Well, it’s apparently that time in the primaries where the losers start dreaming up conspiracy theories to explain their own poor performance with the voters.
Such is the case with former Vice President Joe Biden, who is learning early that he is not, in fact, the heir apparent to his former boss. Lucky for him, he’s coming to this realization in February and won’t have to figure it out in the wee hours of the morning after Election Day; that puts him ahead of Hillary Clinton, anyway. But when it comes to conspiracy theories, he shares more in common with Clinton than he might admit.
On Tuesday, one of Biden’s top backers – Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) – told reporters that Russians and Republicans were teaming up to support Bernie Sanders in an attempt to cost Biden his rightful victory in South Carolina.
“I’m concerned about this collusion whether it’s intentional or unintentional between the Russians and the South Carolina Republicans to support Senator Sanders,” Carper said. “That is something I never expected to see.”
Reporters on the call pushed Carper on whether he really believed that Russians are actively colluding with the South Carolina Republican Party to bring extra support out for Sanders on Saturday; Carper said he had no evidence of direct contact between the two entities.
“But they appear to share the same goal,” he complained. “And that is to reelect Donald Trump, and they see one of the best ways to do that, at least according to our intelligence agencies, is for the Democrats to nominate Senator Sanders.”
We suppose this means that Russia has also infiltrated American college campuses, where Bernie is as popular as a rock star these days. Oh, Putin: Is there anything you CAN’T do?
“I talked to Republicans in South Carolina that plan to vote in the primary and to vote in the Democratic primary, and they’re going to vote for Bernie,” Carper said. “It’s kind of a crazy situation where it looks like there may be a sort of [collusion] between the Republicans in South Carolina and the Russians to nominate the Democratic candidate for president. And, and for them to work together… It’s a crazy situation.”
You don’t, of course, have to believe in nutty Russian conspiracy theories to see why Republicans might want to go out and support Sanders in South Carolina; the guy’s nomination is widely seen as a death knell for any chance Democrats might have of taking back the White House. We’re not entirely convinced that view is correct, but it’s certainly the mainstream perception. You don’t need to involve Moscow, even if there is evidence that they are “meddling” on behalf of Sanders.
If anything, this kind of talk is a sign of how desperate and pathetic Biden has become in the wake of his losses in the first three primary contests. South Carolina is pretty much his last chance to prove that he has any viability left. Barring a strong finish this weekend – and really, barring an outright win – the former vice president may have to accept that this quest for the presidency (much like his last two) is doomed to fail.