the head on social media is more important than helping defeat Donald Trump.

Exactly what was the point of pro-Palestinian demonstrators’ disrupting an Easter Vigil mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral other than to get on the news? They know where the cameras are.

Come November, the hard left may deprive Biden of some needed votes. How much wiser to concentrate on Nikki Haley Republicans in the battlegrounds where moderate Republicans reside. And the Biden campaign is reportedly doing that.

According to a February Quinnipiac poll, 37 percent of Republican-leaning voters who supported Haley said they’d vote for Biden. That doesn’t include the percentage of Republicans who would simply sit out an election that has Trump on the ballot.

Biden can’t emphasize enough his support for the border enforcement bill that Trump had killed precisely because it would have worked, thus depriving him of a potent campaign issue. Any notion that this stance would turn off Latino voters is belied by polls showing Trump actually gaining some support among them as well as Blacks. And that’s despite Trump’s talking about mass deportations.

Perhaps Blacks and Latinos want different things from their political leaders than having their identities massaged. Other polls show illegal immigration — as well as crime — rank high on the list of these voters’ concerns.

No surprise there. Poorly controlled borders intensify competition for workers without college degrees. These jobs are in construction, manufacturing, restaurants and hotels, retail; positions that are heavily occupied by people of color.

Contained in Obama’s message to the anti-Israel left was the reality that the conflict in Gaza is complicated. But when you get down to the Squad level on the left, the problem isn’t so much what many believe as their lack of depth in understanding the issues.

Trump Republicans can’t help but love them. Here are would-be Democrats helping a candidate who, as president, introduced a ban on Muslims even entering the country; and says he would restore it in a second term.

Haley voters could well be the key to a Biden victory, especially if the president doesn’t torment them with woke nonsense. Biden needs to keep Democrats united as is politically doable while getting the never-Trump Republicans to actually cast a vote; if not whole-heartedly for him, at least for the democracy.

Follow Froma Harrop on X @FromaHarrop. Email her at fharrop@gmail.com. Copyright 2024, Creators.com.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Opinion

Editorial cartoons for Friday, May 17

A sketchy look at the news of the day.… Continue reading

Attorney General Bob Ferguson speaks to a reporter as his 2024 gubernatorial campaign launch event gets underway in Seattle, on Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023. ( Jerry Cornfield/Washington State Standard)
Editorial: Recruiting two Bob Fergusons isn’t election integrity

A GOP activist paid the filing fee for two gubernatorial candidates who share the attorney general’s name.

Schwab: Apparently, comparisons of Trump, Biden still necessary

While Biden is rebuilding infrastructure and economy, Trump is dealing for contributions and tribute.

Please continue reporting on hospital discharge backlog

I commend reporter Sydney Jackson’s story in the Weekend Herald on slow… Continue reading

State must provide more financial aid for college students

The costs of attending college have become increasingly more difficult throughout the… Continue reading

Foster parent abstract concept vector illustration. Foster care, father in adoption, happy interracial family, having fun, together at home, childless couple, adopted child abstract metaphor.
Editorial: State must return foster youths’ federal benefits

States, including Washington, have used those benefits, rather than hold them until adulthood.

Making adjustments to keep Social Security solvent represents only one of the issues confronting Congress. It could also correct outdated aspects of a program that serves nearly 90 percent of Americans over 65. (Stephen Savage/The New York Times) -- NO SALES; FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY WITH NYT STORY SLUGGED SCI SOCIAL SECURITY BY PAULA SPAN FOR NOV. 26, 2018. ALL OTHER USE PROHIBITED.
Editorial: Social Security’s good news? Bad news delayed a bit

Congress has a little additional time to make sure Social Security is solvent. It shouldn’t waste it.

Make your points without insults

Make your points without insults

Editorial cartoons for Thursday, May 16

A sketchy look at the news of the day.… Continue reading

Nicholas Kristof: Massacre of innocents has returned to Sudan

Twenty years ago protests and action stopped a genocide. The latest killings are barely registering.

Comment; Congress is broken, but term limits won’t fix it

Looking at term limits in state legislatures, such reforms have resulted in several drawbacks.

Michelle Goldberg: Cohen a cautionary tale for Republicans

Donald Trump’s former fixer now regrets the loyalty he paid to his boss. Are others paying attention?

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.