It’s time for Joe Biden to begin to grab the media spotlight and turn attention away from President Trump. I think he should name his running mate (a woman) this week and also start outlining what his cabinet is going to look like. I know. I know. Ahead of the game! Sure is, but that’s an important strategy to have when you are running against a man who has nothing going but his mastery of the moment, however embarrassing the moment might turn out to be.
There will be a good deal of bitterness in the part in the wake of Bernie Sander’s decision to withdraw. It understandable. There has not been that kind of passion around a candidates since the early years of Obama. Heart attack and all, Bernie gave it everything he had, but he just could not muster enough support to have hope for the convention, whenever it finally gets held. Another part of Joe Biden’s burden now is finding a way to put his arms around the Sanders supporters, embrace them and arm them for November. It pays now for everyone to understand that Trump is the objective. Biden has won and needs the party behind him to succeed.
So get behind him, because the time is right.
In a way, Trump is still living by the “there’s no such thing as bad publicity,” value that drove politicians for so many decades. Grab the headline, no matter what for, and you grab the day because it eats up all the air and gives the other side nothing, no space in which to maneuver. The problem with that for Trump is that he is the president, after all, and the credit or blame for what happens will affix itself to him no matter what he does. If he is not afraid of this yet, he will be soon.
Here’s what is going to happen.
The true story of the economy, which is the story every incumbent must run on, has been obscured by the daily headlines of Corona virus deaths and the awkward scramble to deal with the virus. Trump has not done well in this challenge and that will be pulling him down as long as the virus is still the central headline of the day. But guess what?
It’s not going to be the central headline this fall, I would suspect. Tragic though it may be, it is likely to change enough by then that media will lose interest and start paying attention again to the economy. which is in shambles. Unemployment figures could triple buy this fall, giving Trump nothing to point to. He is not facile enough to argue that the virus changed the whole formula. He will be the double digit unemployment president, no matter the virus. For a Republican, that disaster that will create a huge hole for the campaign to march right into.
Now Joe Biden has to start taking advantage of these realities. What economic promises can he make that will draw rural whites back to the party? What promises can he make to black America. How can he avoid getting drawn into Wall Street fantasies? What does America need to hear, what needs to echo down from a higher plane to uplift people and give them some hope.
What attorney general will he appoint to rebuild the Department of Justice in the wake of the Trump debacle? What about the CIA? What about the defense establishment? All of those institutions have suffered under Trump and need to hear how their problems will be addressed. Who will Biden’s inspector generals be? Names please. Same with U.S. Attorneys and law enforcement people?
Will he commit to fully staffing all of those agencies who have gone without deputies and department heads for the past three or more years? Will he rebuild the nation’s long-standing commitment to protect the environment? What about human rights as an aspect of foreign policy? Will he get that commander back on the Aircraft Carrier Theodore Roosevelt? Will he build a team to identify just what it was that Trump and his people dismantled over the past three years?
Every one of these things needs to be addressed by the next Democratic President. Biden should just take it as a matter of faith that he has the job and doesn’t want to full around with getting underway. There is literally no time to lose.
He should also think of rejecting any debate proposals that would put him on the same stage as President Trump. Trump doesn’t deserve it, and Biden would only lose by giving that man more weight than he deserves after three years of wrecking the presidency.
The game is on. Let’s play it right this time!