While the president dominates social media and TV ratings with daily Coronavirus Task Force briefings from the White House, Democratic presidential frontrunner Joe Biden has launched a podcast in an attempt to stay marginally relevant.
“Here’s the Deal,” will feature the former vice president discussing challenges currently faced by many Americans, focusing so far on the threats which have beset the nation amid the Wuhan Coronavirus pandemic. The first installment, which was released on Monday, primarily featured Biden and his former chief-of-staff Ron Klain negatively discussing the Trump administration’s response to the viral outbreak.
Just seven months away from the presidential election, Biden’s bid for the White House has been largely relegated to secondary news, a problem that is difficult for the campaign team to surmount with limited visibility. Additionally, unlike other politicians in this time, Biden is at a disadvantage running as the party favorite while not holding elected office. A
Although Biden spent 36 years in the Senate and eight years as Barack Obama’s vice president, he currently holds no political position and wields no legislative authority in Washington. This fact has made fighting for headlines a sizeable obstacle for Biden, 77, who is also considered to be particularly vulnerable to the deadly virus because of his age.
Amid the pandemic and without campaign rallies, his political and policy positions have been reduced to infrequent television interviews and virtual briefings focused largely on what he would hypothetically do if he actually was in charge of anything. The debut episode, consisting of only 21 minutes, simply repeated talking points from several of Biden’s basement broadcasts.
Biden and Klain both criticized Trump for his early response to the pandemic, saying he was too slow to get testing out to the marketplace. Biden also championed ideas about building more hospitals, expanding social security benefits, invoking the Defense Production Act, and forgiving student loan debt – all ideas shared during his virtual appearances in front of his basement bookshelves.
In his limited online speaking engagements and sporadic cable news appearances, Biden has also been plagued with technical difficulties and slowed by his signature predisposition to speaking gaffes. Additionally, he has been caught telling outright lies about the president in an effort to improve his own standing, including an assertion that Trump denied millions of testing kits from the World Health Organization. The WHO confirmed that no such tests were ever offered to the United States.
Biden and Klain received a "Four Pinocchios" rating from the Washington Post after releasing a video that claimed that Trump was “silencing” officials at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC official in question was later confirmed to have been in constant contact with the press about her findings.
"The video created a false narrative," the Post reported. "The Biden campaign earns Four Pinocchios."
The septuagenarian has also been recently haunted by accusations of sexual misconduct from a former Senate aid, Tara Reade. Telling multiple outlets about her experience with Biden, Reade claims that in the early 1990s, the influential Delaware Democrat both verbally and physically abused her. Reade has said that she has been met with an icy reception from the media, the Times Up Legal Defense Fund, and former presidential candidates Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Kamala Harris (D-CA).
Biden has not publicly addressed the accusations by Reade but previously stated that all women making claims of abuse and harassment should be believed. That sentiment was previously shared by Warren and Harris in light of accusations of misconduct against Brett Kavanaugh, ahead of his confirmation to the Supreme Court in 2018.
Meanwhile, Trump has received the support of the American public for his handling of the Wuhan Coronavirus and has forged public alliances with beloved Democratic governors Andrew Cuomo (NY) and Gavin Newsom (CA). In a recent Gallup poll, 60% of respondents said they approved of the president’s handling of the crisis, a near reversal from the results of the same poll just a week earlier. For the first time since taking office, the president also has a higher job approval rating than disapproval, according to an ABC poll last week.