Joe Biden by Evan Osnos

Stopping the Malarky

For those who learned what they know about Joe Biden from the recent campaign, this is a must-read, quick-read primer. Joe Biden: The Life, the Run, and What Matters Now by Evan Osnos brings substance to the deafening soundbites we’ve had to deal with since … since whatever decade the 2020 campaign started.

If you’re political junkie, this will add some context to the things you’ve heard. For example, we heard over and over that Biden didn’t have much money until he was out of public office and wrote a book. But how does he define “not much money”? Here we find out that when he was vice president, and his son Beau was dying of brain cancer, he told Obama he’s taking out a second mortgage to keep up with mounting bills. President Obama offered to help: “I’ll give you the money. I have it. You can pay me back whenever.” Talk about Obama care. 

The book’s narrative shifts from insightful to exciting when it covers the time Biden became the front runner and then his party’s nominee. Osnos brings us into the twilight zone the campaign sucked Joe (and the rest of us) into. As more and more Trump hit the fan, the campaign saw its mantra morph from “restore the soul of America” to “WTF?”  Instead of a referendum on Trump, it became a referendum on the entirety of “American power — a system that Biden helped develop…”. Oops. 

Biden jumped into the campaign pool hoping to toss the country a life raft but the pool turned into quicksand. He “was awakening to the full scale of an emergency even larger than he imagined.” When RBG died in September, Biden’s homilies on bipartisanship had to be ripped up. When Trump started talking about a rigged election, the Biden team needed to develop a plan to address the possibility that Trump wouldn’t leave the White House. Beyond evicting Trump, they needed to have a strategy to address the calls to hold Trump accountable for corruption and mismanagement. They can’t wing it on January 20th. These are decisions that will set new precedent in the nation and reframe our reputation abroad. 

One of the book’s anecdotes is emblematic for 2020. Biden told Osnos that on the campaign trail, whenever people asked what he would do as President, he wanted to throw his arms up into the air and say, “It depends on what the hell I’m left with.”  

What he’s left with are 79 million constituents that live under a political rock. If they could read, this book might convince them that the mask-obsessed pedophile and pretender to the golden throne doesn’t want to eat them.

By the way, that loan Obama offered? Biden turned it down. 

Step right up here for today’s entertainment:

More about the author here.

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