Getting By With a Little Help From His Friends

Saving the Biden campaign from Joe Biden.

Former Vice President of the United States Joe Biden speaking with attendees at the Moving America Forward Forum hosted by United for Infrastructure at the Student Union at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nevada. February 16, 2020. (photo: Gage Skidmore)

The biggest obstacle facing the Joe Biden campaign has always been Joe Biden.

Democratic insiders and politicos have made this old joke often and pointedly since the moment Biden first accidentally announced his candidacy- via gaffe.

As the Biden campaign went on, the old joke proved true more often than not. But Joe Biden’s failures on the campaign trail, and there have been plenty, haven’t hurt him as much as they should have.

It is Biden’s many connections- in the Democratic Party and in the corporate media- who have helped the Biden campaign recover stumble after stumble.

When half-dozen women spoke up about Joe Biden over a year ago, all describing similar incidents during which Biden touched them without permission in ways that made them feel uncomfortable, it should have ended his campaign.

Biden apologized, on which news outlets were quick to report. But he also cracked a few jokes in subsequent campaign events after the accusations against him were made public, making a great show of “asking permission” and generally making light of the issue. Major news publications ignored or down-played the jokes, and the implications.

When Joe Biden’s son Hunter went on 60-Minutes and admitted his $50,000 per month board position with a Ukrainian energy firm while his father was Vice President and Obama administration point-man in Ukraine was “probably” because of his last name and showed “poor judgement”; that should've ended the Biden campaign.

But the media largely ignored Hunter Biden, writing the whole thing off as a Republican talking point, a below the belt shot at a candidate’s family. After all, what Joe Biden’s son did wasn’t technically illegal. By and large, media outlets chose instead to focus on Donald Trump and impeachment.

Any of Biden’s other short-comings should have ended his campaign as well: Biden’s dismal debate performances; His occasionally incomprehensible interviews; Biden’s many racist statements written off as innocent “gaffes”.

The multiple times he has lost his temper and cursed-out voters on the campaign trail should have ended Biden’s campaign. Video clips of any of the incidents, had they been shown on the nightly news, might have ended the Biden campaign.

Any of the several recent occasions in which Biden has been caught, red-handed, fabricating stories out of whole cloth, might have ended his current run for the nomination.

In one memorable whopper, Biden claimed to have once gone to jail trying to visit Nelson Mandela. Had Biden been asked any “gotcha” questions about these things- the kinds of questions reporters write all day for Donald Trump- Biden’s subsequent outburst might have ended his campaign in real time.

Why else would reporters ask “gotcha” questions?

These incidents, taken together, don’t prove Joe Biden is mentally unfit for the presidency, or that he physically unfit. What they do show, conclusively, is that Biden does not have sound judgement when it comes to running his campaign.

He cannot be counted upon to win this race.

The Biden campaign has been poorly run and badly handled. It was struggling to capitalize on Biden’s strengths while distracting from his weaknesses before COVID-19 hit. Now that campaigns have to be online from now until who-knows-when, Biden’s “No Malarky” bus tour and his boasts about new campaign headquarters leave him looking even more out-gunned that usual.

Especially as the Biden campaign is standing in the shadow of the Trump campaign’s massive, ground-breaking, data-driven masterpiece of a digital marketing platform.

Without another campaign event, without any more rallies, the Trump campaign is ready to find and turn out every likely voter in his wheelhouse.

The Biden campaign most certainly is not.

The former Vice President received today the endorsement and support of his former rival for the Democratic nomination. Sen. Bernie Sanders, who left the race last week, has publicly committed his support for Joe Biden.

Will it help?

Joe Biden is in a position to use this support to harness disgruntled Bernie Sanders voters into an online platform ideally suited to take the fight to Donald Trump.

Unfortunately for Democrats, Joe Biden’s pattern suggests that he will fail to take advantage of the opportunity.

Joe Biden might be good at partnering with the right people but he is also great at embracing the wrong ones.

Rep. Jim Clyburn’s well-timed endorsement may have saved a Biden campaign on the brink, but Biden’s ill-timed praise of segregationist Democrats should have ended his campaign.

Take Joe Biden’s open-handed, and entirely unnecessary, embrace of former presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke.

Perhaps Joe Biden, like Beto O’Rourke, didn’t get the memo from gun control advocates and political action committees that the phrase “gun confiscation” is pure poison at the ballot box, and pure poison for gun control efforts.

“Gun control” gets a wide swath of the public on the Democratic side; “gun confiscation” sends supporters of gun control running for the hills.

Joe Biden would have been better off having not gone out of his way to embrace O’Rourke, as the recent failure of gun confiscation bills in Virginia proved.

Virginia, led by Democratic governor Ralph Northam, and boasting a state legislature completely controlled by Democrats tried a number of aggressive gun control bills in the most recent election.

All such efforts were seen as over-reaching and Democrats failed to pass any of them.

It should be noted, by Joe Biden in particular and before he plan any events with Beto, that Republicans played no part in the failure of Virginia gun-confiscation plans.

O’Rouke’s own ill-conceived declaration of “Hell, yes; we are going to take your AR-15!” may have won him plenty of kudos from the liberal twitteratti, but it also sank his presidential campaign.

Also, when the gun control lobby moves to distance itself from you, you must not be helping very much.

It is now time for Joe Biden to choose his vice president. While Biden has committed to selecting a female Vice President, Biden’s history makes it seem unlikely that his choice will help his campaign.

Can the Biden campaign survive Joe Biden from now until Election Day?

(contributing writer, Brooke Bell)

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