Joe Biden remains on lockdown in his basement for the most part, just like many other Americans. It’s a smart move since he’s clearly in one of the highest-risk demographics for COVID-19 if he were to be exposed to it. But that’s causing a great deal of consternation among his supporters, some of whom feel that having their candidate virtually disappear in the middle of a pandemic crisis leaves President Trump with an open field to dominate the news cycle and win over supporters in the upcoming general election.
Over at the Washington Post, Karen Tumulty gamely tries to soothe Biden’s nervous supporters. Unfortunately, the best she seems to be able to do is to say that it’s “too early” to panic over Joe Biden’s staggering campaign. Her primary argument is that leaving Trump unchallenged for the most part will provide him with opportunities to shoot himself in the foot.
The party is in a state of high anxiety over the fact that their nominee-in-waiting appears trapped at home, like so many of the rest of us are during the covid-19 pandemic.
Donors and other allies fret over technical glitches in the former vice president’s online appearances, and point to the disadvantage that he has against President Trump when it comes to money, organization and digital resources.
The criticism is justified, and Biden’s campaign says it is moving to address its weaknesses. On Friday, strategists said Biden forces will have 600 organizers in place in battleground states within the next month — and are doubling their digital team.
Tumulty goes on to admit that “nobody knows” when (or if) Joe Biden will be able to resume a somewhat normal campaign schedule. But she offsets that concern by saying that Trump himself is making the best argument in favor of a Biden presidency by offering voters “a sense of what it would be like to be free of the incoherence and narcissism” defining Trump’s response to the pandemic.
In an effort to support this argument, the author dredges up one of the most recent (and thoroughly discredited) examples of media spin where they attempt to twist the President’s words against him. She’s referring to Trump’s recent trip to a medical supply company in Pennsylvania. During remarks given there, Trump used some admittedly awkward phrasing to say we “have more cases than anybody in the world. But why? Because we do more testing. When you test, you have a case. When you test, you find something is wrong with people. If we didn’t do any testing, we would have very few cases.”
Tumulty then proceeds to dutifully recite the false liberal media mantra of The Resistance, saying that the President “implied that the real problem is that we’re testing too much.”
This is, of course, horse hockey, in the words of Colonel Sherman T. Potter. The message Trump was conveying was exactly the same as was delivered numerous times by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (to deafening applause by the liberal press). Most of the people who contract COVID-19 experience only mild symptoms and they don’t even bother going to a hospital. Thus they are not counted among the confirmed cases unless someone goes out and tests them.
The more people you test, the more confirmed cases you find. If we weren’t testing anyone but those who show up at the hospital presenting serious symptoms, the number of confirmed cases would be only a small fraction of what we have today. And Trump is absolutely correct about that.
I don’t know how much hope and comfort Biden’s supporters should take from Tumulty’s reassurances. All she’s really saying here is that there’s no reason for Biden voters to panic… yet. Without saying it, she pretty much acknowledges that the time to panic may well be on the horizon. And I’d agree with her on at least that point.
In reality, keeping Joe Biden locked in his basement, primarily delivering scripted addresses on video, is probably a best-case scenario for him. (At least when the teleprompter doesn’t break down in the middle of his remarks.) Every time he loses the thread in the middle of an interview and begins stuttering and rambling, Democrats have more of a reason to hit the panic button. Even his physical appearance as he waits out the pandemic in his basement casts him in a rather poor light compared to the brash (and some might say “rash”) way the President charges from place to place, talking up the economy and trying to get the country back on track.
If Karen Tumulty really thinks the President is shooting himself in the foot, she may want to take a peek at the latest polling. It’s true that Trump is still trailing Joe Biden nationally among registered (not likely) voters, but it’s not by as much as he was previously. And in the battleground states that will decide the next election, he’s leading Biden outside the margins. Despite the best efforts of the Washington Post and other liberal outlets, Trump’s response to this crisis still appears to be helping him in the polls, not hurting him.