What's Tony Thinking

My Advice for Joe


Tomorrow night is the first debate. I’m sure a lot of folks have advice for Joe Biden. Here’s mine!

Suggestion Number One. Express absolute confidence in America’s capacity to pull off a Presidential election in a year of pandemic. Say, “We’ve faced big challenges before and met them. We can do it now.”

Say, “I have complete confidence in the men and women of the United States Postal Service.” And “I know the women and men of our state elections offices all across America are working just as hard as they can and will do a great job. We’re America. We can do this.

“My opponent doesn’t believe we can do this. He keeps doubting us. He is constantly saying the election will be rigged and there will voter fraud — though he gives us no evidence to support his claims. Why do you think he’s saying that? Because he’s afraid he won’t win. So he doesn’t want you to trust the results.

“He doesn’t believe in his own country, in his own fellow citizens. I do. The greatest threat to this election is this President. He won’t even say he will accept the results.”

Suggestion Number Two. Stay focused on COVID, the President’s lack of leadership and mixed messages in the pandemic — a mish-mash of confusion and indifference which continue to this day. Again, express confidence in American scientific and medical leadership and in our knowledge and capacity to rise to this challenge.

Transition from COVID to health care, staying with your theme of building on the Affordable Care Act without saying “Medicare for All.” This issue was key to the 2018 blue wave and under Republican leadership hasn’t gotten any better.

Suggestion Number Three: Challenge Trump to a push-up contest, doing so with a big, broad, happy Joe smile. You’re in better way shape than he is. My guess is that he would have trouble pushing his girth up even one time.

And keep on being a Happy Warrior. Yes, the soul of America is at stake. But avoid down and dire and angry, or chose your moments for those carefully. It’s not your strong suit.

Yes, I know that you are the kind of guy who feeds off the energy of a crowd, while your opponent feeds off the camera. You won’t have that crowd energy in person. But know that all across America we are there. We are pulling for you. We are praying for you.

Mark Twain memorably said that “Be yourself is the worst advice you can give a man.” I think, at least in your case, he’s wrong. Be yourself. Be Joe. Be a mensch.


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