What is political writing for?

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Not long ago, the prevailing opinion among political writers was that Joe Biden would probably never be president. Measured against the other candidates in the crowded 2020 Democratic primary field, it was said, he was too old, too personally and politically compromised, and too removed from the debates of the moment to mount anything more than a vanity campaign. Criticisms from Biden’s ideological opponents on the left and on the right could have been expected — but doubts about his viability as a candidate ran deep even among his natural allies in the centrist press.

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