Joe Biden has begun assembling a White House transition team so that “he’ll be able to staff up quickly in the event that he defeats President Trump in the 2020 election,” reports The Hill. Biden revealed in a digital fundraiser on Thursday that he started the process after his Super Tuesday victories.
Election Day isn’t for another seven months. Is it really about being able to staff up quickly? Highly unlikely. Typical transitions are about two and a half months, starting after the election and continuing until Inauguration Day. George W. Bush’s White House transition was even shorter (by several weeks) due to the Florida recounts. If Joe Biden’s team needs over seven months for a White House transition when every other campaign has managed with roughly 11 weeks, what does that say about the competency of his team?
So, what’s the real reason Crazy Uncle Joe needs seven months before the election the start a White House transition for an election he hasn’t even won yet?
Now, it’s quite possible that Joe doesn’t know that the election hasn’t even happened yet. Given some of the bizarre things he’s said and done on the campaign trail, it honestly wouldn’t surprise me.
It could be just the campaign trying to project confidence in victory, though such displays tend to backfire. In 2008, Barack Obama’s team unveiled a campaign logo modeled after the presidential seal, which was mocked for being presumptuous and elitist, and the logo was then retired after one use. In 2016, Hillary Clinton clearly believed her victory was inevitable and she didn’t campaign in Wisconsin—which she ultimately lost.
Another possibility is that the campaign realizes that without the ability to campaign in traditional ways, they need something to get press coverage and get people excited. This White House transition is simply a gimmick to get his voters excited (since they clearly aren’t very excited about him) as well as set the stage for his eventual running mate to take a more prominent role in the campaign.
No matter how you slice it, this strategy (if you want to call it that) reeks of desperation.
Matt Margolis is the author of Trumping Obama: How President Trump Saved Us From Barack Obama’s Legacy and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis