The last “insider” estimate I heard as to when Joe Biden was going to officially announce his candidacy came earlier this week and put the date around “mid-April.” But is he waiting too long? As I wrote last week, Biden has been looming like a frontrunning shadow behind all the declared candidates, but his recent moves have left some of us with the impression that he’s trying to bolster his woke credentials before announcing. These include declaring himself to be “the most progressive person” in the running (or thinking of running) and apologizing for the white male culture Anita Hill had to face during the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings.
Joe is busy apologizing, but it’s looking more and more as if he wasn’t fully prepared to dive into the wokeness pool. The latest scuffles have come from the #MeToo segment of the Democratic base. Attacks on “Creepy Uncle Joe” are already surfacing, including one accusation from Stephanie Carter, a prominent female figure in the Democratic Party. In the wake of that accusation, Elizabeth Warren has already “pounced” on the “inappropriate touching” question, offering one more thing for Biden to apologize about. All of this prompted Karol Markowicz at the New York Post to wonder if Biden isn’t backtracking his way out of a shot at the presidency for the third time.
It’s peak wokeness to self-flagellate and apply modern-day sensibilities to events that happened decades ago, but what’s interesting about this particular line of self-attack is that Biden toed the Democratic line even then. “I wish I could have done something, and I opposed Clarence Thomas’ nomination — I voted against him.”
Apparently, that’s not enough. And this was just the latest stop on what The Washington Examiner’s Philip Klein calls “Joe Biden’s Apology Tour.” Klein predicts Biden’s involvement in the hearings “is sure to dog him as he seeks the Democratic nomination, so it’s obvious he was trying to get ahead of the story.”
Yet the all-but-certain wannabe is demolishing the exact thing that makes him formidable in a general election — the way he comes off as a moderate, working-class guy who can reach across the aisle and deal with Republicans — even before he jumps into the Democratic primary race.
Markowicz has pegged what seems to be Biden’s biggest problem right now. The one thing that keeps Joe Biden popular enough to lead the Democratic field in every poll (aside from his unmatched resume) is the fact that he represents normalcy. And despite what cable news and the major newspapers would have you believe about the “superstar” status of some of the new, young socialists, dependable normalcy is still a winning hand across much of the country. The current crop of Dem contenders is offering more flavors of socialist crazy than Baskin Robbins has of ice cream. And all of that makes for great headlines and hot takes, but it’s also scaring off the people looking for stability.
If Biden keeps up with the apology tour he’s just going to reinforce the message that he’s been “the wrong guy” for all of these decades and he’s only just now getting around to admitting it. Rather than more apologies, Biden should probably get back to being the aw-shucks guy who takes the train home every weekend. Of course, he’ll have to toe a careful line on the Me Too stuff. For the time being, Biden is saying he doesn’t remember the alleged kissing incident with Stephanie Carter while encouraging her to make her story heard. That’s probably about the best he can do. And he may need the practice in brushing back such accusations, particularly when you take a walk down memory lane with this short video of Uncle Joe acting “creepy.”