There is scant physical evidence that the former vice president and Democratic nominee is in town. His visits are scarcely publicized beforehand, logistical details are closely held and his event venues serve as much as video studios as places of gathering. Barely anyone is allowed near the candidate.
The most significant recent high-wire act for Biden was the CNN town hall where he was served up countless softballs in a forum that even Politico called a "kid-gloves" treatment. On the few times he was challenged, he either ignored the questions or went into a weird jag about chicken manure.
Michael Dougherty asks "Seriously, Can We Talk about Joe Biden Now?"
Usually, a party tries to avoid making the same mistakes that recent losing campaigns made. But Biden’s operation seems to be leaning into dangers that should be obvious. Hillary Clinton’s campaign was dogged by conspiracy theories about her health, ones that were dismissed by her cheerleading journalists until the very moment she seemed to collapse at a public event, and was thrown into the side of a van by her handlers.
Joe Biden has had two aneurysms, he lashes out when he gets the slightest bit of pushback ("Listen, fat"), and now he's spending a third of his time in hiding and the rest of the time led around by his puppeteers. What, indeed, is going on with this guy?
Two other clues: the Democrats are pivoting away from mail-in voting, perhaps because of the high disqualification factor, but maybe because it locks voters into candidate who may not make it to election day. Second, Kamala Harris is incommunicado:
“A reminder that it has been 42 days since Harris was tapped as the VP pick. There are 42 days until election day,” NBC News reporter Deepa Shivaram tweeted. “The senator has not once formally taken questions from the press.”
Isn't this weird? Why isn't she out there promoting Joe Biden? Maybe it's because she knows Joe is in a downward spiral and it's only a matter of time before she'll be forced to step in. Until then, the campaign has one goal: hide the decline.