Joe Biden was meant to be the Democrats’ secret weapon against Donald Trump. They believed that his perceived centrism would allow him to snatch away votes from the incumbent Republican, particularly in the moderate midwest.
But, possibly as predicted, the wheels have fallen off poor ol’ Joe’s campaign. He’s stammering through nonsensical stump speeches, lashing out at town hall attendees, and he’s even been credibly accused of sexual assault by a former staffer whose story has been repeatedly corroborated.
Now, to make matters worse, Biden has been forced into doing “virtual” campaign events on account of the global coronavirus pandemic, and they are not going so well.
“They introduce me?” a blurry Joe Biden asked five seconds after he appeared on-screen. “Am I on?” he added, as he walked toward the camera on choppy video and removed his aviator sunglasses.
What was supposed to be a crisp and cool introduction instead stoked confusion.
“Good evening, Tampa,” the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee said. “I wish we could have done this together and it had gone a little more smoothly.”
“This” was an event Thursday billed as a “Virtual Rally with Joe Biden in Tampa.” It was an hour plagued by technical glitches, awkward pauses, delays and even some blank screen time.
Just how bad was it?
There was the cut to Janet Cruz, a state senator who sat silent before the screen cut away from her, only to cut back without explanation moments later. There was the shot of Rep. Charlie Crist, D-Fla., dabbing his chin as he waited in silence against a backdrop of palm trees and high rises. It was unclear whether he knew he was on.
And throughout, there was distorted video and audio that some on social media likened to transmissions coming in via a dial-up modem.
The Democrats can only hope that, somewhere stashed away in the DNC playbook, is some sort of Plan B.