Biden needs to channel Obama, Reagan

Didn’t think Uncle Joe was up to the rigors of the race. Still not sure. Happy he’s back in the game, though. 

He wasn’t my first choice (Kamala Harris) or my second (Amy Klobuchar). 

But, left with two geezers, believe he has the best shot at taking down the Don. 

Joe Biden certainly exhibits all the qualities absent in this president. Good man. Has a heart. Oozes empathy. Probably honest. Smart enough. Knows his stuff. 

So, Biden’s a great candidate – until he steps on stage and starts speaking.

Sometimes his train of thought goes off the rails. Sometimes he inexplicably slams on the brakes in mid-sentence.

I have no idea if this is a remnant of his struggles with stuttering. But his speechifying is mystifying. 

He’s either shouting or whispering. His angry voice sounds fake. Mostly, as I’ve said before, Biden phumphers.

Then, when someone else is talking, he surrenders whatever stage presence he had and looks like a kid sent to the corner. His body language is always too easy to read. He lacks a political poker face.

His campaign performance needs schooling. Needs to channel a mix of Reagan’s grandfatherly charm and a dash of Obama’s myriad natural skills.

 Old dog Biden needs some new tricks at the age of 77.

Reagan was 69 when he was facing off with an incumbent president, Jimmy Carter, in 1980. What most people remember about the Reagan- Carter debates was the old actor combating the younger president’s attacks by shaking his head and saying, “There you go again.”  

Biden could use some of that. Needs to simplify. Talk less. Say less. Slow down. Relax. 

Maybe take a class at Professor Obama’s school of oratory and good humor – and split a doobie with the teacher before taking the stage.

Maybe hunt down Nancy Reagan’s medium for a chat with Ronnie.

Before his debate with Bernie Sanders on March 15, Biden’s handlers should be training him to deliver short, quick jabs. 

When Sanders attacks the Democratic Party establishment, keep saying with a sarcastic smile, “At least I’m a Democrat.”

When Sanders attacks billionaire donors, respond, “I’ll take every nickel from people on our side to get rid of Donald Trump.”

If Sanders tries to link Biden to conservatives or Republicans, shoot back: “Can you explain why Trump and the Russians are pushing your candidacy?”

Health care?

“Let’s save Obamacare and build on it before we break the bank. But, I’ll tell you, Bernie, if you an can get a Medicare-for-all bill through Congress, I will be happy to sign it.”

On Super Tuesday, Biden had the crowd roaring until he turned them off with a recitation of his policies on all the issues.

Lost the folks. Lost his mojo.

Remember: The candidate with a detailed plan for everything is gone – and the woman who was on the right side of all the issues four years ago lost to an ignorant slob. 

Biden needs to keep going where he started this campaign.

“We are in a battle for the soul of America.”

Trump’s tearing down the country.

Tearing us apart.

We need to restore decency.

Restore sanity.

Restore civility.

Restore our democracy.

We don’t need a revolution.

We need a restoration.

We need to get back to normal.

I’ve never thought Trump would debate this time around. Would still bet he’ll chicken out and make some chickenshit  excuse.

But he may be focusing on the performance flaws the rest of us see in Biden, and take a chance against the guy he calls Sleepy Joe.

If Trump punks out, Biden should call him out – mano a mano

“Anywhere, anytime. How about the White House briefing room? That’s not being used anymore. Or Fox News?”

If Trump takes the bait, Biden should ignore most of the questions from the moderators and ask Trump questions. 

You know you’re  impeached forever, right? 

You know you’re an unindicted co-conspirator in New York for paying off a porn star, right?

When are you going to show us your tax returns? What are you hiding?

How about the readouts of all your secret talks with Putin? 

What were you thinking when you took a Sharpie to a weather map?

When you stared at a solar eclipse?

How do you sleep at night when you’ve put kids in cages?

Every time Trump mentions Biden’s son, Hunter, or Burisma, give him The Reagan, “There you go again”

Then punch back with: “I promise not to give my daughter and son-in-law White House jobs where they make $100 million a year on their private businesses. And, you know, my sons served in the military. What do yours do besides cash in on your presidency?”

Remind the gangster: “I spent eight years in an administration without a trace of scandal or corruption. How many of your people are in prison, awaiting sentencing, under indictment or investigation?”

And Biden should also promise to get to work before 11 o’clock — “I won’t take the whole morning to watch TV, tweet and do my hair” – or use Air Force One as a shuttle to golf courses.

Biden will probably pick a woman running mate if he wins the nomination. (Again, for me, first choice is Kamala, second Amy, third, Elizabeth Warren.)

Bring her or other peppy speakers – Beto O’Rourke, Cory Booker – to all the rallies.

After they whip up the crowd, then Biden can hit Trump with his best shots, smile, wave, close with the cliché “God bless” and get off.

My book,The Expat Files: My Life is Journalism, is available in print and Kindle editions from and Amazon Canada.

3 thoughts on “Biden needs to channel Obama, Reagan

  1. Great article and impeccable advice. I would do everything possible to get this to Joe or his handlers – as he could really use your advice


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