Former Vice President Joe Biden – the probable presidential nominee of the Democratic Party – is currently keeping a low profile. In fact, it is lower than the low profile he kept during the early primaries.
It was a smart strategy. It limited his propensity for senior moment gaffes and kept him from being effectively vetted in the public arena. He did not have to come face-to-face with a number of uncomfortable issues. Rather he hid behind a carefully crafted image. You know … good old Uncle Joe.
Biden should look at how well that worked for former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The mega-billionaire was looking pretty good – even like a serious contender – hiding behind all those paid-for campaign ads and endorsements. But when he finally had to present the real Bloomberg to the public, his half a billion-dollar campaign came crumbling down like the walls of Jericho.
Currently, Biden is producing short videos from the bunker – in this case, the basement of his home in Delaware. They are not very well done nor particularly effective. His supporters are becoming concerned. Why isn’t Biden the counterpoint to President Trump?
Oh … Biden does issues statements like “Okay man, let’s get real.” But that is side ring stuff. He is not showing up in the center ring with Trump. Biden is letting that act go to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
For now, Trump will focus on the Coronavirus outbreak and Biden will be sniping from the safety of his cellar. But what will happen when he has to engage with Trump in those final three or four months of the campaign? Biden has a LOT of baggage that is not being discussed at this moment.
Simmering on the back burner is the Hunter Biden/Ukraine controversy. Democrats may say that the accusations have been debunked, but clearly none of the critical questions have been answered for the public. Trump will make sure the public sees the problem – and further investigations will bring out more facts. They are not likely to be favorable to Biden.
Age will also be an issue. It is not Biden’s calendar age that is the problem but his psychological and biological age. To say the least, he is not a young 77. His increasingly frequent gaffes are taking on the appearance of “senior moments.”
The good news for Biden is that statistically life expectancy for a person who reaches 77 years of age is another ten years. He could well complete one term as President and even a second – statistically speaking. His odds of completing even a four-year term without a serious or even debilitating medical event are not as good – and being able to carry out the duties of the presidency for eight years is most unlikely. If you vote on the statistics. Biden is – as Jimmy Carter suggested – too old to be President.
While not much is being said at this moment, you can bet that #MeToo-ism will be an issue in the campaign. We saw a hint of that with all those stories about Biden’s inappropriate behavior around women – too much touchy-feely stuff, embraces from behind and that weird hair-sniffing thing.
But that is not the worst of it. Some of the accusations of sexually inappropriate behavior creep to the edge of sexual assault. It all depends on where on the body that touchy-feely stuff took place. There is also one accusation of sexual battery in which he is accused of using a finger to penetrate a staffer against her will.
The sexual assault case is still only an accusation, but in the wake of the #MeToo movement, accusations are to be taken seriously – maybe even too seriously, to Biden’s detriment. It will inevitably become part of the campaign discussion.
Even worse, the accusations remove the mask of sweet old Uncle Joe to reveal a brutal and heartless brute. Despite his current image, Biden has been known as a hot-headed combative type. We have already seen several instances of Biden “taking on” voters who ask questions he does not like. He calls them liars with a demeanor that can only be described as a street thug.
Then there are the policy issues. Biden has moved to the far left even as he purports to be a moderate. If you want paid sick leave, you got it. If you want childcare, you got it.
During the Coronavirus crisis, if you want your salary paid, you got it. If you want your rent paid, you got it. If you want your utilities paid, you got it.
He embraces the Green New Deal of Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. His approach to healthcare falls closer to Medicare-for-all than it does even to Obamacare. His promise to not deport ANYONE in the first 100 days of his presidency is a promise even Sanders did not make. And in that, Biden is totally repudiating the deportation policies he endorsed and supported during his years as Vice President.
After spending decades trying to achieve energy independence, Biden now promises to summarily stop all fracking. That would be instant disaster for the American economy and national security. He probably does not mean it, but he is now stuck with it.
Biden supports mandatory unionization as a means of socializing the private sector. For Biden, union membership should not be the free choice of workers. And just for jollies, he will fix every bridge and highway in America with his new federal unionized work corps.
Biden once challenged Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren on the insane cost of their proposals. He is starting to make them look like pikers.
Smart Democrats know that NOT staying cloistered is potentially Biden’s bigger problem It is what will come when Biden is dragged into the center ring and made to perform against Trump in front of a live audience that petrifies lots of Democrats – and they have every reason to be concerned.
So, there ‘tis.