Former Vice President Joe Biden is going to be the Democratic nominee for president. But with the Wuhan Coronavirus sucking all of the air out of the newsrooms and Americans generally paying attention to nothing else, his three huge wins for the third Tuesday in a row yielded about as much fanfare and buzz as a 42-year-old quarterback switching teams. In fact, there were more stories trending yesterday about Tom Brady than Joe Biden. Lest we forget, yesterday was a major primary day and the NFL is in the middle of its offseason.
The funny part is nobody at the DNC is complaining. The less attention that’s paid to Biden at this point, the better. They’re pleased that he won Arizona, Florida, and Illinois by large margins over Senator Bernie Sanders, but they’re not necessarily ready for him to be on the national stage any more than he needs to be. They’d prefer to wait for the Democratic National Convention in July when the coronavirus is (hopefully) contained and life is starting to get back to normal in America.
As for Sanders, he’s not giving up. At least he’s pretending like he’s not giving up. There are certainly back-channel discussions urging him to drop out and focus on unifying the party, but publicly everyone’s playing coy. The Biden campaign isn’t calling for him to leave the race because it doesn’t seem necessary and will only antagonize Sanders supporters more than they already are. Just a month ago, it seemed like Sanders was in the driver’s seat for the nomination. His crash at the hands of Establishment Democrats is hitting his supporters even harder than his loss to Hillary Clinton.
Concerns have been quietly expressed by some Democrats and trumpeted by most Republicans about Biden’s cognitive abilities. Our EIC asked if he has dementia. It’a a valid question considering the deterioration of Biden’s speaking abilities. He’s not even close to the sharp but gaffe-prone communicator he was in 2016. Today, he seems to have trouble keeping up with his own thoughts. This is one of the reasons that he’s had his time limited in front of cameras; even at his own rallies he speaks for an average of seven minutes. Sanders and President Trump can keep rally audiences enthralled for hours.
The coronavirus may be taking away from the excitement surrounding his wins, but the disease and the panic associated with it is also keeping Biden out of the public eye. It seems like a fair trade-off. The less he speaks, the better it is for his campaign and the DNC.
It’s a sad testament to the lack of passion behind Joe Biden’s candidacy that toilet paper delivery trucks at the supermarket get more attention than his presumptive securing of the nomination. It isn’t just the coronavirus. He’s just not that interesting.