The Corner

Elections

Joe Biden’s Consistently Light Campaigning Schedule

Former Vice President Joe Biden accepts the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination at the 2020 Democratic National Convention, Wilmington, Del., August 20, 2020. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

Today is September 9. There are 55 days until Election Day. Early voting starts in nine days in Minnesota, Wyoming, and South Dakota; in ten days in New Jersey and Virginia; and in thirteen days in Michigan and Vermont.

Today Joe Biden will travel to Warren, Mich., to deliver remarks on “his plan to ensure the future is Made in America by all of America’s workers.”

Yesterday, Biden’s campaign “called a lid” — meaning no further public appearances were planned — shortly after 9 a.m.

On Monday, Biden traveled to Harrisburg, Pa., to attend an event with the AFL-CIO and the socially distanced gathering in a backyard in Lancaster.

On Sunday, Biden attended St. Joseph on the Brandywine Roman Catholic Church in Wilmington, Del., and the graveyard where his son, daughter, and first wife are buried. Biden himself had no public events. On Saturday, the campaign “called a lid” shortly after 10 a.m. — meaning he had no public events that day, either.

On Friday, Biden delivered remarks in Wilmington, Del., on the economy, and attended a virtual fundraiser. On Thursday, Biden delivered his remarks in Kenosha, Wis. On Wednesday, September 2, Jill and Joe Biden received a briefing from education leaders and experts in Wilmington, and then he delivered remarks about the coronavirus and schools. On Tuesday, September 1, Biden had no public events and only a virtual fundraiser.

In other words, nine days into this month, Biden has delivered public remarks six times in four states.

Yes, this campaign is occurring during a serious pandemic, and Biden and his team have particular reason to worry about an almost-78-year-old man interacting with a lot of people. This means Biden won’t hold the traditional big rallies, and will have to make do with smaller, socially distanced events. Yes, Biden is ahead in most polling, thus he and his campaign may feel he doesn’t need to attend a lot of events.

But this is a really light schedule for the first week of September in a presidential campaign. In a five-day stretch back in 2016, while battling what was later diagnosed as walking pneumonia, Hillary Clinton attended rallies and events in Cleveland, Ohio; Hampton, Ill.; Tampa, Fla., New York City, Charlotte, N.C., Kansas City, Mo., and then New York City again.

Biden supporters may feel that the Trump camp’s attacks on Biden’s stamina, health, mental capacities, and ability to handle the physical challenges of the job are unfair. But when Biden is sticking to an exceptionally light schedule with minimal travel — even in crunch time — it is difficult to begrudge anyone wondering how Biden will handle the demands of one of the most difficult jobs in the world.

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