At least since the dawn of the television era, image matters in politics. In reading reactions to Joe Biden’s performance in last week’s debate, particularly those of women, I have begun to wonder if his boorishness will stick in peoples’ proverbial craws, making it increasingly unlikely that they’ll vote Democratic this fall.
Earlier today, Ed Driscoll linked Jim Barnett’s sense of how Biden’s behavior may play out over time:
There is now the long, long reverberation in social media, where the basic debate footage serves as raw material for mash-ups and parodies and treatments for the rest of the election cycle and beyond. And Biden’s performance, which won him some tactical advantage in the debate, has set him up as the target for rich satire and a way that Ryan’s conventional performance didn’t and cannot do. His performance is comic gold, and although within hard-core Dem/left circles he will be celebrated as the warrior, everywhere else, and especially for basically apolitical young YouTube viewers, he will be the jackass supreme. I suspect that by Election Day, the various parodic videos will have had a larger viewership than the debate itself. By this criterion, the tactic was a massive miscalculation.