Biden campaign tries to make boring a political asset

All Patriot NewsOctober 23, 20208min

Being boring is rarely a desirable personality trait. But after four turbulent years of President Trump, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s relatively even-keeled approach to politics may be his greatest asset.

Democratic strategists took notice of Trump’s claims this week that politics would be boring if he weren’t reelected on Nov. 3. They jokingly suggested that the Biden campaign cut ads using the president’s comments.

“If you want depression, doom, and despair, vote for Sleepy Joe Biden. And boredom,” Trump told supporters at a rally in Erie, Pennsylvania. “If you have Sleepy Joe, then nobody’s going to be interested in politics anymore. That’s going to be the end of that.”

The Democrats may have made their recommendations in jest, yet the truth’s no laughing matter.

A Pew Research Center survey released this month found more than 60{3c673d3ab703a335aa2de9fb6bc2c1f473b2ba555cfc5936ab3ce7b22bef001e} of people say they’re worn out by media coverage of the 2020 White House race. Simultaneously, Trump, a reality star in a past life, continues to view his presidency, his bid, even his coronavirus diagnosis, through the lens of a TV producer.

Democratic strategist Nathan Ballard, of the Press Shop, empathized with the respondents.

“Trump is exhausting. He is a cauldron of grievances, anger, and hyperbole. Whenever he speaks, everyone’s blood pressure rises,” he said. “Many Biden voters are people who rolled the dice on Trump four years ago but are simply fatigued by his childish antics.”

Trump has long mocked Biden, the two-term vice president and Delaware’s 36-year senator, for being “sleepy.” While the moniker’s meant to underscore Biden’s 77 years of age and lack of mental acuity, the descriptor may be more in line with what voters would prefer in their commander in chief.

Former President Barack Obama seems to think so. The Democratic stalwart leaned into that sentiment in Philadelphia on Thursday during his inaugural in-person appearance on the trail this cycle for his ex-running mate.

“With Joe and Kamala at the helm, you’re not going to have to think about the crazy things they said every day. And that’s worth a lot,” Obama said, referring to 2020 vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris. “You’re not going to have to argue about them every day. It just won’t be so exhausting.”

“This is not a reality show. This is reality. And the rest of us have had to live with the consequences of him proving himself incapable of taking the job seriously,” he added.

Obama won Pennsylvania by 10 percentage points in 2008 and 5 points in 2012, before Trump clinched the state by less than a point in 2016. Biden’s team hopes the country’s most popular Democrat ginned up the party faithful enough two weeks before Election Day.

And Wisconsin joins Pennsylvania as another so-called “blue wall” state that Democrats desperately want to return to their ledger. And the increased attention is taking its toll. CNN reported this month that in Wisconsin’s Vernon County, near the state lines of Minnesota and Iowa, the local Democratic Party chapter bought billboard signs that read: “Had Enough? Vote Blue.”

Biden, himself, is wary of promising a return to normality, akin to Republican President Warren Harding pledge of a “return to normalcy” in his winning 1920 campaign. That as Biden tries to keep the Democratic Party’s more liberal wing in check. Uber-liberals have already vowed to pressure him on policy should he be inaugurated. Instead, Biden says he would like to usher in a “new normal” through bipartisanship and compromise, with high-profile Republicans vouching for his candidacy.

Former second lady Jill Biden, though, isn’t encumbered by the same political constraints.

Over the past year, she’s adapted her stump speech from encouraging supporters to imagine a day in 2021 when Trump is out of office, and they can turn on the TV without being bombarded by news of his latest Twitter tirade. Now, she urges them to envision a future where a Biden administration is in charge of the country’s coronavirus response.

“You don’t think about our government at all because you know that a team of talented, thoughtful, honest public servants are in the White House,” she told donors during a September virtual fundraiser.

That message isn’t entirely new. It featured in an August ad that asked, “Remember when you didn’t have to think about the president every single day?”

Yet, it’s a message that appears to be resonating. Aside from polls, another data point is last week’s dueling town hall-style debates, hastily organized after the Commission on Presidential Debates face-off was scrapped. More than 14 million people tuned into Biden’s comparatively substantive ABC program, one million more than Trump’s superficial, more antagonistic iteration on NBC.

David Greenberg, a Rutgers University history and journalism professor, believed that Biden wasn’t “running on the appeal of being boring” alone.

“But it’s true that Biden is presenting himself as a calmer, more stable alternative to Trump — someone who makes decisions deliberately, who listens to others, who strives for moderation,” he said.

And Greenberg warned Trump his ridicule might not be enough to mitigate nostalgia for simpler times.

“That doesn’t diminish the appeal of having someone as president who allows us to relax and trust that the affairs of state are in sure hands,” he said.

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