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News Tip: Path to Democratic Nomination Too Far to Left for Biden, Expert Says

Biden's opponents already covering that ground, says professor Pope “Mac” McCorkle.

Vice President Joe Biden announced Wednesday he will not seek the Democratic nomination for president.•    Quotes: "Without doubt family issues weighed heavily in favor of VP Biden's decision not to run. But beyond the personal, and in terms of the political aspects of the decision, VP Biden probably recognized that he simply did not have a path to win the Democratic primary," says Pope “Mac” McCorkle, an associate professor of the practice of public policy at Duke University.“The path to victory on the Democratic side leans left, and Biden's opponents were already covering that ground. Bernie Sanders is a long-time, self-proclaimed "democratic socialist." And Secretary Clinton has been going out of her way lately to position herself to the left of the Obama administration by opposing the White House on such key symbolic issues as the Keystone pipeline and the Trans-Pacific Partnership,” says McCorkle, who has worked as an issues consultant to political candidates and state governments, including former North Carolina Democratic Govs. Mike Easley and Bev Perdue. “In contrast, Biden would have been honor-bound to defend the Obama administration down the line. Thus, ironically Biden was not far enough left in the Democratic primary because he was too tied to the Obama administration. Since the Obama position in effect is too conservative to win in the Democratic primary, the question now is how far left is too left or not left enough? Is Bernie too left or is Hillary not left enough? The betting is that Hillary is more in the sweet spot than her socialist counterpart. But even that is not as clear as it seemed six months ago."•    Bio:Pope “Mac” McCorkle is an associate professor of the practice of public policy and director of graduate studies in the Master of Public Policy Program at the Sanford School. He has served as an issues consultant to political candidates, state governments and various organizations for the last two decades. Since starting McCorkle Policy Consulting in 1994, he has worked for state and federal candidates in North Carolina as well as 28 other states.•    Archive video interview (different subject): (1:43 mark)•    For additional comment, contact McCorkle