Listen: Bernie Sanders, Bernie, Elizabeth Warren discussed on WSJ Opinion: Potomac Watch
"We are joined by my colleagues Dan Hannigan Hello Dan how you doing Paul and Jason Willeke Jason. Thanks so so the news this morning is that Bernie Sanders was having some chest pains and Justice Comfort on Tuesday at a campaign event his AH campaign adviser put out a statement saying that he was found to have a blockage in one artery in two stents were successfully in inserted and he is conversing and in Good Spirit's so obviously that's good news. Everyone wishes Mr Sanders speedy recovery but Dan. How do you suppose that Democratic primary voters are going to react to this this news well. I think they're going to be Hurley shocked by it. the EX. I mean look like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren were just going to go down to the wire fighting over the progressive vote some of US had begun to talk about the likelihood of going to the Democratic convention invention in Milwaukee next summer and not getting a nominee on the first vote and then having this fascinating Horse Trading Guam amongst amongst the progressives over whether it was going to be Bernie or Elizabeth Warren and now all of a sudden sanders has developed what should be regarded as is a pretty significant health problem especially at his age. you know presidential campaigning as it's constituted today is an absolute league grueling activity and one wonder was sort of astonished to see someone like Bernie Sanders just out there for a second time campaigning with this intensity city but now I think Democratic voters going to have to step back and come to grips with the possibility that Bernie Sanders is going to have to reconsider. I mean he's gotTa. I don't think about his health and they've got to think about whether sanders is a long term viable candidate and weather where their their boats may go and most likely my guess would be they go to Elizabeth Warren. I can't see this vote dividing up too much between any of the other also ran candidates and I certainly do not see Bernie Sanders voters migrating to Joe Biden. I think that's right and what's what's notable. Here is how level hole in steady the sanders campaign has been so far so for all the talk about Elizabeth Warren's rise which is real in recent weeks if you look at the real clear politics average. Bernie me is still steady in about eighteen percent of the vote. He announced that he raised twenty five million dollars in the third quarter. which is the highest figure that we've seen so far that we still still don't have Warren's numbers or Biden's numbers? I mean Jason. Do you agree with that assessment. That that warrant is probably the the best position to pick up. All those voters is if they start to flee yeah. I mean the conversation about eight in the Democratic primary head focused on Joe Biden before because there was a sense the twenty twenty two thousand sixteen. Joe Biden was more vigorous than the twenty twenty Joe Biden and you really notice it with Bernie though the way he is on the trail. today is more or less. It's the same as as he was in two thousand sixteen. People thought he has a lot of vigor. He has a lot of energy. You know he's not making gaffes left and right. There's nothing to worry about so this. UPENN's that narrative and it makes the age question focus on Bernie. I agree that based on what we know now. It's a lot easier to see Elizabeth Warren getting the Bernie voters but one thing we've seen is that since twenty sixteen his voters are some of them are basically Bernier bust. I mean they are so loyal to Bernie Sanders. They're not even they think anyone else's too this off. They don't trust any other candidate so while I think Elizabeth Warren is the most likely single getter of of of Bernie voters if he were to leave the race. I also think they might look elsewhere because some of them are just so wedded to this one candidate. I'd like to promote propose another possible all scenario here. you know. Bernie Sanders look back four years ago. Two Thousand Sixteen was then a literally unknown figure or senator from Vermont completely obscure he got into the race became a major player Challenge Hillary Clinton for the nomination surfaced all of these progressive left-wing voters in the Democratic Party and I think at this point Bernie has already established himself as a historic figure figure he will be remembered and it's not beyond me imagining that Bernie Sanders would sort of decide at this point that he has taken his causing ause and campaign as far as he can drop out and an automatically makes him a kingmaker if he were to throw his votes to Elizabeth Warren. I mean that would so up end this race with Bernie Sanders being the guy who made the call I think he could step back and be satisfied that he had achieved all that he could have hoped for. That's an interesting possible possibility another thing that I have have wondered whether whether this increased focus on health also also is going to sort of bring down Joe Biden I mean there has been some talk mostly very quietly at least from the candidates themselves about whether Joe Biden's health is up to the task and I wonder whether this news even though it's about Bernie doesn't really help Biden one thing that was notable last month. was former president. Jimmy Carter was speaking in and he said you know if I were just eighty years old if I were fifteen years younger. I don't believe I could undertake the duties that I experienced. When I was president. you have to be very very flexible with your mind. You have to be able to go from one subject to another concentrate on each one adequately. I'm so I wonder whether this this focus on health is going to hurt by them in a similar way. I'm Jason and what do you make of that. I think that's true I mean I think it's inevitable that at the next democratic debate some of these age questions asked there was some question before about about how Biden would handle that kind of question could he pull a Ronald Reagan and sort of make light of it. I think it yes sort of everything is coming up. Warren between the between being the focus on corruption that's resulting from the Ukraine saga and now the focus on age with the Bernie Saga. Everything is sort of flipping in Miss Warren's favor just do it brings up a point again that Jason mentioned earlier. Maybe this'll be a wakeup call for Democratic voters voters in general I mean the reality is you've got all these. He's quote unquote old people running at the head of the pack for the presidential nomination and it could be that maybe this will make people step back and say say maybe we ought to think about Mayor Pete or Comma Harris or cory booker because the reality is that when you get to be seventy eight seventy seven years old you do start to lose slow down. You lose a step. If that weren't true every professional athlete out there would never stop playing saying and the reality is it gets to you eventually. Maybe voters all how take that into consideration well and I was gonNA ask about that. What's what's going on here. The broader context so if if you look at the democratic side the three leading candidates the only candidates in double digits are Joe Biden who turns seventy seven next month Bernie who seventy eight turned last month Elizabeth Warren Seventy president trump of course seventy-three Nancy Pelosi Speaker of the House the seventy-nine Mitch McConnell the Senate Majority Leader Seventy seven just for a little little bit of context the the previously the oldest president was Ronald Reagan was inaugurated at sixty nine so dan what what's going on here. That's creating this dynamic well. I think a lot of it is is the media has always been the case. These these people are the individuals who are senior figures figures like Mitch McConnell Nancy Pelosi they hold onto these positions and the media writes about them all the time simply by the fact that they are so prominent and it's difficult for people who aren't in the media spotlight to breakthrough. We've seen that with so many of these other the Democratic candidates take someone like representative Tim Ryan of Ohio. I mean here's a young vigorous smart guy. you know. I personally think if he were at the candidate running against trump he would give them a run for his money but it's so hard for individuals like Tim Ryan are John Delaney to break through these days and the system just defaults to individuals who been around for a long time then there's a there's an irony on the democratic side because we keep hearing about how the the democratic electorate is young and and diverse and the and the Republican electorate is aging and becoming irrelevant and yet the leadership of these democratic the people blue really hold democratic political power tend to be you know quite old and really able to just tighten their grip on these positions you know even even the People Supporting Bernie are the people who want to overthrow the democratic power structure and they've thrown their lot behind obviously a man in his late seventies yeah just to just to throw one more your data point in there so the Pew Research Center. I thought this was interesting. Projects that in the twenty in two thousand twenty twenty three percent of the electorate will be sixty five or or older which is high share since at least nineteen seventy. I mean maybe that is is part of the dynamic to you've got to think about if since older people vote in higher percentages they're even a bigger percentage of people who actually cast ballots of final irony though kyle this reporting the past ask few days was that Bernie Sanders had to do more to increase his support among older voters interesting so we're talking about."