All eyes were on the Vice President Thursday night wondering which Joe Biden would show up?
Would it be, "say it ain’t so Joe" -- the gaffer, would it be the screaming and animated attack dog, or perhaps it would be the Democratic version of the GOP’s awkward Clint Eastwood performance?
A more subdued and scripted attack dog Biden took the stage tonight to paint a picture of his boss that the American people should know all too very well. The problem is the leader that Biden says Obama is -- is not the Obama the American people know. This is reflected in recent polls, which suggest a job approval rating hovering at just 50 percent.
Let’s face it; Biden is a creature of government -- which is where he has spent his entire professional life. He believes with all his heart that government is the answer to everything that ails us. He seeks generational changes in the government’s intrusion into the lives of individuals whether it is health care, welfare, taxes, housing, regulation, immigration or investment.
The vice president Thursday night embarked on what I like to call a “3D” strategy. The first D is Distortion: of the records of Romney/Ryan and their own. The second D is Distraction: Away from their own record of failure. And finally, there’s the third D: Dividing: Dividing the American people – one group against the other.
When you do not have a record of accomplishment you go negative and try to spin your own version of reality. The only problem with such a strategy is that the American people know what they feel everyday. They know whether they are better off today than they were 4 years ago.
The vice president in his speech the convention tried his best to defend his boss and alleged that many Americans just couldn’t appreciate the “accomplishments” made in their behalf by the Obama/Biden team.
The vice president did not let the facts get in the way. Obama nationalized General Motors because the unions demanded more than they could have gotten in bankruptcy. The facts are that the U.S. taxpayer is still on the hook for $25 billion for our “investment” in GM and in the end GM did go through bankruptcy. When you shed 8 million jobs in three and a half years and make up 4 million you are still in deficit. Unemployment is still at 8.3 percent, which represents over 23 million Americans either out of work, under-employed or who have stopped looking for work all together. This has been an administration that has squandered our treasury on failed companied like Solyndra and Ener1 to the tune of billions upon billions of dollars. And, this has been a government more concerned about an $800 billion “stimulus” for unions than producing jobs and results for the private sector.
The story Biden told about the killing of Bin Laden was one of self-service rather than government service. How many times must the American people be reminded of the bravery of President Obama? This is the same president who had to be called off the Andrews Air Force Base golf course so he could witness the mission via video conference from the Situation Room at the White House.
The same promises Obama/Biden made in 2008 where repeated in Charlotte Thursday night. However, there is no record of credibility for people to believe in promises that were made in 2008 and never honored by 2012. The most truthful words uttered by the vice president came when he said, “The journey of hope is not yet complete” and “The cause of change is not fully accomplished”. Biden ended his remarks by yelling, “We are on our way!” Many Americans don’t seem to agree with those sentiments, however, they seem to be saying to pollster and themselves that another four years of “been there, done that” is not what the nation needs or what they want.
In Charlotte, Biden proved one thing -- that Obama is stuck with him. He hasn’t offered much to return the compliment over these past three and a half years. It is also clear that Biden -- win, lose or draw -- has reached the end of his political life. He is not mentioned by anyone in Washington as the successor to Obama or the leader of his party. This was made even more clear when Biden was forced to surrender his own showcase Wednesday night speech to former President Bill Clinton.
Biden’s performance as vice president proves once again that old, tired and entrenched career politicians like to believe that they will never die. But they most assuredly should fade away.
Bradley A. Blakeman is a political consultant and Republican Media Consultant and was a member of President George W. Bush's Senior White House Staff 2001-2004. Follow him on Twitter @BlakemanB.