Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has recently been off the campaign trail more often than would be expected for a presidential candidate, stirring rumors about his health and fitness for the rigors of the presidency.
In fact, the 77-year-old former vice president is on track to have called a “lid” on the day before noon for roughly a third of the entire month of September, Breitbart reported.
For those not hip to political campaign-speak, a “lid” is the term used by a campaign to inform the media when the candidate is done for the day and will not be making any more public appearances, holding any news conferences, or issuing any press releases.
Let’s count the lids
Florida reporter Mona Salama compiled a list of the days this month when Biden’s campaign has called a lid and made special note of the date, time, and pool report details for each one.
She found that Biden’s campaign has called a lid before noon on 10 separate days so far in September, with four of those early morning lids being called in the past week alone.
It is worth noting that those are just the pre-noon lids that have been called, and doesn’t take into account any lids that may have been announced in the afternoon or early evening, although such lids later in the day are less consequential than the early morning ones.
Tracking Biden Campaign Lid Calls for the month of September. (Date, time & what the pool reporters of the day wrote)
Total so far → 10 lid calls
This week alone from 9/19-9/26 → 4 pic.twitter.com/R4zBcrd5dn
— Mona Salama (@MonaSalama_) September 26, 2020
Slow Joe vs Tireless Trump
The frequency of lids called by the Biden campaign has garnered some attention and complaints from members of the media, and was duly noted on Saturday by The Hill’s media reporter Joe Concha.
“Joe Biden called a lid on the day earlier this morning,” Concha wrote. “No events, no questions. Less than 6 weeks before the election, the Democratic nominee is working at a 50% clip, calling a lid 7 of the past 14 days and 11 of the past 26 this month. Is this a preview of a Biden presidency?”
In a follow-up tweet, Concha also knocked down the common excuse that had been offered up by Biden’s supporters for so many of the lids, namely that the nominee had been engaged in debate prep ahead of his scheduled showdown with President Donald Trump on this coming Tuesday.
“And before making the argument Biden has been debate prepping, it should be noted he told a reporter on Sept. 23 he hadn’t started the process at that point,” Concha tweeted.
Biden has taken the average of every third day off of the campaign trail — and the days that he is on often include only one event with no question time, Breitbart noted. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump has been holding multiple events every day, including campaign rallies around the country, roundtable discussions, and daily press conferences, on top of his normal duties as president, which recently included nominating a Supreme Court justice.