Brinkley Hypes Biden Relating to Founders, Abraham Lincoln

CNN presidential historian Douglas Brinkley joined Inside Politics host John King on Thursday to preview President Biden’s pretentious “Soul of the Nation” speech. Moving on from effusive praise of John Kerry to effusive praise of Joe Biden, Brinkley eagerly awaited Biden’s opportunity to “relate back to the Founders and Abraham Lincoln.”

King began with a more practical question, “It was a very effective message, Joe Biden versus Donald Trump, one-on-one, versus an incumbent president. Can you make that in a midterm election campaign which we all know; the first midterm is generally about the president in power, but you call this a State of the Union for the midterm year, why?”

Brinkley immediately began the Biden worship, “Because 2021 was not a good year for Joe Biden and 2022 is starting to shape up to be pretty good. He got gasoline prices down, the Roe decision, you know, the overturning of Roe v. Wade was an apocalypse in the democratic world but Biden’s able to say get behind Democrats or this is what you’re going to get.”

Roe itself the apocalypse for babies and the equation of abortion with democracy is nonsensical, but spewing nonsense is what Brinkley does best as he continued, “we see Biden being like Fighting Joe Biden of Scranton this past week. I suspect we’ll see more of that tonight, but it’s also at a great stage like Philadelphia’s Independence Hall where he could relate back to the Founders and Abraham Lincoln.”

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Later in the interview, King circled back to the issue of practical electoral matters, “Is this a moment, George W. Bush the only president in modern times not to lose House seats in the first midterm election? That’s the one that came right after 9/11. The country viewed it as a crisis—crisis– moment. But every other. Ronald Reagan was a good politician, Bill Clinton was a good politician, Barack Obama was a good politician. They all lost seats in their first midterm election in the House. Can Joe Biden defy history? Do you see this moment as that big?”

Returning to abortion, Brinkley replied, “Two weeks ago I would have said impossible. But there is a blue wave going on right now, and I think it’s the House is in play. Why? Women, women, women.”

He even compared the political effects of Roe’s to the Voting and Civil Rights Acts, “I mean, the fact of the matter, when Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights and Civil Rights Act and said ‘there goes the South,’ when the Supreme Court demolished Roe v. Wade it really said ‘there goes the women’s vote’ whatever that– we consider that in America shifting to the Democrats.”

Brinkley concluded by declaring, contrary to evidence, that this year’s women’s vote will be more lopsided than in the past, “I think the amount of women that are engaged this year, midterm year, is something like we’ve never seen in American history. One caveat: ever since women’s suffrage in, you know, in 1920 we’re always talking about the women’s vote. It often doesn’t show up in blocks. I have a feeling this year it might and that means Congress might be a dead heat.”

We will see what happens in November, but one thing is for sure: Joe Biden is no Abraham Lincoln.

This segment is sponsored by Safelite.

Here is a transcript for the September 1 show:

CNN Inside Politics with John King

9/1/2022

12:50 PM ET

JOHN KING: Presidential historian Doug Brinkley is with us now. It was a very effective message, Joe Biden versus Donald Trump, one-on-one, versus an incumbent president. Can you make that in a midterm election campaign which we all know; the first midterm is generally about the president in power, but you call this a State of the Union for the midterm year, why? 

DOUGLAS BRINKLEY: Because 2021 was not a good year for Joe Biden and 2022 is starting to shape up to be pretty good. He got gasoline prices down, the Roe decision, you know, the overturning of Roe v. Wade was an apocalypse in the democratic world but Biden’s able to say get behind Democrats or this is what you’re going to get. And I think he’s seen now as a commander-in-chief dealing with the Ukraine, climate crisis everywhere, forests burning across America. That’s a Democratic issue and so we see Biden being like Fighting Joe Biden of Scranton this past week. I suspect we’ll see more of that tonight, but it’s also at a great stage like Philadelphia’s Independence Hall where he could relate back to the Founders and Abraham Lincoln.

KING:  Is this a moment, George W. Bush the only president in modern times not to lose House seats in the first midterm election? That’s the one that came right after 9/11. The country viewed it as a crisis—crisis– moment. But every other. Ronald Reagan was a good politician, Bill Clinton was a good politician, Barack Obama was a good politician. They all lost seats in their first midterm election in the House. Can Joe Biden defy history? Do you see this moment as that big? 

BRINKLEY: Two weeks ago I would have said impossible. But there is a blue wave going on right now, and I think it’s the House is in play. Why? Women, women, women. I mean, the fact of the matter, when Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights and Civil Rights Act and said “there goes the South,” when the Supreme Court demolished Roe v. Wade it really said “there goes the women’s vote” whatever that– we consider that in America shifting to the Democrats. And I think the amount of women that are engaged this year, midterm year, is something like we’ve never seen in American history. One caveat: ever since women’s suffrage in, you know, in 1920 we’re always talking about the women’s vote. It often doesn’t show up in blocks. I have a feeling this year it might and that means Congress might be a dead heat. 

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