It is hard for anybody to compete with the president of the United States — regardless of what party he or she is in. That’s why the responses to the State of the Union addresses usually fall flat. So Biden and his campaign were admittedly fighting an uphill battle going up against Trump. Compounding this challenge is the need for sensitivity — it is important for Biden to criticize the president, but he can’t seem petty, small or overly political in a moment when the people crave real leadership.

This would be a major challenge for a Winston Churchill or Franklin Roosevelt. For Biden, it turned out to be impossible. His public statements this week have been unfocused, error-ridden, full of awkward gaffes. They ran directly contrary to the message that his campaign is trying to convey: that he is battle-tested and ready to handle any crisis. Unsurprisingly, the Biden campaign canceled a major address.

Biden is clearly not working for the Biden campaign.

So what is his team going to do? Probably very little for now. The news is all coronavirus, all the time. If Biden doesn’t have anything productive to add to that conversation, he isn’t going to be involved in it.