Politics The Unspectacular Excellence of Joe Biden’s Slow and Steady Campaign

02:26  24 october  2020
02:26  24 october  2020 Source:   politico.com

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Joe Biden is taking a slow and steady path toward the White House — and so far it seems to be working. Trump campaign manager Bill StepienBill Stepien The Hill' s Campaign Report: Two weeks to the election l Biden leads in new polls as debate looms l Trump pressures DOJ on Hunter Biden

Biden holds about an average 7 point advantage over Trump in polls taken since the beginning of the year. That' s about the same as his current lead Speaking of the Clinton campaign , Biden has never once fallen behind nationally like she did. His polling has simply been in a much narrower window.

It was a frigid night in mid-Michigan on November 2, 2018, when Joe Biden jogged onto the stage inside an overheated gymnasium at Lansing Community College, a rowdy audience of several thousand people chanting his name. The former vice president wasn’t yet a declared candidate for president, and this occasion wasn’t about him. Biden had come to Michigan to headline a unity rally four days before the midterm election. After rousing remarks from the Democratic candidates for governor, U.S. Senate and Congress, Biden bounded into the spotlight, outstretching his arms as if to gather in every decibel bouncing around the arena.

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The answer is Biden ' s cachet in this election cycle has always been what people assumed his strengths would be. A long-time senator and former vice president from a blue-collar state like Delaware was presumably a natural threat to President Donald Trump in the general election.

President Trump accused Joe Biden of “one of the worst mistakes made in presidential debate history” after the Democratic nominee vowed at their Nashville showdown that the US would “transition” from the oil industry if he was elected president. At a campaign stop in Florida’ s The Villages on Friday

a man wearing a suit and tie: GettyImages-1229229077_773.jpg © Photo by Jim Bourg-Pool/Getty Images GettyImages-1229229077_773.jpg

And then, he delivered the worst campaign speech I’d ever heard.

For nearly an hour—although it felt much longer—Biden strayed from subject to subject, alternating between exasperated observations of President Donald Trump and insider anecdotes of how things used to function in Washington. Suffering from laryngitis after stumping for dozens of other candidates, Biden’s delivery was scratchy and off-key, which only made his meandering that much harder to follow. Some 30 minutes into his remarks, with the keynote speaker no closer to finding an organizing theme, people began to get up to leave. First a few, then a larger trickle, and before long, streams of them, young and old, black and white, heading for the exits. Of those who felt obliged to stay, there were exchanged looks of bewilderment and wristwatches checked and cell phones fiddled with.

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A look at where the former vice-president stands on key issues including the economy, healthcare, education, immigration and gun control.

Mr Trump frequently interrupted, prompting Mr Biden to tell him to "shut up" as the two fought over the pandemic, healthcare and the economy. The US president was challenged over white supremacist support and refused to condemn a specific far-right group.

It was an uncomfortable scene in every respect. I remember standing in the back of that gymnasium, taking it all in, comparing notes with a very sharp colleague, Dave Weigel of the Washington Post. Neither of us could recall such a pitiful sight: The deserters kept pouring past us while Biden grasped for a compelling scrap of oratory to keep them in the bleachers. It was like watching an old athlete whose body had betrayed him. Biden, once an engaging and quick-witted pol, was on his last legs. One thing seemed certain to me that November night: If he ran for president in 2020, Biden was going to get embarrassed.

Needless to say, I was dead wrong.

The reasons I expected Biden to get mauled by the likes of Cory Booker and Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg are exactly the reasons he outlasted them all.

The reasons I wondered how he would fare against Donald Trump are exactly the reasons he outperformed the president in each of their two debates.

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Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden during a campaign event this month in Hampton, N.H.Credit Elizabeth Frantz for The New York Times.

Joe Biden is running for president to rebuild the backbone of the United States – the middle class – and this time make sure everyone has a chance to come along. In today’ s increasingly globalized and technology-driven economy, 12 years of education is no longer enough for American workers to

Biden is slow. He is steady. He is unspectacular. In other words, he is what much of the electorate seems to want.

On Thursday night, two years after he stepped to that lectern in Lansing, Biden climbed down tiredly from the stage in Nashville. Over the previous 90 minutes, he had put the finishing touches on a campaign that was crafted in defiance of every expectation placed upon him and his party since Trump took office. I would call Biden’s performance in the final debate an exclamation mark—except there is nothing exclamatory about his candidacy. He has run, objectively speaking, one of the most monotonous and predictable and uneventful campaigns for president in recent memory. And it has been nothing short of superb. Now, with Biden on the brink of a historic victory, it’s worth understanding what has been right about his campaign—not simply what has been wrong with Trump’s.

The Democratic nominee was at it again Thursday night, plodding along at a comfortable pace, reciting methodically rehearsed responses, never losing his composure or abandoning his message. It was telling that the lone error Biden supposedly committed—pledging to transition the country away from reliance on oil—is something he has discussed regularly over the past 18 months. Could he have polished his point a bit more? Sure. But there was no controversy. There was no campaign-imploding misstep. This was not Hillary Clinton promising to put coal miners out of work or Mitt Romney calling 47 percent of the country indolent. The former vice president’s loyalists who have spent two years holding their breath, certain that he could say something disqualifying at any moment, are exhaling today with equal parts relief and amazement. The truth is, for all Biden’s history of veering outside the lines and putting his foot in his mouth, he has navigated the most hyper-exposed and instantly scrutinized political climate in history without ever putting himself in real jeopardy.

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The Biden family’ s involvement in China was not a secret before the current email leak, and President Donald Trump has long accused Joe and Hunter of being tight with Beijing. The Biden campaign has dismissed both rounds of emails published by the New York Post as “disinformation.”

“I’ve watched Joe Biden since he was first elected [to the Senate] in 1972,” Sabato said. Biden ’ s main pitch had been that in this moment of national emergency, he was the steady hand best In a small but telling measure of a campaign in a downward spiral, Biden ’ s press team did not respond to

Some of this, of course, owes to a sheltering strategy that has kept the Democratic nominee out of sight for long stretches of the race. The basement that Trump mocked on Thursday night actually has been a protective lair from which Biden has run a textbook referendum campaign, keeping the focus on the incumbent and not on himself.

But much of Biden’s success owes to his opponent’s willingness to embrace that referendum. The president is a man who cannot bear to cede the spotlight, whose penchant for chaos unwittingly shields his political adversaries from sustained examination. Trump has also created an atmosphere that is badly imbalanced, one where the extremism that once comprised society’s outer rings now features at its nucleus. Biden has a stated goal of restoring the soul of America. That’s an inflated campaign promise if ever there was one. What he might be able to do—what many voters are praying he can do—is restore some balance to American politics. No more reality show at the White House. No more living on a knife’s edge with every presidential tweet. No more conspiracy theories from the commander-in-chief.

In one sense, Biden isn’t a natural fit for these times. He’s always been edgy and provocative in his own right, an old school scrapper who kept a quip in his pocket and a chip on his shoulder. Sometimes it went too far—even at points in this 2020 campaign. When he challenged a mouthy Iowan to a push-up contest or went nose-to-nose with a Michigan autoworker, or questioned the Blackness of any African-American who wouldn’t vote for him, Biden showed flashes of his primal self. He stirred echoes of the very president he was vowing to defeat.

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And yet, that’s all it amounted to—flashes and echoes. Over the past two years, Biden has executed a campaign that is all the more brilliant because it suppresses his own core instincts. The wise guy who loved to instigate is now the wise man who wants to mediate.

It was on display Thursday night as Biden repeatedly and rightly accused Trump of governing only for his base and promised to be a president for red states and blue states alike. It was on display throughout his primary campaign, when he refused to be swept away by the whims of the left and consolidated a majority of Democrats around a theory of defeating Trump with a fire extinguisher instead of a flame thrower. It was on display two years ago, on that chilly night in Michigan, when he told yarns of a conciliatory yesteryear and wondered aloud what it might take to get back to that place again.

I remember thinking back then that Biden was little more than a glorified grandfather, tucking Americans in with a pacifying bedtime story. He was a glass of warm milk to put us to sleep. As it turns out, that’s exactly what he is—and after four years of being overcaffeinated, it’s exactly what a majority of America wants.

Presidential politics has always been about meeting the moment. In 2008, the electorate wanted someone to inspire them; Americans elected Barack Obama. In 2016, the electorate wanted someone to rock the boat; Americans elected Donald Trump.

In 2020, more than anything else, it seems the electorate wants a break from the Trump Show. Joe Biden is meeting that moment. If Thursday’s debate was a final audition, he aced it. Not because he dazzled the American people, but because he invited them to change the channel.

Biden looks to restore, expand Obama administration policies .
Stop and reverse. Restore and expand. Joe Biden is promising to take the country on a very different path from what it has seen over the past four years under President Donald Trump, on issues ranging from the coronavirus and health care to the environment, education and more. The Democratic presidential nominee is promising to reverse Trump policy moves on things such as withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement and weakening protections against environmental pollution.While Trump wants to kill the Affordable Care Act, Biden is proposing to expand “Obamacare” by adding a public option to cover more Americans.

usr: 1
This is interesting!