Even though nice weather is finally here, I had some inside work to catch up on. Luckily, as a graphic designer, I can listen to music or tune into television during the more tedious aspects of my job. Sometimes background noise actually helps the creative process.
I scrolled through a few news channels and settled on a broadcast of presidential-hopeful Joe Biden’s campaign kick-off rally broadcast from Philadelphia. As an independent voter, I like to make informed decisions so I thought I’d listen to what Mr. Biden had to say. I also wondered what verbal gaffes he was going to make this time. Joe Biden’s flair for saying the wrong thing is part of his charm.
After an enthusiastic introduction by his wife, Dr. Jill Biden (with heavy emphasis on her title), Joe Biden took the stage. Buoyed by a boisterous crowd, Joe hit the podium running. He was excited, hopeful and full of enthusiasm (or maybe Geritol if that’s still a thing). I understand his appeal to older voters, but I’m not sure if the Millennials are going to flock to a 76-year-old politician as the new face of the Democratic party. On the surface, Joe Biden is as shiny as a used-car salesman. He seems well put together even if some of the parts aren’t original. His healthy looking skin, perfect hair and made-for-TV teeth make 77-year-old Bernie Sanders look like Boris Karloff’s mummy. (Wow. Even my references are ancient.) He even looks much younger than a time-ravaged Bill Clinton.
Joe took the stage waving at the frenzied crowd. His campaign speech was full of attitude and platitudes, harkening back to political days gone by. His years spent serving as President Obama’s right hand man makes Joe Biden a familiar commodity. He is political comfort food. But will his political platform have enough nutritional substance to beat Donald Trump? At his point I’m not sure Joe Biden could beat Bobby Flay.
Joe Biden’s road to the White House is a rocky one right fro the start. In the first days of his campaign he was sideswiped by the triple threat of Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who joined forces in a media blitz against Joe Biden’s past political policies. Shortly after, Joe Biden’s son Hunter burdened his father’s campaign with so much personal baggage it’s going to be hard to separate the sins of the son from the accomplishments of the father. In today’s cut-throat political climate, anything is fair game, whether it’s fair or not.
My favorite Joe Biden moment took place on crowded stage of the latest Democratic presidential debate. One of Biden’s rambling answers veered off subject so much that he didn’t wait for the moderator to cut him off. Biden simply stopped mid-sentence and said, “My time is up.” A lot of viewers agreed with his statement.
Joe Biden’s call for a fresh, new start for our country has been called into question. Biden says he opposes the way government has handled things for the past thirty years. A reporter noted that Joe Biden has been in political office for over thirty years. When asked why he hadn’t been able to make changes during his lengthy political career, Joe Biden didn’t have an answer. And that leaves voters with lots of questions.
Can Joe Biden rise to the top of the overcrowded field of Democratic presidential contenders? Or will voters perceive him as part of the politics-as-usual problem? President Trump was elected because people didn’t want a politician in the White House. When the proverbial Washington swamp is drained, will Biden be thrown out with the bath water? Will Joe Biden be the last man standing or is he already in over his head?