By Dave Andrusko
When a gaggle of reporters for the New York Times put together “Biden Has an Edge on Trump. So Why Are Democrats Worried?” that ran Wednesday, there were a 174 days remaining until the November 3 elections.
Yet with less than six months remaining, almost the exact same themes of weakness and disorganization and slowness to respond cropped up, just as they had in any number of prior critiques of the pro-abortion former Vice President’s candidacy.
There is a learning curve to every campaign. The question remains, will the slope ever turn positive?
Katie Glueck, Lisa Lerer, Shane Goldmacher and Alexander Burns occasionally find glimmers of hope. Although still much understaffed (half of what the Clinton had in April 2016), the Biden camp is taking on new people.
Stuck at home means Biden can troll for money. And, since he is responsible for nothing other than practicing advanced social-distancing, Biden can criticize pro-life President Trump to his heart’s delight.
That some of this criticism is patently unfair is beside the point. Politics ain’t beanbag.
But compared to the systemic weaknesses, this is a tiny store of strengths. The Times’ reporters chose not to make an obvious point, but one that doesn’t get mentioned enough.
Biden has run for President multiple times and not once has he run an effective campaign. He simply has not been persuasive in making the case he should his party’s presidential nominee.
Biden carried the day in 2019-20 because he ran against a very weak field and (as the Times put it in the mildest possible terms) “despite a series of missteps and controversies.” Had not the South Carolina primaries come when they did, rescuing a flailing campaign, Biden likely would have been toast.
There is a lot more to read[www.nytimes.com/2020/05/13/us/politics/joe-biden-donald-trump-2020.html), and I would encourage you to do so. But the final takeaway is—and I am not trying to be cruel—that there is an unmistakable ring of amateurishness that characterizes the entire enterprise.
It all came together last week in an outreach that was “riddled with glitches”:
What was hailed as the first all-digital rally last Thursday evening more closely resembled late-night local-access television. Midway through, the feed went black for almost seven minutes. The audio was garbled. A dramatic walk-up entrance showing Mr. Biden removing his aviator sunglasses was mangled. “Did they introduce me?” he asked. “Am I on?”
“Did they introduce me?” Biden has been introduced many times to the American people and has yet to make an impression.
“Am I on?” In a word, no.
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