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Biden Drops the Narrative Ball on Wisconsin Primary Fallout

Disconnect between the presumptive nominee and party activists on display once again.

The party that relishes the opportunity to portray any and every political confrontation as an epic battle of Good vs. Evil was at it again April 7 as Democrats and their media allies extolled the heroic saga of blue voters in Wisconsin. Dedicated observers of the Coronavirus lockdown, these intrepid souls nevertheless risked their very lives to stand in line and vote against an evil Republican Party that insisted on holding an in-person primary election in the middle of a pandemic merely for partisan political advantage. Or so the Hollywood storyline goes.

Howling at the Moon Again

“This was a dark day for our democracy. In the middle of one of the worst public health emergencies in modern history, the Republican Party forced the people of Wisconsin to choose between their safety and their vote,” Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez said in a statement. “The craven self-interest of the GOP knows no bounds.”

“What we are witnessing here in real-time is one insidious GOP pathology — a yearslong assault on the voting rights that underpin American democracy — morphing into something much, much sicker,” Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Will Bunch wrote. “Wisconsin Primary Recap: Voters Forced to Choose Between Their Health and Their Civic Duty,” read a headline at The New York Times. No, it was not an opinion piece, but a supposedly straight news article.

Yes, the overly emotional progressive warriors had a new drum to bang. The problem was, nobody notified their 77-year-old presumptive presidential nominee. In yet another sign that Joe Biden is fundamentally out of step with the millions of Democratic voters who are selecting him as their flag-bearer for 2020, the former vice president initially underplayed the conflict in the Badger State before finally voicing a very late and underwhelming disapproval of the decision to hold a vote.

“There’s a lot of things that can be done; that’s for the Wisconsin courts and folks to decide,” Biden said April 2 at an online press briefing. “A convention having tens of thousands of people in one arena is very different than having people walk into a polling booth with accurate spacing with 6 to 10 feet apart, one at a time going in, and having the machines scrubbed down,” he continued. “I think you could hold the election as well dealing with mail-in ballots and same-day registration. I think it could be done … but that’s for them to decide.”

Oops. At a time when Democrats are keen to push nationwide mail-in voting for the November election and are using moments like this to further that cause to the max, Biden was totally out of the loop, adrift from the larger party goal.

Out of Touch In His Own Tribe


“I can only wonder if he’s completely aware of the situation on the ground in Wisconsin,” Kim Butler, head of the Polk County Democratic Party, sadly related to The Daily Beast in reply to Biden’s position. “Because I don’t think if he was really seeing and hearing what was going on here that he would necessarily feel that way.”

In an interview with CNN host Chris Cuomo on the evening of April 7, a haggard and hesitant Biden finally seemed to grasp what direction he was supposed to be following on the matter. “My gut is that we shouldn’t have had the election in the first place, the in-person election. It should have been all mail ballots …”

That is a total contradiction to what he had been saying in the lead-up to the primary. Beyond that though, Biden’s staid words and their impassive delivery were eons removed from the fiery rhetoric being cast by Democrats seeking to capitalize on the brouhaha in Wisconsin. Yet polling leading up to the election showed him with as much as a 30-point advantage in the state over Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), his lone remaining rival in the race.

Democrats made a pragmatic decision to go with the aged and supposedly more “moderate” Biden over a slew of other presidential primary rivals, including progressive firebrand Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), who on April 7 unveiled her own voting plan for November in the Coronavirus Era. Warren predictably calls for mail-in ballots to be sent to all registered voters.

Yet their hearts clearly are not in it. When results are released on April 13, Biden is expected to easily secure a win in Wisconsin. But his mild and aloof demeanor as his fellow Dems were up in arms over their latest Armageddon scenario may cost him more standing within the party down the line even as he chalks up another convincing victory. And the utter chaos that has enveloped this Democratic primary process from its very beginning over a year ago continues unabated.


Read more from Joe Schaeffer.

Read More From Joe Schaeffer

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