Opinion: Not even social distancing can help Joe Biden hide these things from voters


ANALYSIS/OPINION

By David Avella | Fox New Opinion
March 16, 2020

After Sunday night’s debate, expect Joe Biden to be all for social distancing as a candidate. He will be perfectly fine staying at home and keeping to himself. It’s the best prevention from voters catching that the Joe Biden we thought we knew is gone.

The question is, how long can he get away with it? Traditionally, there are two mistakes that doom candidates. From all appearances, the guy who wants to be known as “Uncle Joe” is going two for two.

Mistake One: You cannot play to negative stereotype. If you are the oldest white guy that voters have to choose from in November, it is probably not a good thing to have “Creepy Joe” be one of your search engine results.

Biden’s history of what is widely viewed as improper behavior toward women is well documented.

Remember when Biden took the hand of a 24-year-old activist in New Hampshire, called her “kiddo” and told her to “look at my eyes” as he promised to “end fossil fuel.” Further, his sniffing women’s hair and acting inappropriately is unhelpful to demonstrating he gets the #MeToo world.

Day after day, the negative stereotype of Biden being out of touch gets reinforced. Any attempts by advisers to hide him to avoid further exposure of these characteristics will never succeed in keeping reality from the voters.

In some ways, Biden apparent clinching of the nomination so quickly could backfire on him. The more Americans witness him first-hand, the more the evidence will mount that he is coming pretty close to defining the negative stereotype he needs to avoid.

Mistake Two: Do nothing to undermine the positive aspects of yourself that you’re “selling.” In business, this is called avoiding compromising the brand. The former vice president’s candidacy has been centered on him being Uncle Joe — reasonable, positive, steady and friendly. In terms of policy and persona, Biden is failing miserably in living up to that brand.

Biden was supposedly the “centrist-moderate” among the Democratic presidential contenders. Yet, during the campaign, he has fallen over himself to prove to the most “progressive” members of the party that they can depend on him. Can centrist-moderate Americans really feel good about Biden wanting to automatically enroll them in a government-run “public option” and push out private insurance plans? This would put Washington, D.C., more in charge of health care, with costs going up and access going down.

As for reasonable, how comfortable can centrist-moderate Americans be with Biden’s embrace of the Green New Deal? It puts him shoulder to shoulder with Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Let’s face it, their alleged concern for the environment is mere cover for what the impact of the Green New Deal will truly be for Americans. It would cause the largest shift of decision-making away from Americans and to government overlords in our country’s history. Quality of life for all would decline with the amount of taxes needed to pay for their alleged environmental protections. One example: economists say gas taxes would need to rise by $10 to $15 per gallon as a result of the deal.

When it comes to Biden being steady and ready to sit in the Oval Office, his silly statements, stumbling on key facts and forgetting what he is saying in mid-sentence sends the exact opposite message. For example, at a speech in Houston, Texas, Biden seemingly forgot the words to the Declaration of Independence.  He said: “We hold these truths to be self-evident. All men and women created … by the — you know — you know the thing.”

As to being positive and upbeat, Biden now regularly berates potential voters with profanity if they disagree with him. Whether telling a retired Iowa farmer that “You’re a damn liar, man” or yelling “Don’t be such a horse’s ass” and “You’re full of s—” to a Detroit union worker, Biden is showing himself to be intolerant and unfriendly. He leaves little doubt that he would rather shout down those with whom he disagrees rather than have a respectful, open conversation.

Maybe Biden and his advisers believe all of this helps show he is up to the task of “taking Trump head-on.”  Maybe, but it is compromising the basic brand.

All in all, it is indeed remarkable that Joe Biden is on the verge of completely clinching the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination.  Still, one has to ask, how long can Biden get away with what he is doing?

Click here to read the column on Fox News Opinion