In horse racing, it is a common practice for jockeys to apply the whip as their mounts enter the home stretch. In a similar vein, politicians running for office generally turn up the heat as Election Day approaches, visiting as many campaign stops as possible, heightening their visibility among voters.
But if Democratic nominee Joe Biden turned up the heat on himself this past Saturday, it was likely only on the thermostat in his basement lair. That is where he spent the day, having called another “lid” — time off from the rigors of campaigning.
Why a man running for perhaps the most grueling job on earth would do something so reckless was the topic of an exchange on Sunday between CNN’s Jake Tapper and Democratic Sen. Chris Coons, who attempted to run interference for the former vice president.
Jake Tapper: Let’s talk about the campaign and a memo to supporters yesterday. Biden campaign manager Dillon warns the race is closer than polling suggests and says people shouldn’t be complacent. Pres. Trump visited two swings states yesterday. He’s in a third today. I get you don’t like what he is saying but if the Biden campaign is worried about complacency, why was Joe Biden yesterday? He had a whole day without any public events with less than three weeks to go.
Chris Coons: Joe Biden takes no votes for granted, as you know. Both Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have crisscrossed the country campaigning. …
Tapper: Not the way President Trump is campaigning.
Coons: President Trump is campaigning in an unsafe way that doesn’t follow the directions of public health experts. Joe Biden has continued to be engaged and effective in laying out a clear plan for how he is going to get us out of this pandemic and the recession that President Trump’s bungled mishandling of the pandemic has made worse than it ever needed to be.
Tapper: I take your point on the unsafe rallies that the president is having, but Joe Biden didn’t have any events yesterday. I’m not saying he should be having unsafe events, but why is he taking a day off less than three weeks to go before the election?
Coons: Jake, Joe Biden has campaigned tirelessly, but he has campaigned safely. And as you saw, this past week during the national town halls that both of them held, it is a sharp contrast between president Trump who is frenzied and continues to lie just incessantly morning, noon and night and former vice president Biden who is laying out a clear and compelling plan. Polling is showing that it’s making a difference particularly with suburban women. But I agree with you that we shouldn’t take anything for granted in these last few weeks and it is still possible for President Trump to win re-election. That is why I say don’t focus on the national polls. Focus on getting out and voting.
Tapper: I would just say that I think it’s pretty much the opposite of all the word tireless to take a day off. …