Two weeks from now, 20 Democratic candidates will assemble on a stage in Detroit for the second wave of presidential primary debates. Officially, all 20 candidates will be running for president. But don't be fooled. Some of them, like Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren, are actual contenders. At least theoretically, they could win.
You can't say that for many of the others in the race. These are the zombie candidates. They're long expired, but still lumbering around, pretending to be alive. As usual, the geniuses in the press corps are the last to know. They always are. You'll probably see articles -- long articles -- and segments on television about candidate Joe Biden: How's he doing? That will last for at least the next six months.
But keep in mind as you see these pieces, it's all a mirage. Joe Biden's campaign is deader than disco. It all happened so suddenly. In May, Biden seemed to dominate the Democratic field. And then one day, a reporter asked him a throwaway question about China. Here's what happened next:
Reporter: Vice President Biden, do you have a comment on the Chinese tariffs?
Joe Biden, 2020 presidential candidate, former vice president: I'll answer this question. The answer is yes, I do. The president has done nothing but increase the tariffs, the debt and the trade deficit. The way we have to proceed is we have to have our allies with us. It's not just us - we have to keep the rest of the world together.
Secondly, we should -- labor should -- be at the table as well as our allies, because that's the only thing. And the fourth thing we should do is we need to be focusing on the things that in fact, I've been talking about for a long time. China's greatest violation is the way in which they steal our intellectual property. We should make it quid pro quo, as I've told when I was dealing with Xi Jinping.
It should be simple. Here's the deal. You say that if, in fact, don't -- anything has to be owned, 50 percent by Chinese to invest in China. Guess what? In America, is the same thing. This idea of dealing with all -- the only people who are paying the price are farmers and working people right now. He's going about it all the wrong way. A lot of bravado, no action.
Got that? No, actually, you don't have that because there's nothing to get. Not a single phrase in a single sentence made a single bit of sense. It was bizarre, it was entirely meaningless.
It was pretty obvious right then that Joe Biden was not going to be president of the United States. That was May 14 of this year. That day, we called it.
Tucker Carlson's monologue, May 14, 2019: Ignore what they're telling you on television. Joe Biden is not going to be president. He probably won't be the Democratic nominee. He is not capable of it.
There's no reason to be cruel and get more specific than that. But just watch Biden and ask yourself, "Really?" Anyone who says that a guy -- that guy -- is going to win a presidential election at the age of nearly 78 is either lying or deluded.
Well, not to brag, but we were right. Almost to the day, actually, looking back, on May 13th, the day before, according to RealClearPolitics, Biden led his closest Democratic rival by an average of 27 points in the polls. That was the apogee; it was the high point. It's been a swift decline ever since.
Kamala Harris called Biden a racist on the debate stage, and he had no response for her. He then apologized for associating with other Democrats in Congress, bizarrely. And now his lead has fallen to below 10 points. In the State of California, the biggest state in the Union, he is losing.
Another candidate might be able to turn things around. But Biden can't. In fact, he should be retired right now, chatting with strangers at the produce aisle and having dinner with his grandkids. Instead, he is going to spend the next six months shedding whatever remaining dignity he has, as he moves toward the inevitable humiliation of defeat for the third time. It's sad to watch.
Not that Beto O'Rourke has even noticed it happening. Beto is occupied. Beto is Living in his own private hell.
Back in March, things looked very different. Beto was on the cover of "Vanity Fair," which is a magazine. He was riding a skateboard. He was promising to take America back to the careless exuberance of 1993. Beto was live blogging his trips to the dentist.
Everyone was pretending to think that was great. And then Pete Buttigieg showed up and wrecked everything. Buttigieg was even younger than Beto,and even more glib.
Uh- oh. That's when things started to fall apart.
People began to notice that even though he uses a bogus Mexican nickname, Beto was still a rich white guy from a rich family who went to boarding school in Colombia. That's not allowed in the Democratic Party. Beto seemed to recognize it himself, by the way, maybe for the first time. Watch Beto O'Rourke grovel at the thought of himself in an interview on "The View":
Beto O'Rourke: You're right. There are things that I had been privileged to do in my life that others cannot. The systematic, foundational discrimination that we have in this country in every aspect of life is something that I have not experienced in my lifetime. And I've had advantages that others cannot enjoy. I have my work cut out for me to be a better person and ensure that I'm more mindful to the experiences that others have had different than experiences that I have had.
Joy Behar, co-host of "The View": So with those things -- you were on the "Vanity Fair" cover -- are those mistakes. Would you say those are mistakes, being on the cover of "Vanity Fair?"
O'Rourke: Yes, so maybe --
Behar: It looks elitist. What? What's wrong?
O'Rourke: Yes, yes, I think it reinforces that perception of privilege, and that headline that said I was -- I was born to be in this. And the article is attempting to say that I felt that my calling was in public service. No one is born to be president of the United States of America. Least of all me. So, so --
Behar: How about the part-time dad thing?
O'Rourke Yes, so listen ...
Behar: You got the flack for that one.
O'Rourke: Absolutely, and I deserved it.
"I deserved it." And with those three words, the Beto for President campaign died a well-deserved death. Nobody who apologizes for his family, for being himself, or simply existing is going to get elected president. If you hate yourself that much, no matter how justified that hatred is, people have trouble liking you.
Joe Biden should be retired right now, chatting with strangers at the produce aisle and having dinner with his grandkids. Instead, he is going to spend the next six months shedding whatever remaining dignity he has, as he moves toward the inevitable humiliation of defeat for the third time.
A new St. Anselm College poll of New Hampshire voters shows Beto O'Rourke getting a total of -- drumroll please -- zero percent in the first in the nation primary state. Zero percent. Nobody in New Hampshire likes Beto O'Rourke. Ouch. But again, well-deserved. Another candidate out of the race.
Kirsten Gillibrand ought to be celebrating this. Fewer candidates to compete with. Unfortunately, she can't celebrate because Gillibrand just killed her own presidential campaign. It happened last week in Youngstown, Ohio, famously one of this country's most economically depressed cities.
A woman came forward to ask a simple question of Sen. Gillibrand. She said, "My community is falling apart, people are dying. They're impoverished. So, why is the Democratic Party lecturing me about white privilege?"
"The Democratic Party loves to throw around terms like 'white privilege.' Now, this is an area that across all demographics, has been depressed because of the loss of its industry and an opioid crisis," the woman said. "So, what do you have to say to people in this area about so-called white privilege?"
So, this might have been an opportunity for Kirsten Gillibrand. For years, she's hopped on every ludicrous fad the Democratic Party has offered, no matter what it is, from the #MeToo hysteria, to seizing guns from law-abiding Americans. Just this one time, Gillibrand might have distinguished herself by resisting and choosing the obvious truth over left-wing orthodoxy.
But no, she was afraid to. So Gillibrand did what she assumed she had to do. She stood on the stage and lectured a struggling woman from Youngstown, Ohio, about her white privilege.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y.: Your suffering is just as important as a black or brown person suffering, but to fix the problems that are happening in the black community, you need far more transformational efforts. So if your son is 15 years old and smokes pot, he smokes pot just as much as the black boys' neighborhood and the Latino boys' neighborhood. But that black and brown boy is four times more likely to be arrested. That's institutional racism. Your son will likely not have to deal with that because he is white. So when someone says white privilege, that's all they're talking about.
Imagine saying something like that to someone from Youngstown, Ohio. It's absurd. And it's not just absurd, it's cruel. You'd have to be a nasty, cold person to say that, and Gillibrand is. Voters can smell it. She is done.
And then there's Cory Booker. Cory Booker's presidential path was simple: Be the dollar store version of Barack Obama. And Booker could be almost as cool, almost as likable, almost as historic as Barack Obama. Maybe he'd be almost as presidential, too. That was the calculation.
But Cory Booker's hopes died in the worst possible way -- live, on national television. He went to the first Democratic debate with a plan. He was going to answer an immigration question in Spanish. How's that for clever? It will show is cross-cultural appeal.
Booker is almost 50. He went to Yale Law School, but pandering in Spanish might make him look hip. That was the hope.
Unfortunately, someone beat him to the gimmick. Beto O'Rourke, of course, had the same idea. He went first. Cory Booker was not happy. That was obvious to everyone watching.
Ouch. When you're the only man in America that Beto O'Rourke can dominate, it's over. Sorry. Better luck four years from now, Spartacus.
Adapted from Tucker Carlson's monologue from "Tucker Carlson Tonight" on July 18, 2019.