If you’re a Biden supporter you may give a big sigh of relief. Last night, the former VP got through his acceptance speech without incident. No gaffes; no brain freezes; and no non-sequiturs. To be sure, expectations were low, but I believe, at least, he met or even exceeded them.
With respect to style I think he did all right. With respect to content, not so well, as I will explain below.
My main takeaways from the DNC in general and Biden’s speech in particular are as follows:
1. Most of the focus was on criticizing President Trump. Attacking the opposition is a time-honored tactic, but at some point you have to offer solutions. It’s not enough just to blame President Trump for everything and to accuse him of being a racist and a misogynist. First of all, it’s not true. But, more importantly, discerning voters want to hear what the Dems would do to solve all the problems that they say President Trump caused or exacerbated. For example, it’s not enough to say he mishandled the CV. What would they have done differently back in January and throughout the summer? Second-guessing is easy and not acceptable. Moreover, it’s not enough to rant about the economy. Voters want to know what the Dems would do to fix it.
2. Let’s not forget that Biden has been in government for nearly 50 years. Many of these problems that he is complaining about have existed for most or all of that time. In all that time, what has he done to resolve them? Nothing that I can see.
3. I don’t recall any condemnation or even criticism of the rioting in our cities, all of which are Dem-controlled. They ignored this as if it didn’t exist. But, it does. We see it on our tv screens every night, at least those of us who watch the “real” news. People’s livelihoods are being destroyed. People are dying. People are frightened. People want to know what our elected officials plan to do about it.
4. I don’t recall any substantive discussion by either Biden or any of the other speakers of many other issues that voters care about, such as healthcare, restricting gun ownership, confiscating guns, the Green New Deal, tax increases on the middle class, reparations, the economy, China, crime, defunding the police, Hunter Biden, and many others. I have discussed these and other issues at length in previous blogs. The Dems ignored them because their positions regarding these issues are not in synch with the majority of voters. Most of them are viewed by the mainstream as radical, socialist and not practical. They are hoping the voters will focus their attention elsewhere.
5. They are pushing really hard for mail-in voting. This has been very controversial. As I have discussed in a previous blog there are many flaws in the concept, and they should be analyzed thoroughly before we rush into it, and in a presidential election, no less. Rather than debate the matter rationally, their attitude is that anyone who opposes it is a racist.
6. On the plus side, I liked Biden’s story about his conversation with George Floyd’s daughter. It was very poignant.
Now what? Now that the convention is over will Biden return to his basement man-cave, or will he commence campaigning in public? If he does venture out, will he take questions (and not just from friendly reporters)? Will he honor his commitment to debate President Trump. or will he look for an excuse to cancel? And, what about Harris? Will she expose herself to hostile reporters or will she continue to limit herself to friendly venues and audiences?
It will be interesting to see what strategy they employ. I think their prospective strategy will depend on the following factors, which are somewhat intertwined:
1. The size of the post-convention “bump” in the polls. According to The Hill the latest Real Clear Politics poll reports that Biden is leading nationally by seven points. In addition, he is ahead in most of the battleground states, although the margins have narrowed from those of a few months ago.
2. How will President Trump and the GOP perform next week.
3. What will be the size of the GOP post-convention “bump?”
Historically, post-convention “bumps” have averaged around 5%, but this is an abnormal year.
I am anticipating a close election. Don’t be surprised if something unpredictable and/or significant happens in the next few months to affect the outcome one way or another.