Biden's weakness has been his strength, so far
Sometimes it's better to be weak than strong. That's not true if you are a wildebeest on the savannah, unless you're too big to take down or can hide in the herd, but it's often true in human societies. Strong figures may dominate, but they also attract opposition. "Flying under the radar" is a well known phenomenon and can be quite effective. We all know people who do it. It's basically been Joe Biden's strategy throughout this election cycle, and now, facing sexual assault allegations, it may be more important than ever.
Biden entered the Democrat presidential race as the favorite, having served as Obama's V.P. Many still doubted the strength of his candidacy. For example, FOX News host Tucker Carlson confidently discounted Biden's chances of winning the nomination for nearly a year until finally conceding that Biden would be the pick (though Carlson later flipped again with the coronavirus outbreak, predicting that Andrew Cuomo would get the nomination).
Carlson has a point either way. Biden at almost every juncture appears weak, uncertain, and even lost. It was easy to believe that his (mostly) younger and more aggressive challengers would eventually unseat him. Strangely, it didn't happen. Biden slithered his way through, relying on little more than name recognition and his association with Obama (which particularly helped with the African-American constituency). Biden ran the least coherent or dominating nominating campaign of recent decades and won rather easily.
Biden's myriad weaknesses probably would have raised even more doubt over the last few weeks, had he been out campaigning — which he does poorly. Thanks to the coronavirus, Biden hasn't had to do that. Andrew Cuomo's stature may have grown, but not sufficiently yet to directly attack the cocooned Biden.
Daoism holds that passivity can be strength, and so far, that's working for Biden. He didn't order up the coronavirus epidemic, but it's probably helped him. Thanks to the outbreak, he's got to hide in his basement, avoid the press, issue vague but vetted ideas, and generally help solidify his position as the nominee by doing nothing. Since the outbreak, he finally got the long sought if half-hearted endorsements of his former opponents (Sanders and Warren), his former boss (Obama), and most recently the Dems' last failed nominee (Hillary.)
When former Biden aide Tara Reade asserted allegations of sexual assault several weeks ago, they were variously discounted or ignored by the MSM. Remarkably, although Biden conducted several media interviews, none of the "journalists" he spoke with prior to May 1 asked a single question about Reade's allegations. Biden finally formally "came out" May 1 to deny the allegations, in a relatively softball interview with the lame and unimposing Mika Brzezinski.
YouTube screen grab.
The hypocrisy of the Democrats and media in this instance is breathtaking but not new. And Biden is doing his best not to give them a reason to assert anything like principle in the matter by maintaining his low profile.
Biden's feebleness is also reflected in the raft of potential female V.P. contenders who have come out to defend him. As of this writing, Stacey Abrams and Kirsten Gillibrand have issued statements discounting Reade's claims and supporting Biden, while Kamala Harris is waiting to see which way the winds blow.
For both Gillibrand and Abrams, the stink of hypocrisy is particularly potent, as leading advocates of "She must be believed!" when Kavanaugh was falsely accused in 2018. Neither woman cares that her position is ridiculous. They see defending the weak Biden as a quick backdoor into the Oval Office if they can get on the ticket — not because they'll get to run on their own as a former V.P. after four (or eight years) as usual, but because they guess Biden won't finish out a single term — or even come close.
Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton hovers, not sure whether Biden is just weak or mortally wounded, and playing it both ways.
There is a final irony related to Biden's weakness. Republicans have gone relatively soft on Biden with respect to Reade's allegations because they want to run against him. President Trump admitted as much during his press conference on April 30, denying that Republicans "were going after him hard" on the issue. This includes Trump personally, who merely called on Biden to respond to the allegations, which the Democrat has now done.
Whether Biden survives this remains to be seen. Counterintuitively, his myriad weaknesses have gotten him to the brink of the nomination. But as with a weak old wildebeest leaving the herd to be first to the water hole, the lions (and vultures) are watching.