One one level, this is the most insufferable horseshit:

White House hopeful Joe Biden doubled down on his vow to cooperate with Republicans should he be elected president, saying he successfully worked across the aisle as vice president.

“There’s an awful lot of really good Republicans out there,” he said Saturday at a Massachusetts fundraiser. “I get in trouble for saying that with Democrats, but the truth of the matter is, every time we ever got in trouble with our administration, remember who got sent up to Capitol Hill to fix it? Me. Because they know I respect the other team.”

Biden acknowledged that while Republicans and Democrats appear at odds on most issues plaguing Washington but said many conservatives are being “intimidated” to follow in lock step with President Trump.

“They’re decent people. They ran because they care about things, but they’re intimidated right now,” he told the fundraiser’s attendees.

Decent people don’t belong to organizations led by people like Donald Trump. Not for long, anyway. I am as tired as anyone of hearing Biden suggest otherwise. And I’d like him to produce an itemized list of the supposed breakthroughs he made with the Republicans when the Obama administration sent him down to the Hill to iron things out. He didn’t accomplish shit with those lunatics because it wasn’t actually possible to accomplish anything with them.

But, as grating as Biden’s routine is, I actually do think it’s smart campaigning. It feeds into a hunger a lot of Democrats have for a less winner-take-all kind of politics. It also chips away at efforts to paint Biden as a radical socialist who is out of the mainstream, so it’s a solid general election strategy too. I really do not believe that serving up partisan red meat is going to be a winning strategy next year, and when Biden does it, he’s going to make it about Trump rather than his party or his supporters. I think it’s pretty clear that this enables him to give permission to as many people as possible to vote for him, and that that is the smartest way to beat this president.

After all, Trump isn’t going to win a likability contest with Biden, nor with most of the other Democratic candidates for president. He’s going to try to bring his opponent down to his level and paint them as threatening to core, perennial Republican interests. He’s going to argue that he’s the only thing standing in the way of radical change that people won’t like, so his biggest problem is a candidate who promises a return to normalcy. Against that kind of campaign, his rhetoric will be unconvincing and ineffective.

Biden has a clear and sensible strategy. It’s low on risk because this is a very winnable election and why take needless chances?

Still, playing it safe brings its own kind of risk. Elizabeth Warren is catching up to Biden is some recent polls and may speed out in front of him. If that happens, his strategy could suddenly become a big liability because he’s isn’t positioned to run a come-from-behind campaign.

It could be that Biden is miscalculating about how much the Democratic electorate values normalcy over progress. His stupid happy-talk about “decent” Republicans is a giant turn-off to a lot of partisan Democrats. And they may have enough power to deny him the chance to use his general election strategy.

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