‘Slow and steady’ strategy pays off for Biden

‘Slow and steady’ strategy pays off for Biden

Former Vice President Joe Biden has led in every national poll, employing a measured pace that has played to his strengths while concealing his potential flaws. | Spencer Platt/Getty Images 2020 elections ‘Slow and steady’ strategy pays off for Biden As Democratic rivals scramble to build their early-state profiles, the former veep is taking a different, more deliberate approach. By NATASHA KORECKI and MARC CAPUTO 05/15/2019 05:04 AM EDT Share on Facebook Share on Twitter In Joe Biden’s first visit to South Carolina as a presidential candidate, the former vice president kept it light: he spoke at a public rally and a private fundraiser on a Saturday, attended a church service on a Sunday, and then was gone. There was no Elizabeth Warren-style town hall with questions from the audience, no swing through multiple media markets like Cory Booker or Kamala Harris, no frenzied schedule of events like Beto O’Rourke.Story Continued Below There was no need. According to the most recent poll in the state, Biden already has a commanding lead there. As his opponents in a sprawling primary field scramble to build their early state profiles, the Biden campaign is taking a different, more deliberate approach. The number of events per day are limited. The size of the venues are modest. Careful attention has been paid to his exposure to the press, with a slow ramp up of his availability to the media over time. So far, it’s paying off. COUNTDOWN TO 2020 The race for 2020 starts now. Stay in the know. Follow our presidential election coverage. Email Sign Up By signing up you agree to receive email newsletters or alerts from POLITICO. You can unsubscribe at any time. Biden has led in every national poll taken since he announced his candidacy. He’s also established wide early-state leads in New Hampshire and South Carolina, while lapping up endorsements. And he’s done it with a measured, Rose Garden-style strategy that has played to his strengths while concealing his potential flaws. “For Biden, direction is more important than speed. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. And managing expectations will be the key,” said Antjuan Seawright, a Democratic strategist who worked for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 and 2008 campaigns in South Carolina. “There are some in the party who think he’s too old, or that he has too many miles on his political engine, or that it’s a woman’s time. But in his case, a slow and steady pace will win the race.” By dictating his own tempo and setting his own terms of engagement, Biden has only underscored his stature as a party eminence — and subtly reinforced his status as the field’s front-runner. The signs of it permeate his campaign. His team provides White House-style “daily guidance” to the media. His private fundraisers are covered in pool reports detailing every bit of news from behind closed doors. He largely ignores his 21 rivals for the nomination as if he were already running a general election campaign against Donald Trump. Trump, in return, has directed his recent attacks at Biden, enhancing Biden’s visibility in the opening weeks of his bid and also intimating that the former vice president is a rival he views as a threat. Biden’s careful roll-out, marked initially by limited interactions with the press, has served another function: it minim
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