It’s not as if Joe Biden hasn’t been around the media block a few times. More like a few million times. While there are those who will hammer away at him for being old and out of touch in same areas, this is one instance where Joe should have known better.
How to manipulate the media to his advantage. Which makes what he did this week, or rather failed to do, all the more head-shaking.
No need to rehash the entire tale. Biden has been accused of getting a little too “touchy feely” with his female acquaintances over the years, to the point where he made some women feel uncomfortable. If there are political motives behind the allegation, that remains to be seen. There are a number of people who have spoken up for the former Vice President, answering back they never witnessed any such behavior. The classic “he said she said” battle rages on.
However, this all comes to light as Biden is preparing to enter the fray and seek the Democratic Presidential nomination for 2020. From the all-important media standpoint, there is an immediate need to snuff out this fire before it becomes a full blown conflagration that his enemies can take advantage of. So Biden takes to Twitter, his people having learned the lessons Donald Trump’s handlers mastered, and issues a heartfelt, friendly, grandfatherly “fireside chat” for America and the world to get a nice warm and fuzzy.
With all this preparation, all this knowledge, all the possibly well trained people he has around him needing to convince him of what exactly he had to do and say, Joe Biden accomplished what should have been the impossible.
It’s not what he said, rather what he didn’t say. As pointed out by numerous stories and wags in the moments and days after the announcement, Biden failed to make one thing clear.
That he’s sorry.
Whether he truly is or isn’t, that’s not the question. The majority of the time people in these pickles say things they don’t means and, frankly, don’t care to mean. They simply do it out of political, monetary, publicity seeking expediency.
I get the feeling, though, Biden might actually be sorry. But someone, possibly he himself, decided it wasn’t necessary.
Dead flat out wrong.
All he had to do was include words to this effect.
“I’m sorry if I may have offended someone”. “I’m sorry if someone may have felt uncomfortable”. “I’m sorry if I may have overstepped the boundaries”.
What’s the key word in those sentences?
It’s not “sorry”.
It’s “may”. With that one word, Biden would have committed a necessary act of contrition without saying he did anything. He is in that instance leaving it to perception and interpretation. He would also, in using that word, be able to point out his regret, while at the same time not necessarily admitting he committed any wrongful act.
Whether Biden is a misunderstood stalwart of character or a dirty old man getting a cheap feel, we’ll never really know. But this is not about the man. This is about how a smart person uses the media to their advantage.
Whether Biden or his handlers made the call, they blew this one badly. In doing so, they left the door open for further attacks and failed to shut down the critics.
In politics, you often get more than once chance. I’ll wager this comes up many more times, and eventually Biden will have to fall back on some form of “sorry”.
At that time, who knows the damaging wounds it will once again open anew.