Joe Biden Running On Empty

Are Democrats Cool on Biden?

That was the headline on Monday’s New York Times On Politics newsletter from Lisa Lerer. Does the statement — Democrats cool on Joe Biden — require a question mark? At this point in time? After all those debates?


JOE BIDEN, Creative Commons

Biden’s had plenty of exposure. Maybe too much exposure. Voters reacted with friendly warmth but tepid enthusiasm.

It wasn’t so long ago that Bernie Sanders seemed destined to be the Democratic nominee. However, the idea of a Democratic Socialist was said to discomfit the Democratic Party establishment (if such a thing exists). More likely, the Socialist idea simply spooked old-fashioned Democratic voters on Super Tuesday. Suddenly, the momentum shifted from Bernie to Joe.

Now, all attention is turned to the Coronavirus pandemic, which has been hijacked as a reality TV show starring Donald Trump. It’s a reprise of “The Apprentice” series. After stumbling through the first few episodes, Trump warmed to the new story line. Now the show is so popular it’s on every night. And it’s just been extended through the end of April, at least.

(Note: Definitely not making light of the Coronavirus crisis. It is totally real and serious, worldwide. Simply pointing out how it has also become a nightly television spectacle, with eerie similarity to a reality TV show.)

Too soon to speculate whether the TV version of coronavirus might be extended for a second season in the fall. Would it be riveting enough to preempt NFL football and the November General Election? Highly unlikely, don’t you think?

And the Democratic nomination contest?

Some say it’s over, decided.

Sanders says, let’s debate.

Biden says, let’s move on.

Momentum? Full stop. Momentum is becalmed, not a hint of breeze in the sails.

What little we’ve seen of Joe Biden in recent weeks seems to reinforce the memory left over from the debates.

Joe Biden looks like an old man running on empty.

Or maybe that’s just your humble correspondent, psychologically projecting the way I feel. Which is old and empty.

I have not taken a survey, scientific or otherwise. But among the few folks I’ve talked to, “old and running on empty” seems to be a consensus.

Or to put it another way:

Biden doesn’t talk or look like a man who’s up to running against Trump.

Again, maybe it’s just me. I’m not quite 72, and I don’t feel like running. Running anywhere. Period. (But until the sheriff shows up with handcuffs, I continue to walk outdoors. Several times a day. It’s for my health. Not to mention my sanity.)

The incredible disappearing candidate

To my surprise, some folks assume the Democratic Party will somehow make Joe Biden disappear. They think the Democratic Convention will crown a mystery candidate whose name is not Joe Biden. And not Bernie Sanders, either.

Biden and Sanders will vanish, and quietly. This will happen by magic, somehow, before the last day of the Milwaukee convention in July.

An alternate theory is that the convention itself will vanish, postponed due to coronavirus. Or due to lack of interest in Joe Biden.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled reality TV show.

— John

5 thoughts on “Joe Biden Running On Empty

  1. I won’t touch the snarky comment about Prez Trumps desire to keep people informed — I’ll go straight to the Biden problem.

    Here’s what I see: You’re not voting for Biden as president — you’re voting for his running mate. That might be Hillary or B. O. I’d rather see Amy for V.P. but the way it looks right now, the Deep State (who doesn’t have anyone’s interest at heart, whether Dem, Rep, or people in general) will put someone in who is one of their cronies so that s/he can step up when Biden is either taken out for incompetence or dies.

    No, that’s not what I want. That’s just looks to be what’s happening.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is possible that Donald Trump may finally be growing into the job of president as he grapples daily with the coronavirus crisis. That’s the optimistic view, but honestly, I can’t force myself to believe it.

      The choice of a vice presidential candidate is certainly important, and it could make a difference in a very close election. But people are never voting for the vice presidential candidate. Whether it’s Biden or whoever, voters will be choosing between the Democratic nominee and the Republican nominee, who will be Trump.

      I’m not sure what the definition of Deep State is. It’s a relatively recent concept of uncertain origin. Since I don’t know what it is, I can’t comment on whether it might exist somewhere deep inside the U.S. government.

      But I know for sure that there is no Deep State that will select the Democratic vice presidential nominee. Although many people and interests may jostle to promote one or another possible running mate, it is a decision that is made by one person only, and that is the presidential nominee. I agree that Amy Klobuchar would be an excellent choice for veep, though I doubt it would make any difference.

      Sen. Klobuchar would be better as the presidential nominee, but that seems to be a far-fetched fantasy at the moment.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, the deep state exists. Here’s a little something about it:

        Most people do vote for the president, but in this case it seems prudent to remember that if anything happens to the president, the VP is next in line.

        For Biden to have a bats chance in a bell factory of being elected, he’ll have to choose as his running mate a high-profile person that will make people want to go to the polls and vote.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I read the article you cited about “deep state.” It is both interesting and informative. It mentions both bureaucracies in special interests.

          Bureaucracies are indeed a deep subject. Bureaucracies have existed as long as government itself. Ancient Rome and ancient China had extensive bureaucracies. Politicians come and go; bureaucracies persist and endure. Often bureaucracies have agendas of their own, which may run counter to the intentions of elected politicians of the moment.

          And of course there are always “special interests,” which seem to play an increasingly powerful role in modern America.

          And history is full of fascinating palace intrigues and power struggles of all sorts, competing dynasties, and ideologies, not to mention political romances, royal marriages, even ancient feuds of forgotten origin.

          My knowledge and understanding of all the above is woefully limited. It is beyond my ability to understand exactly where the new concept “deep state” fits in, or what it adds to the bewildering swirl of government and politics.

          I agree that it will be essential for Biden, if he is the nominee, to select a running mate who can help motivate voter support.


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