Big Ego Politics: Joe Biden gets the backstage rock star treatment out on the road
For all his claims to being "everyman," the great grassroots candidate, fumblin' Uncle Joe all full of malapropisms, or Amtrak Joe who rides the train, news is getting out about potential Democratic presidential candidate, Joe Biden, and he doesn't quite look like the everyman he projects himself to be.
According to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel:
For his appearance at the Broward Center last month, Joe Biden wasn’t simply a former vice president and possible 2020 presidential candidate.
He was an artist, similar in many ways to many other entertainers.
That means everything about the appearance — not just the fee — was spelled out in a detailed contract: the program, the dressing room, the food, the time for each segment of the performance.
That suggests big bucks for lawyers in the contracts business, and a rather cosseted deal with the Broward Center, which paid Biden $150,000 to answer some pre-arranged questions.
Biden was represented by the mega talent Creative Artists Agency, and the contract left little to chance.
Biden’s meal was spelled out in the documents: angel hair pomodoro, Caprese salad and raspberry sorbet with biscotti.
Dressing rooms for Biden and his staff were to be stocked with bottled water, Coke Zero, regular Coke, orange Gatorade and black coffee. Snacks were mixed nuts and A fruit plate.
And Biden’s dressing room was to be labeled “VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN.”
Maybe he really would have good reasons for asking for 'no brown M&Ms' in his bowl of backstage eats or similar, as some rock stars have done.
But the idea that this guy is an 'everyman' candidate is pretty well blown apart by this kind of rock-star treatment, which is delivered only to the elites of the elites. Socialist Bernie has his private jet and three homes. Amtrak Joe has his contracted gourmet cuisine and vice presidential name plate on his dressing room door. All others take the campaign bus.
Biden, of course, has been dropping hints all over the place about running for president, and Democratic polls (and I do mean polls with an 's') show that he actually leads well in the race given the far-left orientation of his rivals. He's also raising big bucks - which could buy a lot of arrangements like these.
But to imagine that the bus-tour politics of the past is how Democrats are going to be doing things these days is a pipe dream. Thomas Lifson has noted that presidential politics is in fact heading for big-buck national model in the coming years as California moves its primary toward the front of the pack. Meanwhile, the Obamas have led the way in Democratic "stars" engaging in large Hollywood-style spectacles, often through paid appearances for big bucks.
Biden, as he bides his time ahead of his declaration of a run, is obviously on this train, too. No retail politics, no getting the hands dirty with the great unwashed masses should he run, it's all rock-star shows for him, now, so don't touch the merchandise. That may be a function not only of these trends described above, but in the fact that up until recently, he was considered too old to run for president, and Hillary Clinton, who was in that same category, had repeated health scares as well as enough of an energy deficit to not want to go to Wisconsin to campaign, defying her husband Bill Clinton's advice, and quite likely costing her the election.
So if Joe has anything on his rivals, it might just be the influence of big bucks and that rock star treatment that big bucks can buy. No retail politics to him, except in Potemkin gestures. Hillary Clinton's mini-scandal of parking in handicapped spaces as her team drove her to campaign stops isn't going to happen now in the Potemkin Joe era because that's just small-fry stuff.
Biden, if he runs, and there is reason to think he will, is going to go big. He's a star now. Just don't call him 'everyman.'