By P.J. Gladnick
Although neither the words “incoherent” nor “not coherent” appear in a Monday Newsweek column by CNBC founder Tom Rogers, it is apparent that he is worried that the apparent Democrat presidential nominee, Joe Biden, lacks the coherency to defeat President Donald Trump in November. You can see Rogers’ coherency fear about Biden right from the start in the column title, “WORDS MATTER. AND JOE BIDEN NEEDS TO USE HIS BETTER.”
Rogers starts out with his hopeful belief that Trump can be defeated in November. However, he follows that up with his horrible fear that poor Joe Biden lacks the ability to put together coherent sentences that can click with the voters:
Although Trump cannot be accused of being a strong orator, he does know how to communicate with his base in a way that connects to their passions. His words may often turn off the rest of the country, but he lights up the 46 percent or so of Americans who support him by playing verbal chords and resonant themes that create an emotional bond between him and his supporters.
By contrast, Biden’s television appearances—consisting mostly of softball interviews (outside of those dealing with the sexual harassment allegations) that ask for his critique of the president’s leadership during the pandemic—have been way below an acceptable level for somebody who is leading the charge in perhaps the most important election of our lifetime.
Thank you for that admission, Tom, that Biden gets mostly softball interviews…from reliably liberal reporters.
I am troubled to have to say this, but it has to be said: Biden must improve his unscripted speaking. There is nothing more urgent for his campaign aides to address.
“Must improve his unscripted speaking” sounds like must improve his coherency.
When Biden is talking with a teleprompter, he commands the situation much better than Trump. But in his living room media appearances so far, he stumbles, fails to complete sentences, searches for words, repeats the same points, has difficulty hitting the right points and does not take points to a deeper level, making his comments seem overly general and superficial.
I hate to break it to you, Tom, but Biden also doesn’t sound so great while reading off a teleprompter. There are videos out there of him stumbling as he reads plus even when he reads correctly, you can see from his moving eyes that he is reading off the teleprompter.
Biden’s comments hit key phrases, such as “insufficient testing,” “lack of medical supplies,” “follow the science,” “utilize the Defense Production Act” and “listen to the experts.” But they do not come together to form a crisp, clear critique of Trump and a plan to give Americans hope for the months and years ahead. He must provide a real storyline for how we, as a country, can emerge from this crisis safely, with support for those least able to handle the cruelest elements of the economic downturn.
…So, this is a message to Biden’s campaign staff: Figure out how to fix this issue, and fix it quickly. This presidential race is winnable, with everything moving in the right direction for Biden if you can get him to deal with this problem. It is better to not be seen at all for a few weeks in the midst of Trump driving himself down through his bloviating, and to go address this critical issue with whatever means of coaching, simulations or mock interview drills are necessary to get Biden’s articulation of the pandemic crisis into a compelling narrative that really resonates. Trump is no leader, but you can’t lead without communicating effectively, and right now, Joe Biden is not doing that.
Somehow it might not instill much confidence in Biden if he needs to take off from his campaign for a few weeks to go to a coherency boot camp this late in the game.
Editor’s note. This appeared at Newsbusters and is reposted with permission.