How the end of lockdown will hurt Joe Biden amid the campaign trail

With the lockdowns ending, Biden will lose his advantage of staying out of the spotlight. He will have to transition from interviews with friendly hosts, conducted from his home in Delaware where aides could carefully control optics, to the unpredictable style of town halls. Without any handlers able to manage every moment, his loose tongue or instigative attitude toward voters threaten to define the remainder of his campaign.

Biden still had blunders over the last few months that would have made headline news during normal times but were quickly forgotten amid the pandemic reports. Honorable mentions include when he asserted black Trump supporters are not really black, stated just 85,000 jobs were lost due to the coronavirus but millions had died, and appeared to fall asleep during a virtual town hall with Hillary Clinton. Such faux pas will become more frequent as Biden is forced into public and will do greater political damage with a news cycle more focused on the election.

The shifting news cycle will also place his track record under increased scrutiny, most notably his pivotal role writing the disastrous 1994 crime bill. His tough on crime overhaul may be considered common sense to moderates, but the protests reveal what a political liability it is among Democrats today. The bill raised police funding and was so strict that Biden said it did it all except “hang people for jaywalking.”