When Joe Biden isn’t dropping another peculiar gaffe on the 24-hour news cycle, he seems determined to remind voters in a political environment clamoring for change just how long he has been in the game. The former vice president campaigned in New Hampshire on Dec. 8 with 2004 Democrat nominee John Kerry. President Barack Obama’s former secretary of state is 75 years old, and his time spent serving alongside Biden in the U.S. Senate spans a good chunk of three decades, 1985-2009. He represents an era that a large number of Americans hope has clearly passed. And New Hampshirites were not hesitant to say as much.
‘No Good at All’
“It still feels like old guard politics and establishment Democrats,” Dave Laforge told the Boston Herald. “I have no problem with the Democratic Party as an institution, but if there’s anything I’ve learned in the last four years, people are really tired of establishment and are willing to burn it down.”
“It’s just old school and old school,” Janet Maxfield told the Herald. “It’s politics done the same way, but we need new ideas right now.” Sally Negus’s comments to the paper were more brusque. “Biden and Kerry? No good, no good at all,” she declared.
And Biden’s tongue-tied verbal pratfalls on the public trail seem to distract from just how tone-deaf his campaign message can be. As more Americans express their exasperation about a decades-old globalist trade and military-interventionist structure that has left them behind, Biden goes out of his way to stress that he is the candidate best able to operate chummily within that world.
“Name me somebody who’s going to be able to stand on the world stage and immediately command the respect of everyone in the world,” Biden told NPR Morning Edition host Rachel Martin on Dec. 6. “Our enemies as well as our adversaries, as well as our allies. I know all these people.”
Here Biden accentuates his connectivity abroad even as his son Hunter Biden has drawn withering negative attention to his father with compromising business ties to Ukrainian oligarchs and Chinese billion-dollar state-run business deals. His rivals can easily paint what Biden touts as experience as the kind of classic inside baseball from which so many Americans are eager to move away.
Bringing into the fold a Swamp careerist like Kerry awash in Heinz money only encourages such characterizations. It’s even more unusual when you consider that Biden also loves playing up a “Blue Collar Joe” persona that would largely contradict his networked colleague bona fides.
‘He’s a Normal Human Being’
The schizophrenia involved here can be seen even among his political supporters. Peter Sullivan, a former New Hampshire state representative, is a Biden backer. Once again aging his candidate, Sullivan told the New Hampshire Union Leader that his admiration for Biden and Kerry dates back to the fight against apartheid some 35 years ago. Astonishingly, Sullivan sees Biden critics as the ones out of touch with a scrappy outsider’s “human” authenticity.
“Most of the criticisms (against Biden) originate either in the Beltway or in the New York media bubble or in Twitter,” Sullivan told the Union Leader. “Those are three of the tightest, most isolated bubbles in American culture. Joe Biden speaks to the average person, not a blue check mark on social media.”
Continued Sullivan: “Does that upset people from a certain social strata? Yeah, but there are more people like Joe Biden than are offended by his style. Can he be rough around the edges? Yeah, he can talk too much, but that’s how most of us are. We engage in conversations; we say what we feel. He’s a normal human being and I think we’re ready for that after four years of a bonkers celebrity presidency.”
When it comes to Biden, normal and conventional are certainly not the same thing. His odd personal foibles on the campaign trail increasingly call into question the former. Meanwhile, openly embracing aged establishmentarian Kerry only helps cement the latter. Any way you look at it, it’s a lose-lose energy force.
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