by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Joe Biden will almost certainly be the Democratic presidential nominee, but Bernie Sanders and his far-left allies could be the biggest winners as the former vice president adopts positions that seemed fringe and radical just four years ago.
That Biden is described as a “centrist” or a “moderate” candidate relative to the current and former Democratic rivals shows how far left the party lurched in just four years in large part due to the Vermont senator’s rise in national prominence. Biden campaigns on increasing taxes, a public option for health insurance, and a $15-per-hour minimum wage, among other initiatives.
Biden has not only evolved his positions to fit into a new baseline Democratic Party ideological standard, but he has dramatically shifted key positions over the course of his campaign, further demonstrating Democrats’ race to the left.
On Sunday, hours before his first one-on-one debate against Sanders, Biden adopted two policy proposals championed by his far-left rivals.
“Today, Biden is adding to his agenda by adopting Sen. Sanders’s proposal to make public colleges and universities tuition-free for all students whose family incomes are below $125,000,” the campaign said. Previously, Biden advocated making only a two-year community college education tuition-free.
He also adopted Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s proposal to reform the bankruptcy system, a stunning change and acceptance of Warren’s views after a decade and a half of standing on the opposite side of a 2005 bankruptcy reform bill that he helped shape in the Senate. …