May 1, 2020
Joe Biden may now, because of the pandemic and collapse of the economy it has triggered, feel that he has the political winds at his back and it will be smooth sailing through the convention, the election, and into the White House. I want to suggest that he had best beware of ‘complacency’ at this time. He must realize that he is competing with a bunch of very dangerous political snakes who will use all the venom at their disposal to poison his pedestal as an honest, experienced, leader and statesman. Joe Biden must, immediately, take every action possible to strengthen his position as a capable leader and inoculate himself with the anti-venom serum of preparedness, ability, and confidence that can lead us through the snakes-nest of health and economic dangers ahead.
Joe Biden’s greatest vulnerabilities are: his age, his forgetfulness (or gaffes), and his ‘past indiscretions’. That’s a bunch of heavy ‘baggage’ to carry into a presidential contest. If he will be competing against Donald Trump he wouldn’t have to worry too much about the ‘past indiscretions’ factor because his couldn’t possibly hold a candle to those of Donald Trump. However, I don’t think it’s a ‘given’ that Trump will be the Republican Presidential candidate in the 2020 election. And so, I will have to keep that factor in mind as I go forward with my ‘message’ for Joe. As Elizabeth Warren would say, “I have a plan !” Only this time I’m going to tell you what “my plan for Joe” is —rather than keeping you guessing—like Elizabeth did throughout her failed campaign for the nomination.
But first, one very important caveat: timing is the essence of my recommendation. Joe cannot seem to be hiding in his basement between today and the Democratic nomination convention, August 17, 2020—unless he wants multiple challenges to his nomination from the convention floor. He must, immediately take a pro-active stance, demonstrating to the United States electorate that he is moving ahead and preparing to fill the void of leadership which has resulted in our failure to prepare and deal with both a pandemic and financial collapse of our economy. It’s time for Joe Biden to act and to be ‘Presidential’, NOW!
Joe Biden should announce NOW that he will take certain actions , and the minute after his nomination is confirmed, He will announce the results of his actions with the understanding that they are conditional on his winning the election and then carry through with those actions and promises after his election—assuming that actually happens. There is only one ‘out’ in that caveat but I want to save that for later in explaining my plan.
The first and most important ‘thing’ that Joe must do is to deal with the problem (reality?) that he is too old to be taking on such a heavy burden, i.e., becoming the President during a pandemic and the financial collapse of the US of A’s economy. How do I think he can do that? Simply by being honest about that reality out front and by explaining that: #1. He intends to be a one-term President AND, to solve problem #2. That, when the election campaign begins, he will have shown the electorate that he fully understands that no single person, much less himself, can manage and control the complexities of the government of the United States of America, and so he has selected and enlisted a TEAM capable of not only handling the present and any possible future pandemic but his TEAM is also capable of dealing with an economic recession or depression from his ‘day one’ in the office AND, #3. His TEAM will be ‘leader-ready’ to take over the Commander-in-Chief position if (God forbid!) anything should happen to prevent him from carrying out his presidential duties. The essence of this ‘first step’ in my plan is that Joe must establish himself as a person of INTEGRITY, a TEAM BUILDER and a TEAM LEADER—and that he, Joe Biden, will take full responsibility for the results of his team—the exact opposite of Donald J. Trump— the present ego-driven, one man show, Divider-and-Destroyer-in-Chief. This distinguishing factor will be the dominate element in his presidential campaign. Trump the destroyer, Biden the builder!
The most important and probably the most difficult item in this team building agenda is for Joe to make his decision as to who he believes is the very strongest and most qualified person to be his Vice President (and, probably, the second next President of the United States of America) and to convince the Democratic National Committee to go along with that choice. Frankly, I trust Joe to make that decision rather than have the DNC be any part of the decision making process but I doubt that will happen. I realize that Joe has already promised that he would pick a woman for that position and that’s more than OK with me. And, if she is Black, Brown, Yellow, Red or White is equally OK—as long as that woman is not Hillary Clinton— and is truly the best qualified and able to be the future President of these often not-so-very-United States from day one in his administration. Then, immediately announce his V.P. pick and the two of them begin their development of their top level cabinet picks and heads of departments or agencies that they believe are critical to achieving the problem solving needs of their administration. Together they start to release the names of their picks the day the election contest begins. All of these cabinet, department, and agency head picks are to be made in cooperation with and agreement of his Vice President. Further, their choices should be balanced by factors of race, sex and geography. I would even love for them to ‘reach across the aisle’ as long as their choices are guided by the mandate that they pick the best and the brightest, regardless of race, gender or political orientation. Personally, I would like Mitt Romney and Rex Tillerson to be included in this team. That would show the seriousness of his desire to develop a real, great and all-inclusive leadership TEAM— along with providing the element of ‘transparency’ that has long been missing in our government.
Now, I must explain what I meant by one ‘out’ in this plan. Joe Biden cannot ‘guarantee’ that any or all of his picks will be available (alive and well), still willing, or pass any test for certification required by law to assume the positions he has asked them to fill if he is elected. All he needs to do is to explain this reality ‘out front’. The fact that he is making a real plan, will keep to that plan if elected, and be responsible for his team’s performance should be enough (I hope!) to satisfy the electorate.
And now I get to deal with Joe’s #3 problem—his ‘past indiscretions’. Let’s admit: Joe is a natural born touchy/feely person. He also seems to find women, per se, emotionally and sexually attractive. I can’t imagine Joe purposely abusing a woman. I don’t think any of those characteristics indicate he is anything other than a reasonably normal male with a high sex drive and a need to love and be loved. And, it is a ‘known’ that Joe Biden has been in politics for almost all of his adult life including two terms as Vice President of the United States of America. Therefore, The first question I want to ask (and, perhaps, many others have already asked), is ‘why now?’ is he being accused of overstepping the bounds of male/female decency? This ‘now’ is 27 years (?) after the incident is claimed to have happened and long past the statute of limitations period during which charges could have been brought in a court of law! Of course ‘now’ is when Joe Biden looks like he is the likely winner of the Democrat party contest for the nomination and who will be their candidate in the 2020 presidential election. Of course the Republicans are going to look for any possible character defect in their opposition candidate and, if they can’t find a real one, they will try to develop a phony one. Joe Biden should know by now that this is the ‘stuff’ of politics in America and it has ever been thus in past American history. Joe should stand his ground and be willing to take what comes. After all, If John Kennedy’s and Donald Trump’s ‘big league’, actual sexual deviancies before and during their Presidencies didn’t impede their getting or staying in office, Joe Biden’s little league need for a hug, a kiss and, perhaps a bit more, as claimed by his accuser, will hardly matter in today’s politics. And, as I’ve written earlier in this blog, if ‘Groper’ Trump is his opposition, it will, most likely, never be mentioned again.
I have one last ‘explainer’ to re-state: I have never hesitated to express my opinion that Joe Biden is long past his prime in his political life of service to this country. He should never have allowed the DNC to resurrect him as the ‘conservative alternative’ to the Sanders/Warren liberal side of the nomination contest. My guess is that Joe is now having second thoughts about taking on the responsibilities of leading a country in the midst of both a pandemic and financial chaos. If Joe professes the belief that he can take on such enormous responsibilities alone, I believe he will be ‘dead meat’ in the next election, or in the chaos which will surely follow the election. Only by admitting his frailties ‘out front’, and building a very strong and capable leadership team before the election, does he have a chance to start to restore the US of A to the reasonably solid footing it was last on—probably about 3 – 5 decades ago. Getting the USA back onto solid ground is going to be a long and hard struggle. If Joe wants to put his head and his heart on the block one more time, he had better start NOW!
I tried to discuss all of the above with Hubris during the last several days while I was writing this blog. His closing comment was, “Lou, don’t bother me with this kind of stuff. Horses don’t get paid for political advice—and you won’t be paid either! Let’s just go for a ride when you get finished trying to teach an old dog new tricks.” It’s Friday evening and what more could I say than Hi Ho Hubris, Aawaay! Until next week, Adios –and stay safe,
Word count 1,776 (Notice that number/date! Am I psychic or prescient-or just plain lucky?)
Copyright, May 1, 2020, Louis J. Christen