When Joe Biden speaks, I worry.

Official portrait of Vice President Joe Biden in his West Wing Office at the White House, Jan. 10, 2013. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann) This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.

 I don’t know about you, but I find myself holding my breath when presidential candidate Joe Biden makes a statement. There are two reasons for this: (i) Joe has a reputation for putting his foot in it; and (ii) it’s absolutely imperative that the Democratic candidate defeat Donald Trump in November.

“Sleepy Joe” is what Trump calls him. Presumably because of his age, which is  77. A word in your ear, Donald: some people are smart and alert at 77, some are dumb and getting dumber at  73.  It depends on the individual.

Joe Biden looks very neat and clean. In fact, he looks like  a well-tailored dummy such as you’d see in a store window. But you don’t keep getting elected for nearly fifty years – he was first elected to the US Senate in 1972 – without being a tough nut and knowing a few tricks.

One great strength he has is his relations with the black community in the US – he relates to them very effectively, especially the older cohort of blacks. Which is probably why he delivered a short, perfectly tailored address in response to the killing of George Floyd by a policeman or several policeman about a week ago. It showed controlled anger and dignity, referring to racism in the US as “an open wound” which the American people must address.

If Biden can keep delivering speeches with the same minimalist no-shit style between now and November, Trump will get his marching orders in November and the world will breathe a sigh of relief. At the same time, I’ll be holding my breath every time he approaches a microphone.

Please, Joe, don’t screw up. We need you.

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