Joe Biden just had a pretty controversial week, what with an unearthed quote from 1973 where he talked about how the two-party system was “good for the Negro, good for the black in the South” and his decision to skip a crucial meeting of a major segment of his own political party.
He apparently had more important things to do.
“While Joe Biden was catching flak for skipping a Democratic convention in California over the weekend, two of his senior campaign advisors met with fundraisers in the Bay Area to hash out a strategy to beat out other 2020 candidates in the cash game,” CNBC reported.
The report noted that “[t]he meeting happened while Biden spoke at Human Rights Campaign’s Pride Month Gala in Ohio and more than a dozen of his rivals for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination attended the California Democratic Party State Convention.”
However, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee — better known these days as the father of the current White House press secretary Sarah Sanders — thought he had spotted Biden somewhere else.
“I’ll be on @AftertheBell on @FoxBusiness at 4 ET today to explain why Biden skipped CA Dem get-together. I have the photo!” Huckabee tweeted Monday.
The photo showed the famous Times Square kiss at the end of World War II. However, there was one notable addition:
Who knew Biden’s handsiness went back so far?
Obviously this is a deft bit of Photoshoppage (the 76-year-old Biden was a toddler in 1945), but it does highlight a serious problem for the former vice president: He has a lot of controversies going on.
Beyond the handsiness, beyond his racially charged language from the 1970s, besides his gaffes, there’s also the fact that he skipped the convention in the cradle of liberalism.
“Biden’s decision to miss the California convention is the latest indication he’s trying to approach the White House race differently from his rivals in the field,” CNBC reported. “While other candidates were speaking to fellow Democrats in a state that solidly supports Democratic candidates, Biden, who has a wide lead in polls of Democratic voters, was in a state President Donald Trump won by 8 percentage points in 2016 after Obama won it in 2008 and 2012.”
That might perhaps work for Biden — provided, of course, he gets to the general election.
Norman Solomon, a liberal activist who opposes Biden and was at the convention in California, described the mood at convention in a piece for liberal site Common Dreams and said it wasn’t necessarily amenable to the Democratic front-runner.
“Inside the statewide convention in San Francisco over the weekend, I spoke with hundreds of delegates about Biden while leafletting with information on his record. I was struck by the frequent intensity of distrust and even animosity; within seconds, after glancing at his name and photo at the top of the flyer, many delegates launched into some form of denunciation,” Solomon wrote.
“I often heard delegates bring up shameful milestones in Biden’s political history — especially his opposition to busing for school desegregation, treatment of Anita Hill in the Clarence Thomas hearings, leading role in passage of the 1994 crime bill, career-long services to corporate elites, and powerful support for the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
“It may have been a dumb tactical move for Biden to stay away from the convention,” he continued. “Its 3,400 delegates included core Democratic activists and leaders from around the state. Even some of the pro-Biden delegates said they were miffed that he wasn’t showing up—in contrast to the 14 presidential candidates who accepted invitations to address the convention. (Biden chose to be in Ohio instead, speaking at a Human Rights Campaign gala in support of LGBTQ rights.)”
Solomon is, of course, biased against Biden, but the piece does raise one of the biggest issues regarding Biden: He doesn’t inspire confidence from the activist base. Yes, obviously he has a major lead in the polls, but it’s early and Biden has a lot of baggage.
More importantly, the activist base is often what determines who the nominee is. Skipping events like the one in California is a safe way to earn their enmity — particularly when 14 other candidates accepted the invitation to appear there.
And then there’s all that baggage Solomon mentioned, stuff that doesn’t play well with liberal voters. Then there’s the handsiness, which doesn’t tend to play well with any voters.
This isn’t necessarily an issue of sexual harassment, mind you, but it is often unwelcome and it’s an issue of discipline.
And it’s an issue where Biden doesn’t seem to be getting any more disciplined.
Another incident last week made that clear.
“During a campaign event in Texas, Joe Biden told a 10-year-old girl that ‘I’ll bet you’re as bright as you’re good-looking’ before taking her by the hand to present her to the press and standing behind her with his hands on her shoulders,” the Washington Examiner reportedon May 29.
Biden’s wife Jill, in an appearance on “The Daily Show” one day later, said that “[i]t took a lot of courage for women to step forward and say, you know, ‘You’re in my space,’” and that “Joe heard that and it just won’t happen again. He heard what they were saying.”
Of course, this doesn’t get much coverage considering the fact that Biden is a media darling and he’s a Democrat. Imagine what would happen if he were a Republican.
However, there are some people who are willing to keep on pointing it out — including Mike Huckabee.