Here’s some rather delicious irony that shows why Trump’s popularity is undimmed by criticism of his pandemic response.
A parody video of Barack Obama’s endorsement of Joe Biden for president has outshone the video of Obama’s speech backing his former vice president. Fox News reports that the Obama endorsement video received 10.2 million views on YouTube in the last week while the parody pro-Trump video got 10.3 million views in 13 hours.
The video – which was not produced by the campaign – parodies an Allstate commercial with the insurance company’s spokesman Dennis Haysbert watching a basketball game with his friends before a commercial of Haysbert advertising Allstate appears on the screen. In the original ad, Haysbert’s friends implore him to change the channel, which he does, only to find another Allstate ad starring himself.
In the video Trump tweeted, Obama’s head is obviously superimposed over Haysbert’s, and instead of an Allstate commercial, a fake Biden ad appears on the TV when the basketball game goes to commercial.
“The kids used to come up and reach in the pool and rub my leg down so it was straight and then watch the hair come back up again,” Biden says in the fake ad. “I learned about kids jumping on my lap, and I loved kids jumping on my lap.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 20, 2020
That last bit is a parody of Biden remarks he made in a speech about when he was a lifeguard in Delaware.
The ad is fake but it uses a real quote by the former vice president from June 2017 in which he was describing his time as a lifeguard at a Delaware pool when he was younger. The Biden comments were not nefarious and were not the main subject of the speech he was giving, but have been seized on by his opponents previously to illustrate the candidate’s gaffe-prone nature.
Obama’s endorsement of Biden may have meant something to Democrats, but giving his support to Biden after he had virtually wrapped up the nomination was meaningless outside of party circles. But it’s perfectly in keeping with Obama’s presidency; timid, reactive, and afraid of being unpopular.
A Biden endorsement from the former president near the beginning of the primary process would have, for all intents and purposes, ended the race right there. The Bernie Bros would have been livid, of course, but the Sanders people would have been in an even weaker position than they are now. In a field of 25 Democrats, an Obama endorsement of Biden at the beginning would have united the party months earlier.
The Democratic Party suffered historic losses throughout Obama’s presidency. Nearly 4 years later, they’re still picking up the pieces. That he waited so long to endorse his former running mate says something about his real feelings about Biden.