Joe Biden’s campaign staff has devised a very wise campaign strategy for him. It is one that is perfectly suited for him. Say and do as little as possible. Meet with as few people as possible and only those who have been vetted carefully. And, so far, aided by the support of a predominantly favorable media, it is working. Kudos to campaign manager, Greg Schultz and his team. If they manage to pull this off they would belong in the campaign manager’s Hall of Fame.
Currently, various national polls show Biden leading President Trump by anywhere from eight to 14 points. Furthermore, he is leading in most of the “swing” states. If the polls are accurate, a big “if,” he stands to win the election handily.
This is not a new campaign strategy. It was popular from the late 19th through early 20th centuries. It was employed by various candidates such as James A. Garfield (1880), Benjamin Harrison (1896), and Warren G. Harding (1920), all of whom won. It was commonly known as “front porch politics,” because the candidate would remain at home and interact with only a few selected people often on his front porch. He would engage in little or no traditional campaigning.
Biden has adopted and refined this strategy in the style of the 21st century. He is holed up, or perhaps, hiding, in his basement. He has limited his campaigning to virtual appearances and issuing carefully worded statements written by members of his campaign staff. He has not conducted any press conferences in nearly three months. He has only met with friendly members of the media who have lobbed him softball questions. He has rarely ventured out to interact with real people where he might have to answer uncomfortable questions and speak extemporaneously. He is still committing the occasional gaffe for which he is known, but as of yet, they have not hurt him. The prevailing attitude seems to be, “aw, it’s just good ole Joe being Joe.”
His handlers are very pleased with the results so far and likely will continue this strategy as long as they are able, maybe even through the convention. They might even be able to avoid any debates with President Trump.
Why? We know why. I have blogged about Biden’s apparently diminished capacity many times. It is obvious whenever he does speak in public. There is no need to belabor the matter. Obviously, a majority of the public is willing to overlook it.
How does he get away with this? Why is this working? How can he campaign in this manner and be up in the polls? Simple. As I said, (1) he is being aided and abetted by a friendly, some would say complicit, media; and (2) half the country hates President Trump so much they would probably vote for anyone else instead, including, apparently, a nondescript, impaired Joe Biden.
As I said, Biden has been in politics for over 50 years. He served in the Senate from 1973 – 2008. Then, he served as VP from 2008 – 2016. He has had a long career in public service. Was it distinguished? It depends on one’s point of view. In my opinion, it has not been.
In reality, what has he accomplished? His main accomplishment was sponsoring the comprehensive crime bill in 1994, and even that is now under so much criticism he has been trying to disavow it. Basically, he has been a bystander, watching events unfold without influencing them. He has portrayed himself as a big defender of the disadvantaged, primarily AAs, but his actions have been at odds with his words. Generally, he has studiously avoided speaking up, taking a stand. Read on, and I will demonstrate.
Biden likes to criticize the current situation and spout off how he would fix everything as president. All candidates do this, but in Joe’s case it rings hollow. He has had his chance over the last 50+ years, and he has failed. What makes one think he could do so now?
To illustrate my point, let’s play a little game, a version of that child’s game, “Where’s Waldo.” I’ll call it “where is/was Joe?” Joe portrays himself as a strong protector/supporter of African Americans. Recently, in one of his rare interviews he told the interviewer that if an AA didn’t vote for him “you ain’t black.”
1. He professes to be a big supporter of AAs. He talks a good game. Why hasn’t he spoken out? Why, in all these years, hasn’t he introduced legislation to curb the violence in AA neighborhoods? To improve the schools? To create jobs? In the last 50+ years where was Joe?
2. For several years AAs have been the victims of wanton shootings. On occasion, the shootings have been controversial and involved police leading to public outrage, rioting, and violence. Most of the time, the crimes have been “black on black” and drug or gang-related crimes in predominantly black neighborhoods and have drawn little traction in the media, which only seems interested in situations involving a police officer and an AA. Where was Joe?
3. The overwhelming percentage of AAs are law abiding. They have been living in fear for themselves and their loved ones. They have been begging for law and order in their communities. This past weekend the deaths included two three year-old black children slain by other AAs. Unfortunately, crimes against children have not been uncommon. Where was Joe?
4. Regarding the recent police-involved deaths of AAs in Ferguson, MO, Baltimore, MD, NYC, and other locales, which have sparked much controversy and violence, where was Joe?
Regarding the recent police-involved murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, where was Joe?
5. Regarding the eleven additional shootings in Minneapolis this past weekend, including one death, where is Joe?
6. Regarding the 72 shootings in NYC from June 15 through Sunday, mostly AAs. Where is Joe?
7. Regarding the continued violence in Atlanta, Baltimore, LA and many other cities, all of which have been and are run by Dems, where is Joe?
8. Regarding the ongoing violence in Chicago including one hundred shootings over this past weekend, mostly AAs, where is Joe?
9. Black Lives Matter takes over a six square block area of Seattle and declares it to be their separate country. Local politicians, all Dems, do nothing to stop it. Where was Joe?
10. Unending violence against innocent AAs in various other cities across America, continue unabated. Where is Joe?
11. Regarding the defacing and destruction of historic statues and monuments in various locales, including not just former Confederates but also four of our most beloved presidents – Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Teddy Roosevelt – and heroes of the republic such as Francis Scott Key, where is Joe?
12. For years, China has systematically taken advantage of the US, economically, flooding our markets with cheap goods, undercutting certain of our industries, ensnaring us in one-sided trade deals, and paying off US officials, including Hunter Biden. Hunter is rumored to have been paid $1.5 billion by the Chinese government for no legitimate purpose. Where was Joe?
13. A Ukraine oil company was rumored to have paid Hunter several hundred thousand dollars a year despite his lack of expertise in the area. This arrangement was obviously a bribe based on his father being vp. We know where Joe for that one. He was busy threatening government officials that he would arrange to withhold foreign aide to the government of Ukraine unless it dropped an ongoing investigation into the matter and then bragging about it.
14. Regarding the recent rioting in many US cities resulting in wanton destruction of property, many of them small businesses owned by minorities and immigrants, the very groups Joe professes to support, where was Joe?
15. For years veterans have suffered from inadequate healthcare. Where was Joe?
16. As the coronavirus was rampaging through the US in early 2020, and President Trump was instituting travel bans to protect us, where was Joe?
17. Regarding members of Black Lives Matter hijacking peaceful protests and transforming them into rioting and violence, where is Joe?
18. Regarding rioters threatening to establish a Seattle-style separate zone in the very shadow of the White House, where is Joe?
Where, indeed. Nowhere to be found. Hiding in his basement. That’s where.
After spending over 50 years in politics, no one really knows what Joe stands for, because it keeps changing. For years, he was a moderate Dem, but in 2020 he has changed his positions seemingly daily. It appears he is merely repeating the words that have been put in front of him. He has allowed himself to be pulled far to the left by the radical elements in his party. He has supported outlandish, unrealistic policies such as the Green New Deal, free healthcare for all, and unfettered immigration. Anyone with a brain can see that these socialist policies would bankrupt the country. He panders to the audience he is addressing at the time. Once again, the media does not challenge him. This is the candidate the majority wants to be president? Unbelievable!
In my view, Biden’s support is wide and shallow. Most of his supporters do not do so vigorously. Many of them are only supporting him because he is not Mr. Trump. I will concede that the president is not well liked. In fact, many voters dislike him intensely. It doesn’t bother me. I look at what he does, not what he says.
Here’s an analogy to the election. Suppose you needed an operation to save your life. You have to choose between two surgeons. One is nice, personable, and easy to get along with, but his skills are mediocre and, perhaps, deteriorating. The other is a nasty, arrogant, SOB, but his surgical skills are outstanding. Which one would you choose? I would pick the SOB and do my best to ignore his disagreeable personality. Probably, most of you would also. That is how I view the election choices. President Trump has a disagreeable personality, but he delivers results. Biden may be a nicer person, but his skills are lacking and deteriorating further. There is a reason why his handlers have him hiding in his basement, and it’s not because of the coronavirus.
I fear that a President Biden would be dominated by his unelected advisors and the vice president. That is a very scary scenario. If he wins, I fear the republic we know and love would be in grave danger.