Democrat National Convention officials announced Wednesday that Joe Biden has decided to skip out on the Milwaukee convention next week due to the Wuhan coronavirus. Instead, Biden will accept his party’s nomination in his home state of Delaware.
In a statement, DNC chair, Tom Perez, affirmed:
From the very beginning of this pandemic, we put the health and safety of the American people first. We followed the science, listened to the doctors and public health experts, and we continued making adjustments to our plans in order to protect lives. That’s the kind of steady and responsible leadership America deserves.
Wisconsin is a key battleground state in the upcoming 2020 election, with the most recent polling showing it is a toss-up. In 2016, Hillary Clinton lost in Wisconsin by less than one point (46.5 to 47.2%). While Hillary never visited Wisconsin during her campaign, candidate Trump visited six times. In the final weeks of the election, Hillary’s husband, Bill Clinton, known for his sharp political instincts, warned his wife and her campaign manager, Robbie Mook, that she needed to spend more time in the rust belt, particularly Wisconsin. Mook cited polling data showing Wisconsin safe by as much as nine points, and the fateful decision was made.
In analyzing the 2016 election, most experts agree that it was, indeed, a fatal strategic failure for Hillary’s campaign to take Wisconsin for granted. The decision to hold the 2020 Democratic convention in Milwaukee was viewed as an acknowledgment of that fact and a signal that Biden’s campaign would not repeat the mistake.
With Biden’s surprising decision not to travel to Milwaukee for his own nomination, some are wondering whether he is making the same mistake Clinton did just four years ago. The concern is compounded by the fact that speculation persists around the question of whether he will even agree to debate President Donald Trump prior to the election.
Trump’s presidential campaign clearly sees this as a weakness. Indeed, in a FOX & Friends interview this morning, President Trump stated he wants more debates and is annoyed that the debate committee has not scheduled one before early voting begins. It’s also worth noting that Biden already used health concerns surrounding the Wuhan flu to refuse a debate with former Democrat primary candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders. New York Times columnist, Thomas Friedman, was among the first to signal that Democrats should call for debates to be canceled.
Since then, Biden’s mental agility has been called further into question due to several embarrassing interview stumbles. The corporate media response to these gaffes has been to accelerate and amplify calls to cancel the debate. A recent NY Times op-ed boldly states “Let’s Scrap the Presidential Debates.” To the idea of scrapping this political tradition, RNC Chairwoman, Ronna McDaniel, replied simply, “If you can’t debate, then you should not be president.” If debates are canceled, it will be the first time since 1972 that candidates have not publicly debated prior to a presidential election.
The Biden campaign has not responded to a comment request from The Federalist on whether Biden will be campaigning in Wisconsin at all during this election cycle.