Seems like old times

Joe Biden plays it cagey

Hiya buddy,

How you got a moment? Because it’s really important. Come on, old Joe’s been there for you a lot of times, helping Barack get the support he needed in some crucial demographics to win the presidency twice. (You know what I’m talking about.) Surely you can spare a minute for old Joe.

Ah, that's great, that’s what I like to hear! Thanks, pal.

Listen, my friend, this country’s at a crossroads. I know you keep up with the news so I’m not going to waste your time going over the situation in detail. The bottom line is, the guy running the country is not playing with a full deck, and we have to get him out of there or I hate to say what will become of us.

And I mean that. I do “hate to say.” Because to tell you the truth, I know a lot of people, even some Democrats, wouldn’t mind another four years of this. If I said, “Trump will make us a pariah nation,” some voters would say, “I just looked up ‘pariah’ and hell yeah, that’s great, I hate every country that’s not America and they can kiss my ass!” If I said, “Trump is terrorizing refugees so badly that they will no longer look to the United States as the last best hope of mankind,” they’d say, “Good, ‘cause even though I’m a dairy farmer and it’s killing my business, I love the idea of an all-white America like my grandpappy lived in, and if Trump can get that done we can get started on the coloreds next."

Sound shocking? Well, I told you I hate to say, and that’s why. I also hate to say because it’s depressing. You’re an intelligent person so you know this already, but a lot of people would hear that and just go, ah Jeez, I just want to forget about politics, maybe even go off the grid and collect bottles and cans for a living because this country just ain’t gonna make it.

Well, I believe this country is gonna make it. And that’s why I tell people, this Trump guy is an aberration, he’s not who we are.

Like I’m giving them a do-over.

Not a bad plan, is it? Because a lot of voters are just plain embarrassed by the guy. I’m talking about people who didn’t vote last time, who thought maybe it wasn’t worth it, or who voted for some third-party candidate or wrote in their dog’s name because they thought it didn't matter. Even some of the Trump voters — I know, some of them are crazy, have you seen them? Ay caramba! But I bet we even get a few of them in 2020.

And let me tell you, that’s why the other top-tier Democratic candidates — your Bernie Sanders, your Liz Warren, your Kamala Harris — that’s why they can’t do it. Now I love these guys, don’t get me wrong, I would take any one of them over Trump any day of the week. But Bernie and Liz and even Kamala, they talk about this country like it has serious problems. It has problems, sure, and we’re committed to fixing them, but Bernie, man, I mean, he thinks capitalism is the problem. Sure, the free market is rough, and I know there are a lot of people with roses in their Twitter profiles and millennials are supposed to love socialism but lemme tell you something, you get out to that Rotary luncheon in Clear Lake, Iowa, and they say to you, Bernie, what's all this means-of-production-are-held-by-the-workers stuff, this ethanol plant’s been in my family since the Energy Policy Act of 1992 — which is 27 years ago now, by the way, ain’t that a kick in the pants? — but when they say, Bernie, are you gonna nationalize my business, what do you say to that? Nothing, that’s what, because you’ve already lost, you’ve got the Chamber of Commerce putting down the hold sign like a nervous third base coach. (Hey, the Sox aren't looking too hot, are they? Well, they have some time but they better act fast.)

Now Liz isn’t as radical as Bernie, but you hear her speak and it’s like she’s FDR — she's got a plan for everything: Prosecute wage theft, wealth tax, universal pre-K, fine the hospitals if they don’t give good care to minority pregnant women. And it’s all great, don't get me wrong! But people don't have the energy for that kind of thing now, life’s crazy enough. And even Kamala — great candidate, by the way, very articulate, very attractive which doesn’t hurt, and a former prosecutor which, let me tell you, people go for in a big way — even she’s getting into the act with this basic-income thing. McGovern lost 49 states with that in 1972.

Now, look at my campaign. Have you seen my ActBlue page? My only page right now, by the way. What do you notice? That’s right — all I do is ask for money. (Or rather ActBlue does; this is all on the up-and-up — you’re not gonna catch me getting into campaign finance trouble!) There are no big plans, nothing about overthrowing capitalism or wealth redistribution. All I want to do is get this country back to normal.

And here’s another little secret for you, something I knew by instinct and my internal polls are bearing out — that’s what people want. In fact — and I'm only talking to you about this because I know you’re politically astute, I don’t have to sugar-coat it for a guy like you — even all that stuff that’s supposed to be a big problem for me? Sniffing ladies’ hair, or being against bussing back in the day, or Anita Hill? People are smarter than you think they are about this; they look at it and they think, that was a different time, he did what he had to do. Just like sometimes they had to do things that they had to do.

That’s why I'm not too apologetic about these things, see — though of course I’m completely on board with Black Lives Matter and Me Too and all that, now, and I really think Ms. Hill got a raw deal. If I put on a hair shirt and beat my breast, people would think: What’s wrong with him? Is he saying he was a bad man back then? Was I voting for a bad man when I voted for him? Am I bad person because I voted for him?

No, times changed is all and we all changed with the times. It’s nothing to get excited about. You know what there is to get excited about? This campaign! We’re gonna win this thing and take it all the way to the White House!

Well, I did go on a good long while about this, didn’t I, but that’s just because I care that much about what we're doing — which is bringing America back like we used to be!

I’m glad we had this talk, buddy. See you on the campaign trail.