DimWit Politics

If Biden Cannot Campaign … Can He Govern?

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If Biden Cannot Campaign … Can He Govern?

If Biden Cannot Campaign … Can He Govern?
May 26
13:12 2020

Understandably, former Vice President Joe Biden hunkered down in his basement in Delaware as the nation traveled into the headwinds of the Covid-19 pandemic.  In a way, it was a fortuitous opportunity for Biden to stay off the press-the-flesh campaign trail.

The idea was that Biden would be less prone to his iconic gaffes and his increasingly disturbing “senior moments.”  But even in that setting, Biden could not conceal his quirks.  Before the lockdown, Democrat leaders were expressing concern about Biden’s cognitive abilities.

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He frequently would lose his train-of-thought in mid-sentence.  In one highly energetic podium-pounding speech, Biden was yelling “If the other guy voted …” He suddenly stopped and look bewildered for a second – then said “I don’t want to get into that” as if he lost memory of where he was going with his words.

That is not a one-off.  Biden frequently seems to lose connection with what he is saying.  He rambles – occasionally incoherently.  In a softball CNN interview conducted from his basement, Biden started rambling – seemingly switching topics in gatling gun fashion.  The anchors conducting the interview looked bewildered – concerned that Biden was losing it.

Every politician makes mistakes.  They misspeak.  They forget names – and even their location.  But not nearly as much as Biden – and he seems to be getting worse as time goes on.

According to reports, Biden is not likely to be coming out of his bunker any time soon.  Democrats are now talking about having a virtual convention – something that seems less to do with Covid-19 and more to do with keeping Biden under wraps.  Behind closed doors, many Democrats worry that Biden cannot compete against Trump.  There was even talk of replacing him with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo – although that option is not realistic.  It is too late unless Biden voluntarily steps aside.

There have been past presidential candidates who stayed close to home. William McKinley and Warren G. Harding successfully ran what were dubbed “front porch campaigns” – using surrogates and party leaders to spread the word.  But that was at a time when candidates did not have the ability to hopscotch across the country by car, train, and especially airplane.

Today, presidential candidates are expected to be seen on the hustings – plowing through crowds and shaking hands.  They are expected to visit the folks in most states – and give speeches.  Of course, Covid-19 has squelched much of the traditional campaigning.  But as America re-opens, the voters are expected to get a glimpse of the candidates on the podium.   They will want to see them give speeches in open venues.  They want to see them answering press questions on the run.  They will expect to see them debate.

It looks like Biden will attempt to avoid all those events.  He wants to run a tightly controlled and carefully scripted campaign – a virtual campaign in which the real candidate is shielded from public exposure.

If Biden cannot hold it together in the security of his basement – carrying out interviews only with a fawning media — how will he hold up in an active and energetic campaign?  Obviously, his advisors and handlers think, not very well.

If Biden does stay backstage for the remainder of the campaign, it provokes a much more serious question.  Is he capable of serving as President of the United States?  That question has already been answered by former President Jimmy Carter, who expressed his belief that no one over the age of 80 is capable of carrying out the duties and demands of the office.  If Biden is elected, he will turn 80 before the completion of his second year in office – the oldest first-term president ever to enter the Oval Office.

The protective shield around Biden – by staff and the press – reminds me of FDR’s fourth election when everyone around him knew he was dying and would not serve out even his first year.  He died just a few months into his fourth term.

If the past is prologue, Biden’s condition will not be resolved to his benefit over the coming months.  It is likely that his gaffes and senior moments will come more often and be more obvious.

So, there ‘tis.

About Author

Larry Horist

Larry Horist

Larry Horist is a conservative activist with an extensive background in economics, public policy and politics. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman, as well as the White House. He has testified as an expert witness before legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress, and lectured at major colleges and universities. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He can be reached at lph@thomasandjoyce.com.

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