If you needed a sign that the DNC is looking for any way to keep the American people distracted from Joe Biden’s lack of cognitive awareness, his troubling ties to China, and his penchant for using the power of his office to bully foreign companies into funding his son’s, uh, habits, look no further than an op-ed penned by Rahm Emanuel in Politico on Thursday.
Biden, Rahm opines, is the touchy-feely Uncle Joe that America needs as Pandemic Comforter-in-Chief. Other than the very accurate depiction of the former vice president as one who’s very in touch with feelings, the Joe Biden described by Rahm Emanuel doesn’t look anything like the Joe Biden voters have gotten to really know over the past year.
Emanuel opines that Trump was voted in by an angry electorate in 2016, by voters who felt ignored (finally, someone on the Dem side partially gets it), but that Trump’s “anger” will drive the 2020 electorate away, because “what voters want isn’t vitriol—it’s a new depth of understanding.”
It’s cute that Emanuel thinks he knows what voters in October and November are going to want when 60 days ago most Americans were going on with life as usual and at this point have no idea what to expect even four weeks from now. Results of antibody studies released over the last week have changed the game, and there is no way to know how additional information about the virus, action/inaction by Trump, action/inaction by Democrats in Congress, will spill over into the “mood” of the electorate, or, more importantly, the mood of people who actually vote in about seven to nine swing states.
But there’s just no denying that people want the next president to help carry the nation’s pain.
And, the sky is blue.
Emanuel paints Joe Biden, who hasn’t had a non-government job in nearly 50 years, as the candidate who can carry the country’s pain and with whom the working class can identify:
As a working-class patriot who made good despite enduring a litany of personal tragedies, he has proved himself uniquely capable of connecting to voters where and how they live their lives. The story of his life—the grit and perseverance he displayed taking the train home from D.C. after the last Senate vote each night to care for his two young sons, bereft of their mother—is a testament to the very type of leadership no narcissist could ever provide.
I’m not going to disagree that Biden did the right thing by going home each night to his young sons instead of staying in DC during the week. But let’s not kid ourselves. It doesn’t take grit and perseverance to commute an hour and a half each way (Amtrak from Union Station to Wilmington, DE) to tuck your children in at night. That’s what parents do. I’m sure that occasionally votes were taken late at night and he got home much later than he wanted. That happens to all of us too. Identifying with working-class voters isn’t expecting a gold medal for doing what’s expected.
About that unique ability to connect to voters, Rahm, remember that one time Uncle Joe told an auto worker in Michigan he was “full of s**t” when the voter challenged him on his gun control stance, then shushed a female campaign worker?
The eye level view of Joe Biden telling a Michigan auto worker "You're full of shit" and then shhhing a female staffer is a must watch.pic.twitter.com/gJ0BsP19UE
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) March 10, 2020
Is that what you mean when you say Biden has a unique ability to connect to voters where and how they live their lives?
Or perhaps you were referring to the time Biden called a female college student a “lying, dog-faced pony soldier” when she, too, made the mistake of questioning him about his shellacking in Iowa?
After a New Hampshire voter asks @JoeBiden why they should trust he can turn his campaign around, he asks if she’s ever been to a caucus before; when she says yes, Biden snaps: "No you haven’t. You’re a lying dog-faced pony soldier." pic.twitter.com/3uxOAu0Ues
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) February 9, 2020
What I’ve gleaned thus far is that Rahm Emanuel envisions (and is trying to sell to us) Joe Biden as a modern-day Mr. Smith who, although he’s been in the swamp for almost 50 years, will allow no malarkey, by golly, when he’s finally in charge! He will feel our pain and carry it. “His humanity shines through,” Emanuel says.
It’s that 50 years of swamp experience that will serve Americans, Emanuel argues, when our collective quarantine ends:
Once the economy reopens, Americans will still be mourning the tens of thousands who have lost their lives and the opportunities lost in the ensuing economic wreckage. Biden’s experience and competence will stand in stark relief to Trump’s penchant for playing the role of national carnival barker. But if that’s the obvious contrast, here’s what will make the biggest difference this November: “Uncle Joe” has carried the burden of grief like few others in public life.
No one can argue that Joe Biden has carried the burden of grief like few others in public life, but to use that as a shield to deflect from criticism is disgusting. Emanuel claims that Biden’s “experience and competence…stand in stark relief” to Trump’s, but doesn’t elaborate on exactly to which experience he refers or in which areas Biden is so competent.
As a Senator Biden flip-flopped on major issues over the years, essentially going along with whatever he believed was most expedient at the time. To argue that Biden, at this moment, is “competent” is stretching it, as my colleague Bonchie covered Thursday:
At 0:10 Gore is like “holy sh*t did I just endorse this guy?”
— Jewish Deplorable 🇺🇸 (@TrumpJew) April 22, 2020
Well, perhaps by “experience and competence” Emanuel as referring to his ability to use his influence to help his son Hunter land high-paying board gigs in China and the Ukraine? Or maybe he’s referring to that time Uncle Joe got the Ukrainian government to stop investigating Burisma?
Emanuel argues that 2020 voters don’t want venom and anger; they want compassion and empathy. I would argue that they want all of the above, each directed in the appropriate direction. It’s precisely this binary choice model that doomed Democrats in 2016, and it looks like they haven’t learned their lesson.