Biden Time

  • The time for a quick, set-the-record-straight, damage-control response–PR 101–has long passed for the Joe Biden campaign. But the need to address weaponized misinformation manifestly remains–for the good of the country, for the good of the campaign. Whether it comes from the DNC, Jill Biden or Barack Obama, Biden needs someone to cut to the politically pragmatic chase and tell him–over a beer or via memo–what he has to do to get out of the diversionary cross hairs that Trump has affixed. Specifically, make a media-targeted, Eastern time zone presentation–not unlike Obama’s “A More Perfect Union” speech in Philadelphia in 2008. Recall, that was the one that dealt with the incendiary, racially-charged sermons of his former minister and mentor, Rev. (“Not God bless America. God damn America.”) Jeremiah Wright. Obama distanced and disavowed, pivoted to an inclusive, positive theme and ultimately headed to an historic win.
  • OK, Biden is not Obama. Nobody is. But Obama’s former vice president needs to give Biden family context and clean up the dirt manufactured and dispersed by Trump. And he needs Hunter Biden to publicly explain his involvement and frankly apologize for trading on his surname. In the context of the sleazy Trump “dynasty,” acknowledging that reality would hardly be harmful. Then Hunter Biden needs to underscore what a uniquely special guy his dad is and why this fraught moment in our history needs the institutional experience and international perspective of a Joe Biden. And, BTW, Hunter is Biden’s son, not his “kid.” He’s 49 years old–or two decades older than his father when he was elected to Congress.
  • And then Joe Biden needs to pivot while he has the nation’s undivided attention–like no “debate” forum can provide–with an agenda, both global and domestic, that progressive Democrats, independents and country-first, non-Trump GOPsters can rally around. He needs to emphatically–and methodically–put Trump and his America-demeaning record on the impeachable defense and by so doing galvanize public opinion. He needs, maybe literally, to say (without beginning with “Look, folks”) directly to the American electorate: “Who out there doesn’t think we are better than this?”
  • In short, Biden would then be talking about America, its place and role in the world, and the ongoing threat that is the unprincipled, impulsive Trump Administration–not “quid pro Joe” diversions.
  • Maybe it’s karma or irony or just politics, but when Joe Biden first ran for–and was elected to–the Senate he was 29. By the time he was sworn-in officially in 1972, he had turned the required age of 30. He ran against the Delaware incumbent Cale Boggs, who more than doubled his age at 63. The media had referenced Boggs as prone to being “tongue-tied.” Biden ads underscored Boggs’ links to bygone days (“In 1950 Cale Boggs hoped to make Americans safe from Stalin.”) with an emphasis on the younger candidate’s mantra of “new thinking” and “new solutions.” What goes around … .

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