Joe Biden’s ‘Limited Exposure’ Campaign Strategy is Backfiring.

The unintended consequences of what seemed like a good idea on the surface.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo via Joe Biden on Instagram.

There’s no question that I have a multitude of problems with not only Joe Biden as a politician, but the campaign he is running as well. I might as well be upfront that in my view, he is the epitome of everything that is wrong with the Democratic Party, and his slow, steady decline in the polls even before the debates is an indicator that I might not be the only one who feels this way.

Biden’s decades’s long reputation for “gaffes” is one that has always stayed with him, but now that he has set foot in to the political arena once again, we’ve been treated to a healthy dose of his ability to say all the wrong, weird things.

Unsurprisingly, Biden’s campaign probably reasoned that speaking to the press regularly could put a dent in some of his immediate support, and in order to mitigate the situation decided on the strategy of “limited exposure”. Such a strategy in their view would allow Biden to continue to coast through on Obama’s coattails for as long as possible, banking on name recognition and his obvious close association with the former democratic President. A piece published by Washington Post states:

“Aside from a campaign swing right after announcing his candidacy, Biden has kept his head down while his rivals rush from state to state to state. Even when he has held public events, they have included only a handful of questions from voters or reporters.

The light public schedule reflects the unique position of his campaign, advisers say: With near universal name recognition and high favorability ratings among Democrats, the former vice president does not need to introduce himself to voters like nearly every other candidate. And as the leader in early polls, he can attract media attention without splashy events.”

As much as I have come to thoroughly dislike Mr. Biden, I have to admit I thought this was a sound way of operating for at least the time being. But the question of course, is how long they would be able to keep this going in a positive fashion, and retain all that nostalgia. But of course, being Joe, it appears the answer is not very long.

The thing with a strategy like this in which a candidate is shielded from the press, is that it will inevitably only draw more attention to their public remarks. Joe Biden objectively is NOT the candidate whose words you want to draw attention to that often, and he proved this not long ago in the most devastating fashion.

In a bizarre move at a New York City fundraiser, Biden indicated exactly how out of touch he is with the modern democratic electorate, by bragging about his ability to work with segregationists in order to get things done. NPR wrote about the statements, and said:

“Biden told donors he has reached across the aisle throughout his career. “I was in a caucus with James O. Eastland,” Biden said, according to a pool report. “He never called me ‘boy’; he always called me ‘son.’ “

“Well, guess what? At least there was some civility,” Biden said, also pointing to a working relationship he forged with Georgia Sen. Herman Talmadge, another segregationist Democrat. “We got things done. We didn’t agree on much of anything. We got things done. We got it finished. But today, you look at the other side and you’re the enemy. Not the opposition, the enemy. We don’t talk to each other anymore.”

Oh, where to begin.

Well for one, Joe, I’d venture to guess that the reason he didn’t call you boy is because you’re white.

These remarks aren’t just damaging, they are insulting. Adding even further self-inflicted harm, when told by the press that fellow candidate Cory Booker called on him to apologize, Mr. Biden responded that he should be the one to apologize, insisting: “he knows better”.

He just can’t help himself, and that’s not the sort of person who is going to want to draw a lot of attention to the moments when they speak to the press. It’s been only a month since this strategy was revealed, and we’re already seeing it begin to backfire. I would argue that to even suggest that we should come to the table with segregationists, instead of fighting them aggressively and making them bend to our will not only shows his immense privilege, but his disregard for the very people who’s humanity segregationists deny. Those comments weren’t a gaffe. This is who he is, and “limited exposure” won’t hide that for long.

Joe Biden is his own worst enemy, and attempting to hide from that fact only draws further attention to it. The more he withdraws the more the Press will seek him out, and the more voters will wonder what it is he’s trying to hide. That being said, I’m sure this strategy probably would have played out longer if he wasn’t so prone to saying such ridiculous and blatantly out of touch things.

A new poll by Crooked Media and Change Research shows Bernie Sanders is now ahead in New Hampshire, and Biden’s lead in Iowa has shrunk to single digits. I’d be willing to bet money that his poll numbers will only suffer even further after he hits the debate stage. Something is going to have to change in terms of strategy in Mr. Biden’s campaign, and quickly. Unfortunately, his team can’t change the candidate.

Lauren is a writer & leftist with analysis on topics related to politics & policy. She can be reached at LaurenMartinchek@gmail.com or Twitter @xlauren_mx

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store