I hope I can call you Joe. I mean you look like the kind of guy that people just naturally say Joe whenever they meet you; not Mr. Biden nor Mr. Vice President. So forgive me for being informal.
Look, there’s no good way to say this, so I’ll just cut to the chase. You’re under attack, and, no, I’m not referring to your fellow Democrats, who, quite frankly, appear to be more envious about your popularity than contemptuous of your record. At least that was the impression I got having watched the first two debates.
No, this attack is coming directly from the Oval Office, and if you don’t deal with it soon, your candidacy will be over before the primaries even begin. I’m not dicking around here; I’m serious.
It’s clear Trump is afraid of you. How afraid? As of now, you’re the only Democrat in the race that is beating him in every swing state, plus a few that aren’t. And while we haven’t yet made it to the first quarter of this contest, Trump isn’t the kind to wait until halftime to fix the game.
The assault that is coming your way will be unlike anything a presidential candidate has had to endure since the founding of the Republic. Next to what’s in store for you, Hillary practically had a bubble bath.
I know you love your family, and you don’t want to talk about them, especially your sons, one of whom was tragically taken from you four years ago. But you have no choice. Like it or not, your son, Hunter, has become the story that won’t die. Not because of any alleged wrong doing he might’ve done. Every legitimate news outlet has reported that there is no “there there” with respect to the Ukrainian scandal, but you know full well that perception is, more often than not, greater than fact; and right now the perception is growing that you did something to protect your son. And like any cancer, if you don’t root it out, it can quickly metastasize.
The ads are already running, even while Trump continues to make the case for his impeachment. Just yesterday, he stood on the White House lawn and said China should start an investigation into you. He’s shameless and completely devoid of any sense of decency. You have referred to him as the existential threat to this country. Well, don’t look now, but that existential threat is coming straight for you. You can’t rely on the Jake Tappers and the Chris Wallaces of the world to do your job.
You’ve been in Washington too long not to know that a lie, if left unchallenged, will eventually become the truth in the eyes of the American public. John Kerry waited too long before responding to the Swift Boat attacks and he wound up losing to George Bush in ’04. John McCain suffered a similar fate in the 2000 Republican primaries over an ad which stated, falsely, that he might have fathered an African American child. Many a good politician has fallen victim to the greatest myth in American politics: that voters are smart enough to figure out for themselves what is true and what is false. Take it from someone who has spent a quarter of a century in sales: customers are as fickle as the day is long. That’s why you always have to stay on top of them, reinforcing what you bring to the table. As the saying goes, “Always Be Closing.”
This will be the battle of your life, Joe. You’re up against someone who has absolutely no compunction about lying and who will stop at nothing to justify the most outrageous and reprehensible behavior to get reelected. He has spent his whole life in the gutter and the way he wins is by dragging his opponents down with him. He knows he’s corrupt, so what better way to level the playing field than by painting you as equally corrupt? Don’t look at me, look at Biden!
You need to start defending yourself and fast. You don’t have the luxury of staying quiet. Yes it was encouraging that you pushed back against this smear campaign at an event in Nevada yesterday. You need to do more of that and more forcefully. Trump is sitting on a war chest of $125 million and you can bet the ranch he will spend every penny of it demolishing anything and anybody that stands between him and a second term.
If you’re not up for this, if you don’t have the stomach to go toe to toe with Trump, then for the good of the country, you need to get out of the race. Yes, I’m perfectly aware of what that means: the likelihood that either Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders will win the nomination, but if this thing becomes an albatross around your neck, you will be damaged goods by the time the convention rolls around. And we saw all too clearly what happened in 2016 when another flawed candidate took the party’s mantle into a general election.
I’m not saying you’re Hillary, far from it. For one thing, you’re a lot more likable, which can come in handy against someone like Trump. And you’re also more authentic, sometimes to a fault. But in the strange, fickle world of politics, that might not be enough come next November. As that great Shakespearian play, Julius Caesar, teaches us, all it takes is a few choice words from a master manipulator to turn a crowd of supporters into an angry mob.