Five Minutes

Joe Biden’s front-runner status has earned him some much-needed attention, but I worry all that attention might wind up hurting his campaign. As I am now being compelled to think more deeply about Joe’s candidacy, I begin to wonder what Joe thinks about regarding healthcare, education, poverty, or foreign policy. If you were to ask me what Bernie Sanders believes in, I could probably give you a few bullet points detailing his key policy positions. But if you were to ask me about Biden, I’m afraid I’d leave you hanging. Yes, he was a senator for a long time. Yes, he was Obama’s VP. But what has he really accomplished for the American people? What is his signature policy proposal? The man is a mystery. I have watched every debate this campaign season and I still can’t tell where Joe Biden stands on the issues. Maybe the media is to blame for failing (perhaps intentionally) to scrutinize Joe’s candidacy, but that’s a different matter.

Those of you familiar with what I write know that I support Bernie Sanders. He may not have been an ideal candidate twenty years ago, but he is exactly who we need in the White House in 2020. The race for the democratic nomination is an uphill battle, however, and there is a chance Sanders may not pull through. As of right now the party seems to be betting it all on Joe, a candidate whose campaign was crumbling less than a week ago. So, I decided to learn more about Joe to see if he has what it takes to defeat Trump.

Campaigning for the highest office in the land exposes you to all kinds of nasty attacks, so whoever wins the democratic nomination will be wise to ready up for an ongoing stream of negative ads and media scrutiny. I needed to know if Joe, the front-runner, could overcome such pressures, so I went online to look for answers, and oh boy we are in trouble.

It only took me five minutes to understand how weak a candidate Joe Biden really is. Five minutes online and this is what I found:

  • Biden was accused of plagiarism during his first year at Syracuse University School of Law, and later claimed that he was not aware of proper citation rules.
  • Biden also claimed to have graduated “top half” of his class when in reality he was closer to the bottom of the bottom half.
  • While running for president in 1987, Biden duplicated parts of a speech by British politician Neil Kinnock. The speech was meant to be a heartfelt account of Biden’s upbringing, but how heartfelt could it be when he didn’t even bother to come up with his own words.
  • Biden once talked about being an active participant during the Civil Rights marches of the 1960s, even though his advisers were aware of this falsehood and warned him against making false claims.
  • More recently Biden claimed to have been arrested while trying to get to see Nelson Mandela during a 1990 visit to South Africa. He later admitted that arrest never took place.

This is what I found by literally spending five minutes online getting to know Joe. Imagine what Donald Trump’s political machine and media allies could dig up if only they tried. At a time when voters crave for authenticity above all else, running a candidate who has a long history of struggling with the truth is an incredibly risky move.

Donald Trump lies all of the time, but somehow comes across as genuine and authentic. That is his gift. That is why he continues to dominate the political landscape. Joe Biden doesn’t have that gift. He can’t play the media the way Trump does, and the Democratic Party must acknowledge this.

We cannot wait for Trump to take down Joe Biden. It is up to Sanders to expose Biden for what he really is. Now, I know how Sanders feels about negative ads, and I admire him for that. But negative ads work, and if we are going to win this thing, we are going to need to play by the same rules everyone else is playing. Let’s worry about changing the rules when Sanders is president.