It’s always difficult to tell for sure, but it appears that Joe Biden has settled on a campaign slogan. Or perhaps two of them. If you go to his official campaign website, you’ll see a slogan up at the top which reads “Our Best Days Still Lie Ahead.” But you rarely if ever hear him saying that on the stump or during interviews. Instead, he’s rolled out one standard line that comes up over and over.
“I will not let this man be reelected president of the United States of America.”
That was the subject of discussion for a recent Fox News panel. So how well does that theme pass the smell test? Unsurprisingly, one member of the Wall Street Journal editorial board was unimpressed and the rest of the panel appeared to agree.
“This is, I think, a reflection of the statement that Biden made when he entered this race, which is essentially saying Donald Trump is an irredeemable bigot and destructive force and he needs to be stopped,” observed Wall Street Journal editorial board assistant editor James Freeman.
“Is that a good theme for a campaign in 2020?” he asked the “Deep Dive” panel.
“One of the worst slogans I’ve ever heard in a commercial is ‘I will not let Donald Trump be president,’” said Brad Blakeman, who is an adjunct professor at Georgetown University and a former member of President George W. Bush’s senior staff. “That’s not the way our country works. We will decide — the people — as to who our president’s going to be.”
The more Biden keeps repeating this line, the more he sets a negative tone for his campaign. And that hasn’t traditionally been a formula for success.
George W. Bush went with “A Stronger America.” Donald Trump used the now ubiquitous “Make America Great Again.” And Joe’s old boss, Barack Obama, became famous for his three-word mantra, “Yes We Can.”
What Joe Biden has essentially done is take “Yes We Can” and turn it into “No, We Can’t” (… elect Trump again.)
The other excellent point the panel made in the linked segment was that Biden projects an attitude of thinking that this is all his decision. ‘I will not let Donald Trump be president,’ indicates that the choice is in Joe’s hands and he’s the superhero who is riding in to save everyone. But Joe doesn’t get to decide who the next president will be. Heck, he doesn’t even get to pick his party’s nominee.
In the end, it’s always the voters who decide. That’s one of the main rallying cries against the impeachment process that’s currently playing out. Absent any substantive evidence of high crimes and misdemeanors, it’s not up to 47 Democrats in the Senate to remove the President. It will be up to the American people next November to decide if he should stick around for another four years.
That negative tone doesn’t strike me as being terribly inspirational. Donald Trump is out on the campaign trail every week talking about a booming stock market, fat 401K accounts, rising wages, record low unemployment (particularly among minorities) and securing our borders. Biden only talks about “Orange Man Bad” and we’re all doomed if he’s elected to a second term so he can’t allow that to happen.
Just a suggestion, Uncle Joe, but maybe you should switch back to that “Our best days” line. It’s got a bit more zest to it.