As we watch Joe Biden’s lead expand in both national and state polls, the Trump campaign is still ordering ads that ask where Biden is – echoing a message that Biden’s detractors posted on Twitter during primary season. It’s looking a bit foolish for multiple reasons this time. First of all, Joe Biden has been doing campaign trips to cities like Philadelphia in addition to his virtual events, and he visited with Black Lives Matter protesters near his home in Wilmington, while also blasting Donald Trump’s appalling response to the pandemic.
A number of pundits entertained the idea that Joe Biden wasn’t visible enough and a few will probably continue to do so well into the summer, but there is the possibility that despite facing an unprecedented challenge, Biden knew what he was doing the whole time. For the last few weeks, we’ve been swamped with stories about what he should or absolutely must do to win the election – while people still demand that he announce his running mate immediately.
There are a few advantages, however, to Biden’s way of campaigning. Aside from setting an example by not having a large rally as dangerous as Trump’s Tulsa blunder last week (much less in a state that you’re guaranteed to win), the theme of Biden’s campaign is racial unity, one that he picked well before the protests began, mentioning the violence in Charlottesville in his presidential announcement a year ago, knowing Trump’s racist rhetoric would almost inevitably get worse.
Donald Trump’s last hope lies in making the 2020 election a referendum on the Democrats rather than himself – but tactics like trying to put the spotlight on his opponent during the middle of a pandemic and challenging him to more debates tend to backfire when people are wondering what Trump plans to do to fix their lives rather than complain on Twitter.
James Sullivan is the assistant editor of Brain World Magazine and an advocate of science-based policy making