I mean, he’s running for president so you would assume he does, but hear me out: Does he really?
Here we have someone running to take the presidency from a man whose central character traits (along with racism, sexism, and xenophobia) are constantly misspeaking, making on camera gaffes and generally acting like a fool. So you would think Joe Biden, in order to differentiate himself from Donald Trump, would be encouraging people to vote for him by working toward as few on-the-records gaffes or misspeakings as possible.
Unfortunately, that’s not in Joe Biden’s character.
First of all, he gave voters a direct reason not to vote for him. Last week, in an MSNBC interview, Biden again denied Tara Reade’s, a Senate staffer for him in the 90s, allegation that Biden sexually assaulted her in 1993, maintaining the stance his campaign has held since Reade’s accusation. But then, Biden kept talking.
The former Vice President said, “If they [voters] believe Tara Reade, they probably shouldn’t vote for me,” and even went as far as to say, “I wouldn’t vote for me if I believed Tara Reade.” Now, first of all, I believe it was very honorable of Biden to acknowledge and state his understanding of the seriousness of this allegation to some voters. But from a political standpoint, this was a very strange choice. Reade’s allegation had already shaken Biden’s support from women and young people and Biden, rather than trying to win them back, opened the door for them to walk away. Not to say it would’ve been better for Biden to do the opposite and completely discredit Reade and those who believe her but … I don’t know — he just really put himself into a proper Catch 22 situation.
Secondly, there is, of course, the story of the week: Joe Biden’s interview with Charlamagne tha God on “The Breakfast Club.” On the show, as I’m sure you all know, Biden said, “I tell you what, if you have a problem figuring out whether you're for me or Trump, then you ain't Black." The quote spread quickly, becoming the most viral comment from a bizarrely casual interview. Critique was swift but light. Most notably, Representative Clyburn of South Carolina said he cringed at Biden’s comment, while simultaneously reiterating his support of the former Vice President. It’s unclear how the comment will affect Biden’s support among Black voters, but I think it’s safe to say Biden will not get away with it without ruffling a few feathers.
The past two weeks, it seems Biden got bored in quarantine and decided, “Why don’t I test out the strength of my support among various demographics?” And I get it, Joe. We’re all bored in isolation. But maybe you should find something different to fill your time. Get down with the kids and play Animal Crossing. Build your support among the upper middle class and start making a crazy amount of focaccia. Show your vigor and run a marathon by running 2 feet back and forth until you collapse. Or here’s an idea: work out how to reinvigorate a campaign coasting on your being vice president to the coolest president the U.S. has ever had four years ago.
That is all. This column was a bit shorter this week, but that was partly because the last column was very long and more importantly because I truly could not make heads or tails of Joe Biden this week.