Over the last several days, we've seen a marked shift in messaging and action from the Biden campaign with regard to the protests, violence, arson, and looting in the streets of American cities.
Despite the fact that this lawless mayhem has been a daily story since the first week of June, the urban carnage was not mentioned once at last week's sad Democratic National "Convention."
Well, that's not entirely true. There were plenty of voices from the Democrats offering support for the mobs unlawfully taking to the streets and providing cover for the vandals and looters every night. But, there wasn't one word of sympathy or concern for the victims of the worst rioting in America in several generations.
It was a remarkable display of Biden and the Democrats' lack of empathy.
But, this week, all that changed.
The Biden campaign has shifted their focus away from cozying up to the mob and instead have begun to show some token concern for the Democrat-run cities that are enveloped in flames right now.
Here are his halting, awkward 93 seconds of empathy:
Once again, a Black man — Jacob Blake — was shot by the police. In front of his children. It makes me sick.— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) August 26, 2020
Is this the country we want to be?
Needless violence won’t heal us. We need to end the violence — and peacefully come together to demand justice. pic.twitter.com/WdNqrxA3PK
One wonders how many takes it took for him to get through that minute and a half without messing up or mentioning a fond recollection of "Corn-Pop" who, by the way, "was a bad dude."
One line he did manage to mumble bears some analysis, though. "Needless violence won't heal us." Who wrote that? What an odd line. Who uses the term "needless violence"? Are we supposed to glean from this that necessary violence could heal us, but this current violence is needless? Doesn't the modifier "needless" invite a difference of opinion as to whether this violence is needed or not?
Even in his statement condemning the violence, he couldn't actually and unequivocally condemn the violence.
Apparently, there are very fine people on both sides of the riots.
Either way, the bizarre Twitter video wasn't enough to stop the hemorrhaging of his campaign. He soon appeared on friendly cable news shows to accuse President Trump of "rooting for the violence." However, again, he couldn't get through the interview without obviously reading notes that had been positioned right next to his computer, and even then, he was only partially coherent.
Joe Biden is clearly reading from a script while struggling to get through this interview with Anderson Cooper pic.twitter.com/PsD7vBLIik— Tristan Justice (@JusticeTristan) August 27, 2020
Man, Anderson Cooper is really trying to help him through that interview, isn't he?
Still, the Biden campaign has seen that they must do more to appear as though they're against the violence perpetrated by their loyal, Democrat base.
So now Biden has announced something that was unthinkable just a few days ago. He is now considering leaving the safe confines of his basement in Delaware and he might.. he just might go to Wisconsin.
There have been violent mobs taking over the downtown centers of Oregon and Washington state for several weeks. There have been looting and flare-ups in California and in New York. But now Biden says he might go to Wisconsin.
Why? Because unlike Oregon, Washington, California, and New York, Wisconsin is an important state that he must win if he wants to defeat Donald Trump.
Wow, Biden's all about empathy, isn't he?
This is all very cynical, I know, but don't blame me for this jaundiced political analysis. Blame Don Lemon.
Yes, the CNN journalist (heh) led the way with this strategic shift for the Biden campaign and with remarkable transparency, he candidly explained why these riots must stop.
"I think maybe Joe Biden may be afraid to do it. I'm not sure. Maybe he won't, maybe he is. He's got to address it," Lemon told his colleague, Chris Cuomo Tuesday night.
Lemon went on to explain why Biden can no longer ignore the rioting and violence.
"The rioting has to stop. Chris, as you know, and I know, it's showing up in the polling. It's showing up in focus groups. It is the only thing -- it is the only thing right now that is sticking."
Don Lemon spoke, and the Biden campaign listened. And then they acted.
At this moment, it appears Don Lemon is Joe Biden's most important and influential political adviser. Lemon says jump, Biden says, "Huh? OK, Corn Pop!"
So Biden is now concerned about the violence and he wants it to stop. But, let's be clear about why he has this message now.
He has not emerged from his political quarantine to condemn violence because rioting is the wrong thing to do. It's not because rioting is immoral or even illegal. He's not out in front of this issue because violence in pursuit of a social cause is a recipe for anarchy and chaos (remember, this is needless violence, necessary violence, apparently, is just fine).
No, Biden has a new-found repulsion against violent riots because the violent riots are showing up in the polls to the benefit of Donald Trump. And, more importantly, the latest violent rioting is taking place in a suburb in Wisconsin, a state that Biden needs if he wants to be president.
We'll see if Biden's lip-service to the riots makes a difference in his poll numbers. One thing seems clear though, if it doesn't, we just need to watch CNN's prime time superstar Don Lemon to find out what Biden will do next.