NEWS AND OPINION:
Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden continues to address charges of unwanted familiarity with women, now vowing to be “mindful and respectful” of personal space and physical contact. The situation has prompted a cultural moment, and a potential identity crisis for the Democratic Party.
“Joe Biden is a touchy-feely, old-style Irish politician — get used to him,” writes Niall O’Dowd, founder of Irish Central, a popular news site, and Irish America magazine.
“Ridiculous claims are being made that Joe Biden is a secret groper, a roaming hands kind of guy with women. The #MeToo mavens are asking questions but in this case, they have a fatal flaw to deal with. Joe Biden is a serial groper with men too. He also shows very open affection for children, boys, and girls — I’ve seen that too,” said Mr. O’Dowd.
“It is literally body language expressed for centuries as a way to bond with voters, men, and women. It is very powerful when a vice president uses it. In an era when characters in American politics are as rare as billy goat’s milk, Biden’s shtick is a welcome throwback, but far from an offensive one,” Mr. O’Dowd said.
“Joe Biden’s policies are as troubling as his inappropriate touching,” noted a Guardian op-ed, while Rolling Stone cited a “#MeToo generation gap” between Mr. Biden and women who say his behaviors are of “another era.”
The New York Times simply declared there was a “feeding frenzy” over Mr. Biden and his “penchant for sometimes unwelcome public displays of affection.”
Meanwhile, opinion polls have suggested Mr. Biden is in the lead among Democratic presidential hopefuls, though some analysts credit his status on name recognition only. Pollster Nate Silver says former President Barack Obama‘s potential endorsement of Mr. Biden would be critical, adding, “My question is not so much whether Biden can find a constituency within the Democratic Party, but whether he can be a unifying figure.”
A VERY, VERY BRIEF HONEYMOON
President Trump got his one and only honeymoon with the press during his entire presidency — but it was very brief. Broadcasters offered Mr. Trump positive coverage for a mere 48 hours following a pivotal event.
“After Attorney General William Barr released the key findings of special counsel Robert Mueller‘s 22-month-long investigation, the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts showered Donald Trump with good press (80 percent positive) for the first time since he became president,” wrote Rich Noyes, senior analyst for Newsbusters.org, a conservative watchdog which has tracked Trump news coverage since his campaign days.
“The good news for the White House only lasted for two nights, from Sunday evening, March 24 through Monday evening, March 25,” Mr. Noyes said. “After that, the networks resumed their lopsidedly hostile (79 percent negative) coverage of the president and his administration, as their news agenda highlighted liberal talking points: the potential demise of Obamacare, imaginary cuts to the Special Olympics, and the ongoing battle over immigration policy.”
Previous Newsbusters reports found that 90 percent of the coverage of Mr. Trump was negative during his campaign days. From March 1 through March 23, the evaluation found that 91 percent of the broadcast coverage was also hostile.
THE ‘HUDDLED MASSES’ GUILT TRIP
The escalating crisis on the border between the U.S. and Mexico grows ever more complicated.
“Unless the Mexican government takes immediate substantive action to address the crisis on the southern border, President Trump should follow through on his national emergency declaration and suspension of direct aid to three Central American countries by closing it,” writes PJ Media columnist Mark Ellis, adding that “America is not responsible for the ravages of socialism and communism.”
Mr. Ellis warns Mr. Trump to keep campaign promises on immigration, lest his fans think he is making a “de facto capitulation to a globalist, nationless marketplace,” among other things.
“It is time to challenge open-borders Democrats when they evoke the ‘huddled masses yearning to breathe free’ guilt trip. Huddled masses have historically entered the country legally. We’re not obliged now to take in millions of such masses illegally,” Mr. Ellis advises.
HOWARD, BERNIE GET FOX TOWN HALLS
Fox News presents a town hall with independent presidential candidate Howard Schultz on Thursday with all the trimmings. Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum will co-anchor the live event Thursday from Kansas City, Missouri, at 6:30 p.m. EDT. Mr. Schultz has already told the network that he pines to work with both parties and unite the nation.
“Some prominent Dems say Schultz’s entry in the race would split voters and guarantee Trump a second term,” noted Fox News analyst Paulina Dedaj.
The network will also host a town hall for Sen. Bernard Sanders on April 15 in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
PARTY TIME AT CEI
The Competitive Enterprise Institute is preparing to celebrate its 35th anniversary in a big way, staging a sumptuous dinner at a glittering hotel not all that far from the White House.
“We will celebrate 35 years of success in promoting free market values and policies with a June 20 gala featuring Pulitzer Prize-winning humorist Dave Barry, Reason Magazine editor-in-chief Katherine Mangu-Ward, and the 2019 winner of the Julian L. Simon Memorial Award, Johan Norberg. It will be an evening of optimism, ideas, and humor about the absurdities of life in Washington, D.C,” notes Kent Lassman, president of the nonprofit policy organization.
Mr. Barry is an ideal keynote speaker to address those quirks of Washington; his recent books include: “Big Trouble,” “Lunatics,” “Tricky Business,” “I’ll Mature When I’m Dead” and “Insane City.” The Simon Award, incidentally, recognizes those whose work promotes the vision of “man as the ultimate resource.”
POLL DU JOUR
⦁ 49 percent of U.S. voters say former Vice President Joseph R. Biden‘s “decades of experience” make him an effective leader; 28 percent of Republicans, 45 percent of independents and 73 percent of Democrats agree.
⦁ 44 percent overall say Mr. Biden can prevent the Democratic Party from “moving too far left”; 33 percent of Republicans, 40 percent of independents and 59 percent of Democrats agree.
⦁ 43 percent overall say Mr. Biden “is out of touch” with younger Americans; 58 percent of Republicans, 40 percent of independents and 31 percent of Democrats agree.
⦁ 36 percent overall say Mr. Biden “is not progressive enough”; 44 percent of Republicans, 30 percent of independents and 33 percent of Democrats agree.
Source: A Politico/Morning Consult of registered U.S. voters conducted March 29-April 1.
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