Hot Air

Oh, So this is why Joe Biden has been hiding

Joe Biden has largely been missing in action during the mitigation phase of the coronavirus pandemic. While I don’t think that most Americans are sitting around pondering where good old Joe is, his absence from the national conversation has been noticed. That is why his presidential campaign has made a calculated decision – get Joe out there in front of the American voters now.

While it is not possible to hold standard campaign rallies now because of social distancing, especially given that Biden is in the high-risk group due to his advanced age, his campaign announced Biden will be delivering regular updates on the COVID-19 crisis via live streaming. They are called shadow briefings.

His virtual town hall on March 13 was a disaster. Biden kept moving out of camera range and there were technical issues. Biden’s first COVID -19 pandemic briefing happened on March 23. It didn’t go well. There was a problem with the teleprompter – you can see Biden making a hand gesture to get past it and abruptly move to another subject. He is stammering and it is awkward to watch. This is after he supposedly was preparing to roll out these briefings for a couple of weeks, mind you.

Yikes. Does that look like a man who should be the guy in charge?

So, the virtual town hall and the shadow briefing didn’t pan out so well. What is left now is for Joe to hit the talk show circuit. If I was on the Biden campaign payroll, which I most assuredly am not, I would have advised him to take that route in the first place. Joe Biden is not a good public speaker. He does much better one-on-one, especially with the softball questions that the media provides for him. He only goes on friendly shows anyway, so there is no expectation of holding him accountable for any ideas or plans.

Biden was a guest on The View Tuesday morning. He appears to be at home as he does the interview. Co-host Sara Haines asks a straightforward question. “Are you at all concerned, as Trump said, that we cannot let the cure be worse than the problem itself?” The View put out a tweet of the question and answer but I don’t think it had the reception it hoped for because it shows Biden answering in a really garbled way.

Got that? Biden says “the cure” for COVID-19 “will make the problem worse, no matter what.”

Biden clearly mixed up “the cure” and “the problem” in his answer, but he didn’t seem to notice, and he continued on as normal. “We know what has to be done … We’ve got to flatten that curve. And we’ve got to make sure that once, in fact, we have this under control, it doesn’t come back,” he said, effectively contradicting his earlier point. “So we should be focusing on getting all the help necessary in terms of testing, in terms of access to the gear that our first responders, our doctors, our nurses need in treating people.”

No, of course Sara Haines didn’t follow-up and ask Biden if he misspoke. Don’t expect any pushback from any of the co-hosts of The View – they will all be voting for him in November, rest assured of that. I am sure Biden will regularly appear on the show and it will always be a lovefest. He’s their guy.

The reaction on social media was what you would expect. The Biden supporters thought he was great. The other side pointed out his obvious gaffe.

Jake Tapper reminded Biden to cough into his elbow when he coughed into his hand during an interview. Biden excused it by saying it’s ok, he was alone. Was he? Who was behind the camera?

Let’s be honest. The more Biden is in front of voters, the more likely he will remind us of how gaffetastic he is. He is a placeholder of a candidate. The DNC panicked when it was becoming clear that Bernie Sanders may rise to be their candidate and Biden was dusted off and brought out as the safe choice. Unfortunately for the DNC, though, Biden is not up to the challenge. A national campaign is tough, even for the most energetic and capable candidates. Joe Biden appears feeble, frequently confused, and very low energy, as has been said of other candidates in the past.

By running Biden, the Democrats are desperately hoping to defeat President Trump in November. The plan is for him to win and bring back the status quo of the Obama days. I think Americans have moved past the status quo. Joe Biden offers nothing new in policy or big ideas. He looks back, not forward. By doing things like shadow briefings, for example, he undermines the president while offering no new solutions. He simply parrots the words of advice from experts, all of which is already being done by the Trump COVID-19 task force. Biden claims he is running to bring back the days of civility and unity. The fact is, Americans were very divided during the Obama-Biden administration. The Trump era has deepened divides, not created them. By Biden trying to run a shadow briefing operation now, during a pandemic crisis, he is further dividing, not unifying Americans.

I’ll end with this little flashback. Joy Behar has expressed concerns about Joe Biden as far back as 2009. Biden, as vice-president, admitted he was warning his family to avoid public places like airplanes and the subway during the H1N1 pandemic.

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