Another day, another gaffe spills out of Joe Biden’s mouth. But his latest verbal misstep had some questioning his mental acuity after the nearly 77-year-old showed he wasn’t even aware of where he was. When a reporter asked Biden about his impression of the New Hampshire town of Keene, where he was campaigning Saturday, the former vice president’s wasted no time asking, “What’s not to like about Vermont in terms of the beauty of it?”
Confusing which city you’re in while on a U.S. tour is par for the course when it comes to rock stars who play shows in new locations nightly. On the flip side, it is pretty far off-course for a presidential candidate who is already his party’s presumptive nominee to demonstrate such a lack of awareness while he’s working to convince any naysayers of his superior intelligence and ability to a sitting president who seems to be pretending his way through his inaugural term.
At best, that unfortunate episode just demonstrated a fleeting brain fart that most humans are susceptible to. At worst, though, it showed Biden may not have been properly prepared and has ignored the reported pleas by his staff to limit his time in public so as to prevent these types of recurring issues from, well, recurring.
That New Hampshire flub — where he also inexplicably asked rhetorically what if Obama was assassinated — followed last week’s nonsensical boner when he thanked his “longfriend timefriend who’s a friend and has been a friend in and out of public life.”
In fact, the internet has produced Biden’s very own gaffe mixtape, if you will — a veritable compilation of his recent verbal missteps that have prompted questions galore.
The objective for Democrats should be to beat Trump, but at what cost? Biden gas gone out of his way to demonstrate his bipartisan approach to politics, including looking back fondly on how “civil” segregationist senators were when he worked with them decades ago. He’s implied anybody in a hoodie is a Black kid. He’s suggested Black students aren’t as intelligent as their white counterparts.
But, perhaps most damning, is the silence coming from his former boss, Barack Obama, the man whose legend Biden is so quick to hide behind — a go-to move that typically manifests itself as the former vice president readily linking Obama’s legacy to his own. That lack of verbal support was coupled with a classic Washington story fueled by unnamed sources claiming Obama all but pleaded with Biden to convince him against running for president for a third time.
It’s has also worked out that Biden’s seemingly obligatory inappropriate outbursts always seem to find a way to flirt with offending one disenfranchised population or another.
It wasn’t that long ago when Biden was accused of embellishing (lying?) about his civil rights record. Weeks later, Kamala Harris called out Biden on the debate stage “on the issue of race,” which the California senator said had been “hurtful” to her as Black person. Biden has also come under steady fire for authoring the 1994 crime bill that resulted in the disproportionate incarceration of Black people, some of whom were still in prison for nonviolent convictions a quarter of a century later. Throughout it all, he has refused to formally apologize to Anita Hill for his treatment toward her when he was the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman presiding over Clarence Thomas’ Supreme Court hearing in 1991.
Still, the latest polls showed that Black people were overwhelmingly in favor of Biden over any other Democratic candidate. That’s what really separates him from his opponents — he has the unwavering support of the most loyal voting bloc the democrats have going into the 2020 election. The next closest candidate was Bernie Sanders at slightly north of 20 percent, which registered just about half of Biden’s support from Black voters. Conversely, Elizabeth Warren, another viable candidate, was struggling with Black voters, something that New York magazine called a “big problem” for her. And with Harris, the only candidate who is a Black woman — thee most coveted group of voters — struggling to secure support among Black voters, the African American vote is basically Biden’s to lose.
And Biden continues to try to demonstrate that he can be Republicans’ best friend, something that could sway some fence-sitting GOP’ers repulsed by the president to throw their support to the left. That aspect would almost certainly lead to a Trump loss.
But, considering Biden’s amplified stream of verbal gaffes showing no signs of drying up anytime soon, the question remains: Is he the best candidate to beat Trump or the best candidate to be president? While that uncertainty needs to be cleared up sooner rather than later, it, perhaps, has never been clearer that beggars can’t always be choosers, a sad fact that may just answer the aforementioned question.
A Trump win would most likely end the notion of him, a sitting president, facing any potentially criminal charges anytime soon, maybe ever. And Nancy Pelosi has waffled on the House initiating impeachment proceedings. So, logic would suggest, the next best way to get the president out of office would be to vote him out. Luckily, the campaign season is young enough where American voters still have enough time to adequately decide whether Biden is the right vehicle through which to achieve that strategy. But is it the correct strategy? Only time — and the Democratic National Committee — will tell.