Joe Biden managed to win the Democratic nomination more or less by default.
He never had to define himself as anything more than a generic Democrat who used to appear in photos with Barack Obama.
The truth is, he didn’t need to do any more than that to defeat the unelectable socialists he was running against.
Biden was able to position himself as a so-called “moderate” because he stopped just short of endorsing unpopular policies, such as taking away people’s private health insurance, providing welfare to people residing in the country illegally, and confiscating legally-owned firearms.
Now that he’s running a general election campaign — at least in theory, because we’re not seeing much of him on the campaign trail — Biden has struggled to define himself in a way that might appeal to ordinary American voters.
Instead, he has inexplicably lurched to the left, embracing the policies originally put forward by his former opponents.
Suffice it to say, the effort is stumbling out of the gates. In one of his first serious policy proposals since locking up the nomination, Biden came clean that he wants to raise taxes on 82% of Americans to pay for the socialist agenda he cribbed from far-left politicians such as Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y.
Perhaps sensing that “tax-hike liberal” is not a good brand to run on this November, Biden took another stab this past week to bolster his faux-working class, “made in America” persona.
Joe would prefer voters think of him as an economic nationalist — a Trumpist, if you will.
The difference is that Donald Trump actually delivered an America First trade agenda, took a strong and assertive line on China, and created an American manufacturing renaissance.
Biden’s latest effort to establish himself a champion of American industry, on the other hand, amounted to the farcical exercise of the 77-year-old former vice president talking about how cool his 53-year-old Corvette is.
The reality is that Biden’s political career — nearly as old as the ‘vette — has been marked by a consistent willingness to sacrifice the interests of American industry in order to placate and patronize China.
For example, in the 1980s, Biden voted to grant the communist country “most favored nation” trading status.
Later, Biden helped put China on a path to WTO membership, helping to create the “made in China” world. Biden also enthusiastically supported NAFTA in the Clinton years, and then tried to push through the Trans-Pacific Partnership during the Obama years.
But elections aren’t just about policies. The candidate’s personality matters just as much.
So how did Biden’s efforts to connect on a personal level go last week?
In a word — Worse.
After months of avoiding public appearances, people everywhere are seeing why Biden’s campaign has been keeping him in hiding. Having apparently learned nothing from his “you ain’t black” gaffe, Joe responded to a Black reporter’s question about whether he’d taken a cognitive function test by issuing a terse denial (directly contradicting his own previous statements) and then asking the reporter if he did cocaine and was a “junkie.”
Then, to make matters worse, Biden claimed that Latinos are “incredibly diverse” but that Blacks are not.
The presumptive nominee had a snub in store for the good people of Wisconsin, as well, particularly the working men and women whose votes he would need in order to have any hope of carrying the state in November.
Having apparently learned nothing from the 2016 election, when Hillary Clinton notoriously refused to visit the Badger State, and paid the price by becoming the first Democratic presidential candidate to lose Wisconsin since 1984.
The Democratic Party tried to prevent a repetition of that debacle by forcing its 2020 nominee to visit Wisconsin, if only to formally accept the nomination.
Then the coronavirus pandemic hit, giving Biden the opportunity to skirt a potentially-embarrassing appearance by delivering his acceptance speech from more comfortable environs in his home state of Delaware.
Any week that a presidential candidate has to spend apologizing for dumb things is a bad week — and that’s exactly the kind of week Biden just had.
Jason D. Meister is an Advisory Board Member of Donald J. Trump for President Inc., and frequently appears on national television and radio broadcasts, including various interviews on: Fox News, Fox Business Network, Wall Street Journal Live, Bloomberg, One America News, Sky News, Newsmax TV, Huff Post Live, and Sirius XM. Mr. Meister is a successful investor, developer, and published op-ed author. He has written for various publications including The Epoch Times, Washington Examiner, The Daily Caller, Townhall, Fox News, Fox Business, Newsmax, Real Clear Politics, Real Clear Markets, American Greatness, Tennessee Star, The Ohio Star, and the Minnesota Sun. Twitter: @jason_meister.