“Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” may be the name of a popular Food Network reality television show but it’s also looking to be a new strategy seemingly implemented by President Joe Biden’s handlers to minimize his gaffes in an election year.
With the Democratic party’s continued control of the White House hinging on the 81-year-old’s ability to convince voters that he’s coherent enough to merit reelection, it is imperative to limit his exposure in settings where he could make a killer mistake and preventing that from happening is a top priority.
In recent weeks, the 81-year-old has made multiple appearances at small eateries along the campaign trail where he has met with locals while slurping milkshakes and munching on burgers and fries during appearances that can be tightly controlled and used to appeal to social media users on TikTok and other platforms.
“These retail stops allow the president to do what he excels at, connecting with people in a meaningful way on their own turf,” a former aide told Politico, offering the opinion that the food stops leave Biden feeling “energized.”
“In the past few weeks alone, he’s visited a boba tea shop in Nevada, a soul food restaurant in South Carolina, a Cook Out chain in North Carolina, a bar and restaurant in Michigan, a coffee shop in Pennsylvania — and more,” the outlet reported.
Pres. Biden orders boba tea in Las Vegas pic.twitter.com/a0sqXBeASR
— Howard Mortman (@HowardMortman) February 5, 2024
Biden enjoys take-out burgers from Cook Out with a black family in North Carolina in one nine-minute video posted to his YouTube channel that was a big hit on social media.
(Video: YouTube/Joe Biden)
“In many ways, today’s social media environment is uniquely well suited for Joe Biden. It allows people to see him talking with a family at their kitchen table in a way that would be very difficult to replicate in the days before iPhone cameras,” Biden deputy campaign manager Rob Flaherty said, according to Politico. “It’s very hard to get that same feeling of authenticity and connection when you have a huge TV camera in the room.”
While the bite-sized chunks of the elderly Democrat connecting with ordinary voters in such settings are great for social media propaganda showing good ole Joe interacting with people, the far greater benefit is that there will be fewer mental misfires that show the real Biden, an ongoing nightmare for this handlers.
But in an example that things can go wrong with the geriatric career politician in even tightly controlled settings, a photo op of him hanging out with union workers during a visit to Superior, Wisconsin last month was ridiculed when lunchbucket Joe was wearing a construction hat on backward.
— Amy Klobuchar (@amyklobuchar) January 25, 2024
Just this week alone, Biden told different crowds that he had recently spoken with two deceased European leaders, French President Francois Mitterrand, and German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, mistaking the dead people for their living counterparts.
Biden says he recently met with “Mitterand from Germany.”… Mitterand was president of France from 1981 and 1995 – he died in 1996. pic.twitter.com/cNIE3LXsYn
— BPR based (@DumpstrFireNews) February 6, 2024
Like with the shorter stairs on Air Force One, it’s all about image and selling the rapidly deteriorating octogenarian to the public as the man he used to be and not the stumbling, bumbling mess that he is now.
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