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Former vice president Joe Biden did not appear with the mass of presidential candidates at the California Democratic convention two weekends ago. This past weekend, he was missing from the annual Hall of Fame event in Iowa. Last week, he stumbled on the Hyde Amendment.

On one level, these issues are purely matter for media chatter. Most voters are not going to hold it against Biden that he used to be in favor of the Hyde Amendment; they care more about what his current position is and whether he seems sincere about it.

However, Biden and his team may want to consider six questions that may be the difference between winning the nomination or winding up as the Jeb Bush of the 2020 race.

  1. What if he's not the only electable Democrat? At least for now, polling shows that several Democrats could beat President Trump. For Democrats fixated on electability (a subjective and elusive concept) that may detract from the argument Democrats need Biden to beat Trump. Rather, Biden must figure out how to communicate that Democrats and the country as a whole needs Biden to govern.

  2. Why isn't he elevating foreign policy? It's the one arena in which few if any candidates can claim more experience than Biden. The rest of the field has been shy about even discussing foreign policy, and Biden should make more of the gap in foreign-policy bona fides. Trump has ruined U.S. credibility, turned his back on human rights, emboldened illiberal regimes and lost influence in the Middle East. His China policy is a muddle and has yet to bear fruit. Who's going to right the ship?

  3. Could Biden make his relationships with Republicans into an advantage? He annoys the left when he says he gets along with Republicans--or worse, likes some of them. Biden, however, has a powerful case that he knows how to unify Democrats and pick off enough Republicans to get the progressive agenda through Congress. What's President Bernie Sanders going to do when not even all the Democrats support Medicare-for-all? When Republicans block President Elizabeth Warren's wealth tax, how's she going to pay for all her creative plans? Biden needs to convey that it's one thing to give a campaign speech or to roll out a legislative wish list, but what most candidates are proposing won't survive contact with the real political universe.

  4. Can Biden reassure women voters he's on their side? Women are disproportionately Democratic, and African American women are the most loyal Democrats out there. Biden needs to put his Hyde Amendment stumble in the rear-view mirror and gain an upper hand with critical female voters--no easy task with multiple female candidates. It might seem gimmicky to some, but he could flat-out promise to pick a female running mate and to make half his judicial and executive picks (including his Cabinet) women.

  5. How does he keep himself above the scrum of candidates (making Trump his primary focus) without seeming to take the nomination for granted? Biden needs to get out more, submit to interviews, go to town halls, keep a more vigorous schedule and show that he is hustling for every single vote. He can still focus on Trump, but the lackadaisical schedule needs to end.

  6. Is "rebuilding the middle class" too nebulous a campaign message?

Biden can make an impression by promising to eliminate not just the income and wealth gap, but the skills, productivity and education gaps as well. (Promising to go after a college admissions system rigged in favor of the wealthy would get him a ton of good will from millions of college students and their parents.)

He's still the front-runner and retains major advantages over the Democratic field. However, Biden's status is far less secure than he and his staff might imagine. It's time to make the case why he is the best person to govern in the post-Trump world.

If he cannot, he'll wind up losing his advantage over other endearing and accomplished competitors who will have an equal claim to electability.

Editorial on 06/12/2019

Print Headline: Six questions for Team Biden

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Comments

  • mozarky2
    June 12, 2019 at 7:56 a.m.

    GD Blackmon:
    Joe Biden has few original thoughts, and the few he does have invariably end up blurting out of his gaping mouth at inconvenient moments. Like the time he said that all 7/11 stores are run by immigrants from India. Or the time he said that Barack Obama was a rare clean and articulate black guy. Or all the times he took the wrong position on every foreign policy issue of the last 45 years.
    It is no accident that Biden’s crowning achievement in life has been spending 8 long years parroting talking points handed to him by Barack Obama’s evil minions.
    The trouble is that this reality of his natural state of being has repeatedly landed him in trouble over accusations of plagiarism.
    Just last week, Biden released a “climate” plan – which is really nothing more than a multi-trillion dollar set of handouts to Democrat special interests – that contained multiple instances of plagiarism that were so blatant that even the leftwing media felt obligated to report on them.
    Yesterday in Iowa, Creepy Uncle Joe resorted to plagiarizing Creepy Porn Lawyer Michael Avenatti. He and his staff are apparently incapable of coming up with a decent campaign slogan of their own, so they just ripped off the slogan Avenatti trafficked during his hundreds of appearances on CNN and MSNBC last year:
    “He says, ‘let’s make America great again,’” Biden said of Trump, “Let’s make America America again.”
    Clever, right? Yeah, but that’s how you know it was stolen from somebody else. Biden never says anything clever or eloquent or original on his own. It seems that Biden has suddenly figured out that China is an adversary to our country after all. What a revelation!
    Just a couple of weeks ago, Biden – whose son has became fabulously wealthy trading with China in sweetheart deals arranged by his dad during the Obama years – had this to say about the ChiComs:
    “China is going to eat our lunch? Come on, man. I mean, you know, they’re not bad folks, folks. But guess what? They’re not, th-th-th-th-th-th-they’re not competition for us.”
    But on Tuesday, Sleepy Joe had woken up to the reality that maybe a nation of 1.2 billion people that has been stealing our intellectual property, engaged in a massive military buildup and robbing us blind in international trade for the last 40 years might be competition after all. Here’s what he said in his second Iowa speech:
    “We need to get tough with China. China poses a serious challenge to us, and in some areas a real threat.”
    Oh. Wonder who poured that line into his empty vessel of a mind? You can be sure someone did, because that is just who Joe Biden is.

  • RBear
    June 12, 2019 at 9:06 a.m.

    More copy/paste from moz, from the DB Update by David Blackmon, an ultra right blogger. Hardly a reasonable source of information. But, when you're void of original thought, you'll latch onto anything to make you "seem" intelligent.

  • Packman
    June 12, 2019 at 9:24 a.m.

    Here’s another question Team Biden must answer: Which fragrance does he prefer when sniffing women’s hair?

  • BoudinMan
    June 12, 2019 at 9:46 a.m.

    Oh, no! Not the "sniffing women's hair" card! What a horrible indictment of the man. He should maybe try the "grabbing them by the p*ssy" technique that Dear Leader employs. Now that would be much more acceptable to his base base.

  • mozarky2
    June 12, 2019 at 10:01 a.m.

    Can you point out any "lies" or untruths in Blackmon's writing? Didn't think so.
    You're a sick, demented creep, RB.
    Meanwhile, a few observations on yesterday's rallies:
    Biden has a paltry number of attendees at his Iowa stop, between 100-200 people, per the local press. President Trump greeted by thousands at Nebraska AFB (Military folks & families).
    The very few people attending the Biden campaign stops appeared to be bored out of their skulls. Union members who were forced to be there, and the press. Forget the polls-Biden is done, he is boring, he is toast and, look at him! His health is failing. He has no stamina at all. He appears to be falling asleep on his feet!

  • mozarky2
    June 12, 2019 at 10:08 a.m.


    Meanwhile, Funny Uncle Joe tried to own President Trump’s insults against him by repeating them back to a crowd when he remarked, “I think I’m either low IQ or slow — I don’t know”.
    The result was somewhat embarrassing.
    “I think I’m either low IQ or slow—I don’t know what I am. Slow Joe Biden? Give me a break,” Biden said. “This is like out of Alice in Wonderland.”

  • hah406
    June 12, 2019 at 10:53 a.m.

    Biden's health is failing? Really? Proof please. I can sit here and just as easily say that Trump is a psychopathic egomaniac, but me saying it doesn't make it so. I will also remind you that when Trump goes to a military base, all those troops you see have been ordered to attend regardless of whether they want to or not. He is the commander in chief.
    ...
    Now to address Packman, I think he prefers a delicate lavender scent. Calming and refreshing at the same time! LOL
    ...
    Finally, there is the inconvenience of the latest head to head poll nationally showing Biden beating Trump by 13 percentage points. Of course it means nothing at this point, but it is fun to look at because it so infuriates the fragile, ego-driven Trump.

  • UoABarefootPhdFICYMCA
    June 12, 2019 at 11:05 a.m.

    yeah but would mrs ruben jew mafia just murder him anyway?

  • mozarky2
    June 12, 2019 at 11:08 a.m.

    HAH, just watch him at one of his "rallies". He looks like he's dead on his feet.

  • rbolt
    June 12, 2019 at 11:18 a.m.

    I will support the Democratic nominee, but I do wonder why we should expect to energize new voters by nominating yet another "safe" heir-apparent instead of an emerging leader who espouses values more relevant to the next-generational priorities of those who reasonably expect to be alive in forty years. A leader inspires with his or her ideas, not by being next in line.

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