The Corner

Elections

The Presidential Candidate As Cipher 

I wrote about Joe Biden for Politico today:

What William McKinley was to the front porch campaign, Joe Biden is to the basement campaign.

Sidelined and confined to his house by the dictates of coronavirus social distancing, the former vice president has been limited to intermittent appearances from a makeshift studio in his basement. They have been awkward and low energy, but that doesn’t really set them apart from most other Biden appearances.

If there’s any candidate who could thrive by having very limited public exposure and existing mostly as a line on a ballot, it’s the longtime presidential aspirant who hadn’t won a primary until a couple of weeks ago.

Biden is winning the Democratic nomination on the basis of not being Bernie Sanders and wants to get elected president on the basis of not being Donald Trump. He’s as purely a negative candidate as we’ve seen in a very long time, running largely on who he isn’t and what he won’t do.

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