Dem 51
image description
GOP 49
image description

What Should Biden Do?

Democrats are already crying in their white wine (whine?), assuming that the election and the republic are lost. That's a bit premature as a week is a long time in politics, as we have mentioned a few times before. For example, the day after Robert Hur's hatchet job on Biden (in violation of DoJ rules about saying anything about a subject if the decision is not to indict) was kinda different from the day before it. Is there anything Biden can do to mitigate the situation? Jonathan Alter at Old Goats has seven suggestions.

  1. No excuses: The simplest strategy is not to respond to the report and just move on. Talking about it just gives it more exposure. Not everyone outside the Fox bubble may have even seen it. Presidents can set the agenda, so an Oval Office speech about aid to Israel or Ukraine or the border changes the subject.

  2. The old shoe strategy: Alter has known Biden for decades and says that his gaffes now are only marginally worse than when he was young. This strategy is to get Biden out in public a lot so people can see that he is perfectly in control, even if he makes a small gaffe from time to time.

  3. The Nikki-Nancy defense: In a recent speech, Donald Trump confused Nikki Haley with Nancy Pelosi not once, not twice, but four times. How about an ad showing that along with his many other bloopers. Once Trump mistook E. Jean Carroll for his second wife, Marla Maples. How about putting in: "Trump is so far gone he can't even tell some woman he claims never to have met from one of his many wives"? Maybe even have Biden look at a photo of Jill Biden and then say: "This is my wife, Jill. Unlike some of us, I'm capable of telling my wife from some strange woman I barely know." That will surely enrage Trump and cause him to do something stupid. With careful editing, Trump could be made to look like he's lost all his marbles.

  4. Hug your boo-boos: On the subject of carefully curated videos, how about one showing Biden making boo-boos in his 30s and 40s. The point is: "This is just Joe. He makes gaffes. He's no different than he was 40 or 50 years ago. He's not losing it. He's always been like this."

  5. Hunter and Hur: Biden could point out that Hur did not indict him because he didn't break the law. He could also note that the DoJ is prosecuting his own son. It doesn't play favorites. It follows the law. Jack Smith is also following the law. The DoJ is not on a witch hunt after Trump. It treats everyone equally, including the current and former president.

  6. Use the expectations game: Politics is about expectations. Now every time Biden gives a gaffe-free speech, that may convince some voters that he is perfectly OK. Thus: Give more speeches.

  7. Challenge Trump to debates: The ultimate sign of strength would be to challenge Trump to two or three debates, as usual. If Trump declines, Biden should jump all over him with: "Coward, coward, coward! If you are scared witless of me, how are you ever going to stand up to Chinese President Xi Jinping?" One of the worst taunts for Trump is "Coward." Just keep pounding on it. If Trump agrees, be presidential but hit back hard. If Trump tries to talk over Biden, Biden should fight back hard like saying: "Just shut up and wait your turn, you sleazy old windbag." A line like that could go viral.

Of course, some combination of these could work as well. Panicking is not a good solution. (V)

This item appeared on Read it Monday through Friday for political and election news, Saturday for answers to reader's questions, and Sunday for letters from readers.                     State polls                     All Senate candidates