In my post assessing Joe Biden’s candidacy yesterday, I registered my surprise at the darkness of his rollout video’s tone and themes. The very first word of the clip is “Charlottesville,” and much of the subsequent content featured images and audio from that terrible 2017 weekend. Biden reportedly wanted to launch his campaign with a rally in that city, but his team pulled the plug on that idea when some residents expressed concerns about politicizing those events. One might imagine that Biden’s brain trust would have realized that weighing community sentiment and buy-in would be an important component of planning any such address, but it seems like they were forced to scrap their idea to dodge a potentially-avoidable controversy. Having endured that (mostly) behind-the-scenes drama, one might also imagine that because they were going to lean so heavily into the Charlottesville narrative in their first public communication about a brand new campaign, they would have been extra careful about their approach. For instance, surely they would have had the good sense to check in with the family of the young woman who was killed by a white supremacist in that awful melee prior to featuring her memory in a partisan video, right? Wrong:
Not a good look from Joe Biden at all. Heather Heyer's mom, Susan Bro, is on CNN talking about how Biden didn't even contact her before making Heather — who was murdered in Charlottesville in 2017 — the centerpiece of his campaign-opening video. pic.twitter.com/bIpYKwgPbZ
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 26, 2019
This is political malpractice, plain and simple. A big, unforced, unthinking, amateurish error on literally the first public manifestation of Biden’s presidential campaign. A large team had been building toward yesterday’s announcement for months. How did this happen? And on a related issue of preparedness and professionalism, how could this happen?
One reason I expect Biden and his team wanted to go on #TheView was to address the issues of touching and Anita Hill, but Biden seemed to be a bit at a loss responding to both questions.
— James Oliphant (@jamesoliphant) April 26, 2019
(Read more from “Oof: Team Biden Didn’t Contact Family of Woman Killed in Charlottesville Before Invoking Her Memory in Launch Video” HERE)