Joe Biden has been very quiet the last week or so. That’s apparently on purpose as former Obama lackey David Axelrod says Biden’s staff have decided to place him in a “candidate protection program.” While it sounds like he’s an alcoholic being admitted to rehab, it’s actually a plan to shut him up, keep him from looking old, and stop him from committing gaffes.
The Washington Examiner has the report.
Former President Barack Obama’s chief campaign strategist David Axelrod said that Joe Biden’s campaign seems to be trying to protect him from making gaffes or appearing to be too old for the presidency.
Axelrod told the New York Times that he thought the campaign’s strategy of insulating Biden from the press and holding back the famously garrulous former vice president from making any controversial remarks has worked so far, but said the campaign will have to pivot to allow him to be “more venturesome” with his remarks and appearance.
Biden has already gotten in trouble with his treatment of the press. Not by the press themselves of course as they enjoy being battered around by liberals, but right-leaning sources did point out that Biden’s behavior would be headline news if a Republican had shoved reporters away.
Axelrod goes on to say that Biden’s campaign is trying to help him avoid fatigue.
“I think they’ve been really, really adroit in the early going,” Axelrod said. “Clearly, they’re trying to do enough to show the flag but not so much that it exposes him to either mistakes or fatigue. But the pace is going to quicken as the race goes on and you can’t keep him in candidate protection program.”
“One of the tests for a guy who’s 76 years old is, ‘Can he handle this?’” Axelrod said, of Biden needing to be more out in the open and visible on the campaign trail.
I noted this several weeks ago during Biden’s official launch speech. He was stumbling and slurring his words and it was only the first day. What’s he going to look like a year from now?
This is Biden’s chief disadvantage against Trump. The President is a machine when it comes to campaigning. He can do rally after rally and he only seems to get more energized. Meanwhile, Biden has essentially gone into hiding and it’s only been two weeks. At this rate, he’ll be drooling and needing a walker by the time the summer 2020 campaign season heats up.
As Hillary showed, I don’t think you can hide forever. The former 2016 candidate clearly broke down midway through the general election campaign, collapsing and then cutting her public appearances way back. This likely contributed to her not even visiting Wisconsin, a key state she would later lose.
Biden is going to have to get out of the witness protection program and start barnstorming soon. If he doesn’t, he won’t even win the Democratic primary. It’s a double-edged sword though, as when he does hit the ground running, he’s going to look old and commit plenty of gaffes because that’s who he is. As to their current plan, we’ll see if wrapping him in bubble wrap will work out for his handlers.