Do “Nice Guys” win the White House?
Are you ridin’ with Biden?
If you’re reading articles on Legal Insurrection, probably not; but I’d be willing to wager anyone spending as much time as we have analyzing the Republican field isn’t planning on voting for Biden, Hillary Clinton, or any other candidate with a “D” after her name. When news started sprinkling down about the very real possibility of a Joe Biden presidential run, I saw a lot of conservatives expressing serious tongue-in-cheek (or not? Time will tell) excitement about what that campaign would look like.
That excitement wasn’t political—not by any means; it was purely the type of anticipation you feel before the lights go down in the movie theatre. But if even conservatives are ready for a Democratic palette cleanser to wash away the bitterness that has been Hillary Clinton’s campaign thus far, how must Democrats be feeling?
RNC Chairman Reince Priebus talked to the Today Show’s Savannah Guthrie about the one quality that could put Joe Biden over the top in the Dem primary—likability.
Watch, via Mediaite:
“Certainly Joe Biden is far more likable,” he said, comparing the sitting VP to Hillary Clinton. He also characterized Biden as a “tougher” opponent for Republicans. “Hillary Clinton has a lot of problems. I think she is an opponent that’s easy to define.”
“I think Joe Biden is someone that a lot of people, whether they like his politics or not, they like him, and likability – you can analyze politics all you want, likability is probably the number one issue on the ballot,” Priebus added.
“Likability is probably the number one issue on the ballot.” True, or false? I think that idea could go a long way this cycle—much further than it has in previous cycles, in fact.
In previous cycles, we’ve seen a sharp decline in how much control campaigns have over both messaging and candidate optics. The advent of Twitter, Facebook, and other very public platforms has brought about the end of the tightly controlled types of campaigns we’ve come to think of when we think of a Presidential race. These candidates are exposed—which means that people aren’t just expecting policy stump speeches and pretty, soothing TV spots.
They’ve consumed the message; they’ve gotten the point; they want to know who the person is.
Priebus is right about Biden—there’s something innately human about him compared to Clinton. Where Clinton uses the fullest extent of her political machine to cover up her mistakes and foibles, Biden blows through his like a labrador puppy on Pixi Stix and Mountain Dew.
There’s a reason we’ve seen candidates like Lindsey Graham, Ted Cruz, and Rand Paul making ridiculous, over-the-top, make-you-laugh videos—since when are presidential candidates supposed to make us laugh? There’s a reason Marco Rubio takes pains to roll up his sleeves and personalize his mass messaging—since when do presidential candidates talk to me, personally?
Politics has become human, and Joe Biden has a human quality that puts people at their ease. Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, is wrapped in bubble wrap, sealed in a canning jar, and passed from person to person so that everyone can see how successful and powerful she is. That doesn’t resonate.
Human resonates—and in 2016, that could put candidates like Hillary Clinton at a huge disadvantage.DONATE
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