Former Vice President Joe Biden didn’t campaign in Iowa this past weekend – which was certainly noticed by his fellow 2020 Democrat primary opponents.
Many of them attended a campaign event in Cedar Rapids on Sunday at the annual Hall of Fame dinner. At least 19 of the 23 Democrat hopefuls were slotted to speak during the dinner, according to CNN.
One prominent absence was Biden, who leads in just about every national poll. Biden had previously told CNN that he had an “important, previously scheduled family event that will keep him away.” That didn’t keep other hopefuls from taking a swipe at the former vice president.
At a fundraiser Monday night in Washington, DC, Biden said, “I got criticism from one of my competitors because I didn't show up in Iowa to speak for five minutes with 19 people," according to the Associated Press.
New York Times reporter Katie Glueck tweeted Monday night that a pool reporter said Biden continued, “My granddaughter was graduating. It was my daughter’s birthday. I would skip inauguration for that.”
The AP reported Biden actually said “I would skip the damn inauguration for that.” (Emphasis added.)
Biden’s granddaughter, Maisy, graduated from high school, and his daughter Ashley’s 38th birthday was on Saturday.
In a field of inauthentic candidates trying to be authentic, Biden’s statement cuts through.
At a Pride event, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), who barely registers are on most polls, took a sip of alcohol while swaying by herself to music in a gay bar before shouting to no one: “Gay rights!”
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has tried to use her dog to show her humanity, to varying success. The doggo, Baily, is obviously a very good boy.
Failed Texas senate candidate Robert “Beto” O’Rourke has used his past as a musician and his dog to connect. The guitar works to some degree, but in every photo his dog looks like a hostage (still a good boy).
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) has claimed she likes rap and used to smoke weed, both of which may be true, but seem unlikely due to her public persona and past as a prosecutor.
None of the Democrat candidates have actually said something authentic – except for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who becomes inauthentic when he tries to downplay his socialism.
Biden’s heartfelt response about his family to criticism of him missing a campaign event the AP didn’t even bother to name in their report is something that has been missing from the primary. It also showcased the “Uncle Joe” persona that kept Biden’s favorability high during the Obama administration.