The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Democratic nominee Joe Biden with voters

Photo by Gage Skidmore/ CC BY-SA 2.0

The "post-game" analyses of the 2020 Democratic National Convention have gone on for longer than the convention itself. Critics continue to weigh in on whether Barack Obama or Michelle Obama was the more effective speaker and whether Joe Biden, in his 24-minute acceptance speech (remarkably brief by historical standards), put to rest questions about Sleepy Joe.

But all that, to me, is beside the point. What matters most is what poet Maya Angelou once said: "People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel." Three separate pieces over four days had to make you, if you were a sentient human being, feel better about Joe Biden.


The first was U.S. Sen. Joe Biden, a single father with two small boys keeping his word to put his sons to bed every night and to make them breakfast the next morning by taking the Amtrak train from Wilmington, Delaware, to Washington, D.C., and back again every day of the workweek.

The words of the conductors and Amtrak personnel on that train about Joe Biden were revealing. "He just always makes you feel like you belong." "He was very interested in my life, my children, as time went on, my grandchildren." Even after Biden became vice president and moved to Washington, he remained in touch. After Amtrak's Greg Weaver suffered a heart attack, he reported being in a barber shop in New York City and receiving a phone call from Vice President Joe Biden wanting a full report on how Weaver was doing.

"Everybody is special to him," testifies the Amtrak conductor. What went unmentioned was that, every Christmas, Biden would throw a party for all the Amtrak folks he had met and their families. People will never forget how you made them feel.

How many presidential candidates, on the biggest day of their political life, choose to have their name put in nomination on national television not by a statesman or some important governor but by the security guard at The New York Times building? Biden met the security guard when he was on his way to meet with the Times' prestigious editorial board. He didn't get the Times' editorial endorsement, but he did win the all-out backing of Jacquelyn Brittany, who stated directly: "I take powerful people up on my elevator all the time. When they get off, they go to their important meetings. Me? I just head back to the lobby. But in the short time I spent with Joe Biden, I could tell he really saw me ... I knew, even when he went into his important meeting, he'd take my story in there with him."

Finally, the words of a courageous 13-year-old boy from New Hampshire who spoke to the nation: "Hi, my name is Brayden Harrington ... and without Joe Biden, I wouldn't be talking to you today." When they met, Biden told him: "We were members of the same club. We stutter." Biden spent time with Brayden, encouraged him, shared tips on how to make speaking easier and "made me feel more confident about something that's bothered me my whole life." That was the strength of the convention: You got a real sense of how Joe Biden would make people feel.

To find out more about Mark Shields and read his past columns, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.

Advertising

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Donald Trump
Youtube Screenshot

Allies of former President Donald Trump have advised members of the Republican Party to cool down their inflammatory rhetoric toward the United States Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation following the execution of a search warrant at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida on Monday.

Trump supporters, right-wing pundits, and lawmakers have been whipped into a frenzy over what Trump called a "raid" by federal agents in pursuit of classified documents removed from the White House during Trump's departure from office.

Keep reading... Show less

Former President Donald Trump

Youtube Screenshot

On August 20, 2022, Donald Trump will have been gone from the White House for 19 months. But Trump, unlike other former presidents, hasn’t disappeared from the headlines by any means — and on Monday, August 8, the most prominent topic on cable news was the FBI executing a search warrant at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home in South Florida. Countless Republicans, from Fox News hosts to Trump himself, have been furiously railing against the FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). And in an article published by Politico on August 11, reporters Kyle Cheney and Meridith McGraw describe the atmosphere of “paranoia” and suspicion that has become even worse in Trumpworld since the search.

“A wave of concern and even paranoia is gripping parts of Trumpworld as federal investigators tighten their grip on the former president and his inner circle,” Cheney and McGraw explain. “In the wake of news that the FBI agents executed a court-authorized search warrant at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida, Trump’s allies and aides have begun buzzing about a host of potential explanations and worries. Among those being bandied about is that the search was a pretext to fish for other incriminating evidence, that the FBI doctored evidence to support its search warrant — and then planted some incriminating materials and recording devices at Mar-a-Lago for good measure — and even that the timing of the search was meant to be a historical echo of the day President Richard Nixon resigned in 1974.”

Keep reading... Show less
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}