Joe Biden took a hit in the political prediction markets today as the media reported on comments he made regarding his ability to work with two segregationist senators, the late Herman Talmadge and the late James Eastland. Two Democratic candidates, U.S. Senator Cory Booker and New York City mayor Bill de Blasio, took issue with Mr. Biden’s use as an example of civility episodes of working with the late senators, citing the negative impact segregation and racism have had on black people in general and their families in particular.
With the Democratic debates just seven days away, Mr. Biden will have this weekend’s Sunday talk shows through which his political strategists can turn the negative reaction into a positive. I expect Mr. Biden to make a clearer and more forceful argument that the experience of having to work with segregationists within his own party has prepared him for working with conservatives across the aisle.
Ironically, the only candidates getting any type of bump in the prediction markets have been Pete Buttigieg, Elizabeth Warren, and Andrew Yang. None of these Democratic candidates were vocally critical of Mr. Biden’s comments. Messrs Booker and de Blasio saw no changes in their paths to the White House.