by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
First, Biden will copy the Bloomberg playbook and avoid campaign appearances as much as possible, instead relying on ads, endorsements, and the occasional short, teleprompter-aided speech.
Biden also will name administration officials in advance and use a dozen or so of them as surrogates and anti-Trump attack dogs on the campaign trail.
The subtext will be that the abstract idea of Biden is preferable to the concrete reality of hearing him speak or seeing him in action.
Second, Biden’s running mate, with a wink and a nod, will be sold as the likely future president sooner than later.
Diversity candidates who did not run effective campaigns and dropped out of the race now have a chance to be revived as Biden’s running mate — with a real shot to be president or at least to have a more influential role than past vice presidents.
Such a running mate could help Biden win over the base. …
… Third, no one knows the trajectory of the coronavirus, but the economic damage it is inflicting on the economy is already considerable.
Democratic strategists are demagoguing it in a way that seems analogous to the freak storm Katrina, which wrecked the second term of George W. Bush, or the 2008 financial meltdown, which ruined the Republican brand and, with it, the candidacy of John McCain.
In 2020 we will hear a lot from candidate Biden — but less frequently will we see him in person, speaking to or mixing with crowds. His running mate will be advertised as the future of the Democratic Party, with the subtext of soon becoming president. And the 24/7 message won’t be collusion or impeachment, but the coronavirus.