Well, I initially opposed Joe Biden for president as too old and with too much track record to survive the long run, but I have changed my mind. His opening video was delivered with remarkable clarity.
He tells us clearly who the enemy is and, using the South Carolina experience, why. It’s a strong kickoff for a man who has just the right credentials for a part of the Democratic Party no one else seems to be talking to, working blue collar people.
Perhaps of greater importance, he is speaking to people who see the same shallow intelligence and deep corruption in President Trump that have defined his behavior for a couple of years now. The man has no soul that I can tell. He swapped it to someone.
At the same time, a story in the Times today gives me pause. Mike Tackett wrote a great piece about Altoona, Pa., my hometown and just the kind of place Biden’s candidacy is aimed at drawing into the fold. It’s a city full of Trump backers (probably because watching television has been a past time there for decades because there is not much of anything else to do if you are over, say, 40. )Tackett found the weaknesses in the Trump base, along with the lasting strengths.
He ran promising a return for manufacturing jobs, but that hasn’t happened in Altoona (or many other places, either) so it could be he will be weak among everyone but the big block of “always” Republicans who have kept the city in the red column.
It’s a great example of the challenge the Democrats face, recreating the old Democrat base that has slipped into Republicanism from lack of attention. Maybe Biden is the guy to do that. These are good people, but not intellectuals so you would notice. Higher economics and political theory doesn’t wash in Altoona. Knowing about the local baseball team, what’s happening at Guilfoyle High School and what kind of jobs are available still play well with voters.
But it would respond to a blue collar pitch from someone like Biden. He might be able to land a few juicy punches on Trump there, too. We’ll see.