Report indicates new Biden campaign strategy of letting 'Joe be Joe' on the campaign trail

 March 6, 2024

There have been rumors that President Joe Biden's White House team, out of concern for his age and health and propensity for gaffes, were keeping him on a relatively short leash in his re-election campaign, more or less in a bid to protect the president from himself.

Now comes a report of some pushback against that effort, led by Biden himself, and a desire by some to let "Joe be Joe" on the campaign trail, according to the Daily Caller.

How that ultimately plays out with the voting public, letting the president be himself instead of a carefully controlled candidate, is a question that likely won't be fully answered until the aftermath of Election Day in November.

Team Biden rolls out new campaign strategy at Biden's request

The New York Times reported this week that President Biden's White House and campaign team have begun to roll out a new strategy in his re-election bid that involves getting him out of his "protective bubble" in Washington D.C. more often.

That includes getting more active on social media, teaming up with influential online figures to bolster his support, and engaging more with regular voters at campaign-related and official events.

"I have been saying for several months to the campaign, 'Please, let him be Joe Biden,' and so have many others," Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE), a staunch Biden ally, told The Times. "It is not only good for the campaign. It is good for him and it’s good for the country when Joe Biden gets a chance to get out from behind the podium and be less President Joe Biden and more Joe."

Addressing concerns about his age and health directly

One rather significant aspect of this new strategy, per The Times, is addressing head-on the legitimate concerns of a substantial portion of the general public about President Biden's advanced age and health, which previously had been studiously avoided or downplayed as no big deal.

Now, Biden and his team are attempting to highlight his age and decades-long political career in D.C. as an asset rather than a liability, with the argument being that his age and experience are what led to his claimed achievements and are necessary at this point to attain more accomplishments.

Relatedly, Team Biden is also increasingly attempting to flip the script on the age and health questions by highlighting the fact that likely opponent former President Donald Trump is only a few years younger and is showing signs of mental health decline -- a tough sell given that polling consistently shows that Trump's age and health are far less of a concern for voters than it is for Biden's age and health.

Another aspect of the new strategy is allowing Biden to interact more with the supporters he meets at various events, him becoming more personally active on social media -- he supposedly rewrites some of the planned posts and ad-libs some of the scripted videos -- and enlisting the aid of certain influential online figures to help boost his overall support, particularly among younger voters.

White House spokesman Andrew Bates told The Times, "We have always known that the most effective way to reach the American people is when they can hear President Biden make his case directly and authentically."

New strategy could backfire

Of course, The Times acknowledged that this new campaign strategy is a risky one, given how the combination of Biden's tendency to utter serious gaffes and misstatements with his leaning in toward the questions about his age and health, not to mention any comparisons drawn in that regard between him and Trump, could definitely backfire.

Currently, the RealClearPolling average of national general election polls shows Trump with a marginal 2.2 point lead over Biden, 47.5% to 45.3% -- a constantly fluctuating lead that the former president has nonetheless largely maintained over the incumbent since September of last year.

It will be interesting to see if this new strategy of letting "Joe be Joe" serves to alter that current status quo and vault Biden back into the lead or whether it ends up hurting him even more in the polls and compels the campaign to revert to its prior strategy of carefully managing the president's appearances and interactions and largely keeping him hidden away from the general voting public.

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