Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at a primary election night campaign rally Tuesday, March 3, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
In 1989, Saturday Night Live, when it was funny, premiered a sketch comedy scene called “Wayne’s World.” Portraying two metalhead rock fans, comedians Mike Myers and Dana Carvey played the characters Wayne and Garth. In the sketch, they would broadcast a show on a local access television station where they would muse on music, culture and everything else. The recurring sketch went on to spawn two successful movies.
That is precisely where the Biden campaign is right now. Confined to his basement, he occasionally appears from his hole to appear on television shows, present a podcast, participate in town halls, or run “shadow briefings” to counter daily White House news briefings on coronavirus. While the White House briefings have gone on unimpeded every day, the “shadow briefings” seem to have gone AWOL. Then again when you attract 2,800 viewers- which is probably less households reached by the mythical Wayne and Garth- perhaps it is good that his handlers decided against any more torture.
Instead, Joe moved onto other outlets to remind people he is still alive, although not sentient. Rest assured, Jill Biden still likely spoon feeds him breakfast every morning, but you cannot fault the man for trying. Occasionally, they dress him up in a cardigan and striped shirt and throw him in front of a camera. Sometimes, he seems to drift out of the camera’s view or implore someone to make the Teleprompter move faster. He awkwardly commented to Jimmy Kimmel on his stomach contents; it was flounder. Thanks for that digestive update. One supposes updates on his morning bowel movement are next.
Meanwhile, Trump holds daily press briefings surrounded by his experts and advisers. Given their proximity to one another on that stage, it is apparent that Trump screens out hypochondriacs. He ventured to Norfolk, Virginia when everyone else was “staying in place.” In other words, right now Trump is everything Biden is not. Biden is a groundhog, Trump a soaring eagle.
And Biden is very much uncomfortable with the situation because he is a politician built for another time. He can hire all the tech-savvy people he wants so that he could get his message out, but there is only so much one can do with those tools. The tools in the wrong hands results in disaster and we are seeing that with Biden. Biden prefers handshaking, little personal comments, not to mention groping, smelling hair and the occasional nibbling of fingers. In the Senate, he was described as a “gladhander” and a notorious windbag which says volumes about the man in a virtual nirvana of windbags.
At this point, Biden appears to be the most pitiful candidate for President ever. Regarding that CNN town hall with Biden, he managed to pull in about 1.15 million viewers, according to Neilsen Ratings. A similar town hall six months ago drew in 1.9 million viewers. Conversely, Trump’s town hall regarding coronavirus on Fox News brought in 4.2 million viewers. While Biden was finishing third in his time slot’s rating, Trump brought in the largest audience ever for such an event.
Part of this is the fact Trump is President and Biden is not. However, a likely part of it is people just do not care what Biden has to say. If he can attract 1.9 million people in a sea of candidates, but attracting 1.15 million when you are the presumptive nominee does not bode well for Biden. I venture a half of those 1.15 million tuned in just for a laugh. I know I did before boredom set in and that documentary on the Donner party on the Weather Channel was infinitely more interesting.
Right now, Biden is playing on another type of field. But should Biden be counted out? By July, this may be all be over and Biden will emerge from his basement and enter the sunlight again. The rallies and stump speeches and the handshaking and God-awful gaffes will come back. Let’s face things- Biden is a more palatable alternative than Hillary Clinton was in 2016 and Sanders is finding that out the hard way. His performance at this juncture against Biden is worse than it was four years ago against Clinton. In a strange sense, the gaffes and weird behavior are built-in at this point.
However, if Trump has been seen as “presidential” during this crisis- and the available polling information seems to suggest just that- one can be assured that the gloves will come off of Trump faster than you cam say “Open by Easter.” Trump has been proving one that thing that drives the Left absolutely batty: consistency. He has not been afraid to go after journalists, “experts,” politicians, governors, or failed presidential wannabes in his attacks and Joe Biden represents the biggest target out there.
Likewise, who Biden chooses as a running mate may, unlike any previous presidential race, affect the outcome. Why? Because seeing Biden’s Wayne’s World candidacy thus far has convinced many that Biden will be either dead or incapacitated in a nursing home before his term is completed. The position described as “a heartbeat away” may actually be “a quarter heartbeat away.” Committed to a female, because that is what his handlers want, that leaves one of three people at this point: Gretchen Whitmer, Elizabeth Warren, and Amy Klobuchar.
This puts Trump’s criticisms of Whitmer into perspective. It could be considered a first blow- a warning shot over the bow. As for Warren, this is the wet dream ticket of the Left while Klobuchar’s dropping out before Super Tuesday and endorsing Biden may have been a case of preemptive butt-kissing on her part.
Until then, Biden is proving he not ready for the big stage even if his Cable Channel 2 Public Access TV show is in primetime.