The message we’ve been beaten over the head with after the most recent batch of primaries is that Joe Biden is it. The race is over, Bernie Sanders should drop out, let’s all line up behind a man who frequently seems to lose track of his thoughts or where he is mid-sentence.
Let’s accept that premise for argument’s sake. (For the record, I do not.) That would mean the Democrats’ presumptive nominee for president clinched the race and then proceeded to fully disappear from public view for nearly a week during a pandemic. The leadership we’re craving in a time of crisis!
For those (me) keeping track at home: Biden won big on Super Tuesday on March 3. That night, he addressed supporters in person, and this happened. Last Tuesday, March 17, Biden won primaries held in Florida, Arizona, and Illinois. That evening, the former vice president delivered brief remarks via livestream from his home in Wilmington, DE. He said the response to the coronavirus pandemic should be “akin to fighting a war” and will “require leadership and cooperation from every level of government.”
“This is a moment where we need our leaders to lead,” he said, speaking in front of a disconcerting black backdrop and two hastily placed American flags. It’s worth watching the video if you haven’t yet—it didn’t go great, even before Dr. Jill Biden entered the frame, appeared to spook her husband, and then murmured “Joe” off-camera, seemingly to prompt him to follow her.
And then that was it. After three days out of the spotlight, this strange reporting appeared:
OK!!!! Biden learns about……broadcasting??
Another couple days went by. Biden’s account had been tweeting, while another man vying to be president released a comprehensive plan to fight the virus. What’s he been doing in the meantime? Uhhhh, he claims to be spending up to seven hours a day on the phone with policymakers, his staffers, and elected officials, according to the Los Angeles Times.
So how did Biden finally reappear? Over the phone, with a “virtual fundraiser” on Sunday. Nice!
He softened the ground for his formal return this morning by putting out a short, scripted video.
Then, he delivered prepared remarks via livestream, where he sympathized with healthcare workers and people with the virus, but mostly just called for not attacking Obamacare during this health crisis. At least the background didn’t look like a hostage video this time!
This also happened.
Anyway, pretty cool that Biden was just absent for six days. Totally fine, probably no big deal.
Screenshot: Joe Biden