Back in March, Alex Wagner of The Atlantic and The Circus wrote an op-ed that has nagged at me the last several weeks, as Joe Biden has called one “lid” after another. “Stay Alive, Joe Biden,” it was called.
In it, she noted that while no one seemed excited to vote for the former vice president, he seemed to offer the Democratic Party’s best chance of winning. The task was to make the election about President Donald Trump — and hope the aging, stumbling Biden didn’t croak before the election.
She wrote: “For the foreseeable future, there will be no more speeches in front of hundreds, or lines of people waiting to shake Biden’s hand. … Biden was never really convincing anyone on the stump—his political power at this point is an idea, held collectively, about how to defeat Trump. The work now is to keep that idea convincing enough, for long enough, among as many people as possible, for the corporeal man to actually win.”
The task was just to keep Joe Biden alive. Literally.
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) was supposed to offer freshness, vitality, and diversity to the ticket. But in the end, the strategic gurus behind the Democratic ticket seem to have decided to keep her relatively quiet, as well.
She was a terrible campaigner in the primary, and she seems to irritate people. The Cleveland voters whom she hectored (“thanked”) on their way to vote on Saturday might just have well decided to vote for Trump in response. The strategy: keep calm, and make it about Trump.
Joe Biden may be losing his grip on reality, but when he has a script, and he can remember it, he sticks to it. That is why, in response to any reasonable question about anything, he pushes back — angrily, at times — and says that his position doesn’t matter: the issue is Trump. Packing the court? You don’t need to know my answer, because the focus in Trump. Influence-peddling by Hunter Biden? That’s a lie — and how dare you ask me that, when we all know the problem is Donald Trump.
Almost every day, it seems, Biden calls a “lid” — that is, he decides not to campaign. Last week, there was at least the lame excuse that he had to prepare for the presidential debate (as if the presidency is a job in which you only have to do one thing each day). This week, with the debates over, there is no excuse.
The rest of the world — even in blue states — has awakened from the coronavirus slumber. Biden is being preserved from the slightest risk of contamination, as if in formaldehyde.
Many believe that Biden would not be in charge of his own administration if he wins. It would be a regency, not a presidency.
His transition chieftain, Ted Kaufman, is a former senator from Delaware whose job is to steer the old Beltway establishment back into place, hoping that the habits of power and an influx of Wall Street money will suffice to confound the young “democratic socialists.” They wrote the platform; let them march in the streets, it’s what they enjoy anyway.
The Democrats have only one tactic left in the 2020 campaign: run out the clock. They’re counting the days until Nov. 3, hoping that Uncle Joe can make it that long, hoping that the media can suppress the Hunter Biden story for long enough, hoping the censorship of the New York Post — now dragging into its second week — can soon be forgotten, hoping that the rioters can be kept confined to Portland, where the only alternative to a failed Democratic mayor is an Antifa supporter.
All across the country, the Trump rallies continue. They roll through the Jewish enclaves of Brooklyn, and the dust of west Texas, and the greenery of Beverly Hills.
The Trump supporters, those happy warriors, remain invisible to the media. They know that a loss in November is an extinction-level event; they know because the “deplorables” read the media of the other side.
And yet they are quietly hopeful, knowing losing campaigns count days, and winning campaigns count votes.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His newest e-book is The Trumpian Virtues: The Lessons and Legacy of Donald Trump’s Presidency. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.