Zoom event with Biden — is he up for the job?

I participated in a May 21 Q&A with Biden via zoom. It’s been called, in the press, an event for “Wall Street donors.” I’m no Wall Streeter, nor did some other attendees look to me like Wall Street types. (Though two ex Treasury secretaries were there.) And an issue has been made of reporters being barred.

So here you get my exclusive insider’s report.

Dillon

Campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon started it off recapping the election landscape. The campaign seems to be doing things right. Targeting, of course, swing states, especially the key three Trump unexpectedly won in 2016 — Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin. He’s losing those now, and several others he’d carried. Remember that his “great victory” was actually a squeaker. Dillon referenced polling data showing falling support among, notably, older voters and less educated whites. But she was mindful that Republicans will try to block as many opposition citizens as possible from casting ballots. (Like cutting Milwaukee’s 80 polling sites to five in the recent voting.)

Biden spoke briefly, mostly detailing Trump’s terrible Covid-19 performance, then answered questions for about an hour.

Hartley

The moderator was Jane Hartley, former ambassador to France. Overall, the Q&A spotlighted the daunting immensity of the task facing Biden come January 20. Putting right all the fundamental damage done, with a pandemic likely still raging, and a shattered economy. All together, worse than what FDR confronted in 1933.

Is Biden up for it? Yes, if any human ever could be. This event showed the ridiculousness of all the “sleepy Joe” nonsense, impugning Biden’s mental acuity.

He is known to have overcome stuttering, with vestiges in just occasional speech hesitancies. But Biden cogently answered questions at length and in depth, with intelligence, energy, and passion. Having to do this constantly must get wearying. But Biden didn’t show it.

His answers demonstrated the benefit of long decades of experience with policy issues. Biden knows what he’s talking about, and has clear informed ideas about what he wants to accomplish. All contrasting with the know-nothing “genius” in the White House whose mind is a cesspit of depravity.

One subject that came up several times was the shambolic mishandling of the Covid-19 rescue program. It’s so screwed up that very little help is going where it’s really needed, most scarfed up instead by big corporations. (Trump swiftly fired the Inspector General tasked with overseeing where the money went.) Biden stressed the importance of people having a sense of dignity about their work.

A key point was healing the nation’s divisions. That must sound like empty verbiage now. But I keep returning to it because tribal hatreds really impede tackling all our other problems. We even see it in politicization of pandemic measures. America may indeed be too far gone to heal, but gosh we must try. I supported Biden from the start as the candidate best suited for that. However, he warned that the coming campaign will be nasty — surely an understatement. I fear he’ll come to office so demonized by Republicans that they’ll continue warring against him with rabid derangement.

I didn’t love all his answers. Asked about returning to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Biden was strong criticizing Trump’s blundering trade war, but actually sidestepped TPP. Well, too many voters are allergic now to “trade deals.” Then there was stale blather about reviving America’s manufacturing and stopping “shipping jobs overseas.” So twentieth century.

But as I always say, don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. I support Biden enthusiastically. I don’t expect perfection.

One subject not coming up was immigration, and the abominable cruelty of Trump’s policies. We’ve just learned of this administration deporting children unaccompanied by parents or relatives. Just imagine being a child dropped alone in some crime-ridden foreign land. This is America? Made great again?

We are in deep shit. Pray for Biden.

3 Responses to “Zoom event with Biden — is he up for the job?”

  1. Josephine Ryan Says:

    Good work. A nice piece writing and reporting.

    On Mon, May 25, 2020, 8:18 AM The Rational Optimist wrote:

    > rationaloptimist posted: “I participated in a May 21 Q&A with Biden via > zoom. It’s been called, in the press, an event for “Wall Street donors.” > I’m no Wall Streeter, nor did some other attendees look to me like Wall > Street types. (Though two ex Treasury secretaries were there” >

  2. Axel Kornfuehrer Says:

    Thank you for that enlightening reporting about the Q&A with Biden. And from your final sentence, an atheist saying “Pray for Biden”, I conclude that our country must really be in deep doo-doo.

  3. rationaloptimist Says:

    Exactly. You got it.

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