More and more often the political shenanigans, maneuvering and flat out manipulation get to be too much for me and, I suspect, for a whole lot of other people as well. Vice President Biden’s speech today from the Rose Garden was definitely one of those moments. I happened to be in my car when the program I was listening to was interrupted to broadcast live the VP’s long anticipated announcement.
It was a “No.” Apparently, the time has passed that would permit the VP to mount a meaningful campaign. Or was it a “Yes” should Hillary crash and burn? I was definitely confused by the opening words explaining why he would not run followed by about the most Presidential candidate-like speech I’ve heard in a long time.
Acknowledging his moniker of “Middle Class Joe” the VP went on to verbally champion that very class along with ending institutional racism, creating equality for everyone, free college for all, protection of the environment, and eliminating partisanship in Congress all of which he said should take place under the umbrella of more morality, humility and kumbaya-like unity for the nation as a whole.
The warm and fuzzy Joe I heard today, calling for mutual respect between Democrats and the Republican “opposition” bore absolutely no resemblance to the vicious attack dog that excoriated Clarence Thomas and Robert Bork during their judicial confirmation hearings. But lest we forget, Washington, like Hollywood, lives in and profits from a world steeped in illusion, make-believe and reinvention.
It was really difficult for me to come up with an answer to the question arising in my mind as I listened to Biden, which was “Joe, if you’re not running why are you giving the quintessential candidate’s speech from the Rose Garden of the White House flanked by the President of The United States?
Surely “No” should be easier, shorter and lonelier.
So I concluded that he’s 1) not running; 2) possibly running and 3) definitely available for running at some future date should circumstances, and his party, call upon him to do the noble thing and serve his nation.
It takes all the wonder out of Donald Trump’s appeal, doesn’t it? Trump never engages in political double-speak. Like him or not, he says it the way middle America is hungry to hear it. This, in all its Fellini-esque confusion, turns Trump into “Middle America Donald” and Biden into “One More of the Same Politician.”