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Biden campaign DOA?: Presidential hopeful criticized for not campaigning enough

Biden campaign DOA?: Presidential hopeful criticized for not campaigning enough
Former US vice president and current Democratic frontrunner for the 2020 presidential election Joe Biden is facing a flurry of criticism for his apparent inactivity, at least when it comes to actually campaigning.

His fundraising efforts have been reportedly going well and he has received multiple endorsements from key figures already, but this may prove to be a double-edged sword among grassroots Democrat campaigners.

But his reticence to hit the road and actually hold events around the country has many wondering what his strategy is, especially given that he'll be facing off against a highly-energetic Donald Trump, known for ostentatious rallies replete with quotes which dominate the news cycle for the following 12 hours.

Trump has also picked up on the lack of energy surrounding the Biden campaign (though ‘low-energy’ was a nickname reserved for former opponent Jeb Bush, so he may need to pick something else as a stick with which to rhetorically beat Biden).

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“We have thousands of people … look at the thousands and thousands of people we have,” Trump said at a Montoursville rally, drawing comparisons with one of Biden’s recent events. “They said [Biden] had 600 people ... I’d say 150.”

Even when compared to his own party rivals Biden failed to draw crowds that would beat out his fellow Democrats’ launch events (namely Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg in Iowa) and his appearances at what few events he has attended in key states have been somewhat lacklustre.

“We're seeing enormous enthusiasm for Joe Biden's candidacy across the country, beginning the very first day of the campaign when he got over 100,000 contributions — 65,000 of which were brand new to our lists — from all 50 states,” said Biden campaign spokesman TJ Ducklo as cited by Politico.

Kamala Harris reportedly drew a crowd of some 20,000 people to her launch event in Oakland, while Bernie Sanders managed a more modest 13,000 at his launch event in Brooklyn. Biden has yet to beat these figures at his events, sparking whispers that his presidential-push is already floundering.

Biden plans to return to the campaign trail at a town hall event in Houston Tuesday after taking Memorial Day weekend off. However, he is not yet scheduled to appear at key Democrat events like the California Democratic Party convention which begins Friday or the Iowa Democratic Party’s Hall of Fame celebration the following week.

For context, Kirsten Gillibrand made 11 public appearances in Iowa on Memorial Day weekend alone, matching the number of public events Biden has held in total since announcing he was running for president.

Proponents argue that, given his many years in politics as well as his eight years serving under Barack Obama, Biden already has the brand recognition that his competitors have to work so hard for and his team have opted for “a very pragmatic argument” that “revolves around electability” according to Brian Fallon, a former spokesman for Hillary Clinton.

However, Biden's team are maintaining a ‘work smarter, not harder’ approach telling the Washington Post that “With near universal name recognition and high favorability ratings among Democrats, the former vice president does not need to introduce himself to voters like nearly every other candidate.”

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