How do you solve a problem like Joe Biden? (This is where the nuns start singing and dancing.)
The Democrats have had other nominees who were a hoot. In 1988, Mike Dukakis thought being a card-carrying member of the ACLU would be a turn-on for voters. In 2000, Al Gore thought he invented the Internet and predicted global extinction, due to climate change, within the decade.
Hillary Clinton never missed a chance to do her Margaret Hamilton (“I’ll get you, my Deplorable, and your little Constitution, too!”). When she lost the 2016 election, the Munchkins were delirious.
But Clueless Joe is in a league of his own. He makes Brad Pitts’ character in 12 Monkeys sound lucid.
Appearing on ABC’s This Week, trying to explain why we cannot postpone the next election due to the coronavirus, Joe declared: “We cannot let this, we’ve never allowed any crisis from the Civil War straight through to the pandemic of 17 (the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918?), all the way around 16 (sic), we have never, never, never let our democracy sakes (sic) second fiddle, way they, we can both have a democracy and…correct the public health (sic).” Instead of sign language, at Biden’s speeches and interviews, someone should hold up signs trying to explain what – if anything – he actually means.
It’s not the pressure of the campaign or cognitive impairment; the Vice President has been this way as long as anyone can recall.
Besides the mangled, almost incoherent, attempts to express ideas, Biden has a tendency to say things that are, well — downright embarrassing.
In 2007, he said that Barack Obama was the “first mainstream African-American politician who is articulate and bright and clean and nice-looking” – that is to say, so unlike the average black politician who’s inarticulate, stupid, dirty and ugly (well, okay, there is Maxine Waters). When he was Obama’s running mate in 2008, the future president was said to have moaned, “How many times is Biden gonna say something stupid?”
Everyone has their favorite Biden-ism. Mine was during the 2008 financial crisis, when he urged then-President George W. Bush to take a page out of FDR’s fireside-chat playbook. In so doing, he displayed a breathtaking ignorance of history.
“When the stock market crashed, Franklin D. Roosevelt got on the television and didn’t just talk about the, you know, the princes of greed.”
The stock market crashed in 1929. FDR didn’t become president until 1933. During the Great Depression, no one had television, which didn’t come into widespread use until after World War II. Except for the foregoing, Biden’s suggestion was spot- on.
So, how do you solve a problem like Joe Biden?
Most of the party would love to trade him for CNN host Chris “Fredo” Cuomo’s brother – New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Fat chance. The only way the DNC will take the nomination away from Joe is when it pries his cold, dead fingers from it. Hide him from public view as much as possible? Good idea, but limited application. He can’t spend the campaign sequestered in his basement.
Here’s my simple but elegant solution: replace Biden with an Audio-Animatronics version of himself, and call it Robo-Joe.
If you’ve been to Disney World, you’ve seen Audio-Animatronics in the Hall of Presidents. During a performance, a president – like Lincoln – will rise and deliver an excerpt from one of his speeches (the exception is Bill Clinton, who’s usually off chasing Audio-Animatronics interns).
The dummy (the Audio-Animatronics one, not… never mind), would deliver a set of clear, concise statements in a commanding voice. Not stuff that displays a mirth-provoking ignorance of the subject he’s trying to discuss, like “who needs a clip that can hold 100 rounds” (referring to so-called assault weapons).
Robo-Joe wouldn’t stumble over words, serve up verbal hash, make historical references that would embarrass the average third-grader of my generation, stop to sniff a woman’s hair, or deliver gratuitous insults. He’d stick to the run-of-the-mill Democrat clichés:
“Listen to women — except those who accuse Democrats.” — “99% of the country’s stretch limousines are controlled by 1% of the population.” – “Cuba has a great education system.” – “The National Debt is a myth, unless a Republican is in office.” – “I never met a tax hike I didn’t like.” – “Climate change is the most important issue confronting humanity. Believe computer models.” — “Trump will always be impeached.” – and “Judicial nominees should adhere to whatever version of the Constitution we’re pushing today.”
Robo-Joe would never tell anyone they were “full of sh*t” or “a damned liar” or to “stop acting like a horse’s ass,” or – inexplicably — call a young woman a “dog-faced pony soldier,” or challenge a voter to a pushups contest.
Robo-Joe would behave like an ordinary politician (kissing hands and shaking babies), instead of an out-of-control 77-year-old given to outbursts of anger, memory issues and consistent incoherence. If he’s elected, they may decide to install him in the White House and put the Real Joe out to pasture.
If they create a set that looks like the Oval Office, Real Joe will never know the difference.