Democrats are set to converge on Milwaukee this month for their nominating convention, but it looks like the anticipated star of the show won’t even be present.
Fox News reported on Wednesday that presumptive presidential nominee Joe Biden will stay home and deliver his acceptance speech from home in Delaware.
Tom Perez: “We followed the science”
According to Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez, Biden’s decision to remain home was made out of convern over the coronavirus.
“From the very beginning of this pandemic, we put the health and safety of the American people first,” Fox News quoted Perez as saying.
“We followed the science, listened to doctors and public health experts, and we continued making adjustments to our plans in order to protect lives,” the chairman continued. “That’s the kind of steady and responsible leadership America deserves. And that’s the leadership Joe Biden will bring to the White House.”
“The right thing to do”
Biden himself was quoted as telling attendees at a virtual fundraiser that Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett (D) “has put in place a 225 person limit on people assembling in any one place.”
“I think it’s the right thing to do,” Biden added. “And I want to set an example as to how we should respond individually to this crisis. We made it clear we listen to the public health officials. And the experts who know what they’re talking about. Science matters.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) also expressed her approval of the former vice president’s move, saying, “I think it’s an indication of the seriousness with which he judges that the situation.
“This pandemic is dangerous and the increase in numbers just demands that we keep our distances,” she continued. “I commend him for doing that.”
Potential power struggle
However, despite the insistence from high ranking Democrats that Biden is remaining at home because of worries over COVID-19, there may be other reasons behind his planned absence, including a possible clash with the radical progressive wing of the party.
As Fox News reported late last month, a group of several hundred delegates loyal to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) threatened to withhold support for the Democratic Party platform unless it includes an endorsement of a Medicare-for-All plan, something Biden himself opposes.
The Milwaukee convention promises to contain a whole host of potential landmines for a candidate who always seems a moment away from his next embarrassing gaffe, so it probably shouldn’t come as a surprise that he has decided to remain several hundred miles away.