- The Washington Times - Monday, November 2, 2020

If a fun campaign is a winning campaign, then President Trump has this one in the bag.

Yet all the experts and most of the polls tell us Joe Biden is going to win in a landslide. While other polls — the few that got it right in 2016 — suggest Mr. Trump is poised for another upset victory.

Okay … So which is it?

Amid the fact-free hysteria, perhaps it’s time to read some other tea leaves. Let’s check the “hope” index.

Bill Clinton was “the boy from Hope.” Two terms.

Barack Obama was a community organizer on the lecture circuit, peddling “hope” and “change.” Two terms.

Joe Biden is an old man yelling at cars from his front porch that are honking back. He is running as the “dark winter” candidate.

“We launched our campaign — over on — eh, the oval — back in 29 — May nine — 2019,” he struggled the other night.

“But, you know — what I said then,” he muttered on. “We’ve been through a lot since then.”

Mr. Biden has been running his mouth in Washington for 47 years and this is as much sense as he ever makes any more.

He is the old man from Hopeless. He is the anti-hope, anti-change candidate.

Talk about “White privilege.” If Mr. Obama had run this campaign in 2008, he never would have made it past the frozen fields of Iowa.

But here is Old Joe, promising to finally fix everything after 47 years of indolence and failure. Fix all the things Mr. Obama couldn’t get done in eight years.

Meanwhile, across the country, Mr. Trump is offering Hope. Hope Hicks! Like him, she survived COVID-19. She already beat “dark winter.” And she is still smiling. On stage, at a huge rally! Everybody is smiling. They are dancing.

Mr. Trump is dancing to the Y.M.C.A. song. His biggest fans mimic the president’s chicken-wing dance moves — not because Donald Trump is Fred Astaire, but exactly because he ISN’T Fred Astaire.

Truly, he dances like nobody is watching — only everybody is.

Because he is full of hope. And Joy.

Hope is infectious. Joy is contagious.

Fear spreads in darkness. Hope and joy sparkle in the warm light.

One of Mr. Trump’s greatest hidden strengths has always been his own self-awareness. At this, he is a comic genius.

Lamenting at a recent rally that the first lady contracted the China Plague in the White House at the same time he did, Mr. Trump said drily: “At least those rumors that we don’t live together turned out to be false.”

The crowd ROARED.

Unlike washed-up politicians, Mr. Trump doesn’t work his self-awareness for cheap points. Rather, he uses it with great hilarity and usually to disarm the nastiest things his enemies say about him.

It is never boring. With Mr. Trump, his self-awareness is always surprising because it is genuine.

For Mr. Biden, self-awareness is when he tells us that everybody calls him “lunch bucket Joe.” One reason this fails is because nobody calls him “lunch bucket Joe.” But he likes to stand in front of the mirror and pretend that everybody thinks of him as that.

It’s just sad, self-serving auto-adulation.

Speaking of self-loving politicians, Lunch Bucket Joe brought Barack Obama to help him close out this campaign.

Mr. Obama can still spin up a good line of words — even if they’re all just snake oil.

But there he is, yelling at cars. They are honking back at him. Desperately, Mr. Obama tried breathing life and hope into Old Joe Biden’s “dark winter” campaign.

Old Joe only looks older, hopeless and more boring beside Mr. Obama — which was the whole reason Mr. Obama picked Mr. Biden to be his vice president 12 years ago in the first place.

After all the sad car-honking, Hope and Hopeless walked through a deserted high school gym over the weekend. It was quiet and empty. There was no sound of bouncing balls, buzzers or squeaking sneakers.

Dark winter coming.

Mr. Obama grabbed a basketball and leaped in his dress shoes, draining the shot from beyond the three-point line. It was a beautiful shot.

As he strutted away, Mr. Obama boasted over his shoulder: “That’s what I do!”

All poor Old Joe could do is wander along behind him, muttering “Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa …”

Whoa, indeed.

• Charles Hurt is opinion editor of The Washington Times. He can be reached at churt@washingtontimes.com or @charleshurt on Twitter.

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