Baldwin Skips Biden Visit Amid Campaign Struggles

Sen. Tammy Baldwin has decided to sit out President Joe Biden’s visit to her hometown of Madison on Friday, which can only be seen as a calculated move to dodge the disastrous optics associated with Biden’s slipping campaign. Biden’s visit comes hot on the heels of a debate performance that left Democrats more than a little squeamish about his run for a second term.

Baldwin, who is vying for her third term in the Senate from the pivotal state of Wisconsin, seems to have had enough of playing the supporting act to Biden’s lackluster presidential orchestra. She hasn’t been by his side since a January event boasting about the White House’s infrastructure law, and in the interim period, Biden’s made three more visits to Wisconsin without her.

The Thursday debate did Biden no favors, either. He appeared off his game, struggling to maintain a coherent train of thought. This has led to increased scrutiny on vulnerable Democrats who are now keen to avoid the political black hole that is the Biden campaign. In a perfectly orchestrated move, Baldwin will be conveniently absent from Biden’s latest Madison trip, choosing instead to attend Fourth of July parades far from the president’s shadow.

Her campaign has spun this as part of a long-planned “Fired Up for Tammy” tour, set to take her five hours north of Madison. Republicans, however, are seizing the opportunity to point out the obvious: Baldwin considers Biden a liability, a detachable anchor she can’t afford to drag along if she wants another term in the Senate.

The cherry on the sundae? Brian Schimming of the Wisconsin GOP amusingly dubbed Baldwin’s parade route an “I Don’t Want to Get Fired with Joe” tour. Baldwin’s campaign initially dodged questions about her support for Biden but later claimed she still backs him. Yet actions speak louder than words, and her calculated distance screams a louder message.

Republicans are relishing the opportunity to tie Baldwin to Biden’s dwindling approval ratings. Even though Baldwin leads her GOP challenger, Eric Hovde, by an average of 8 points, Biden is trailing or tied with Trump in recent Wisconsin polls. Democrats, seemingly more comfortable practicing social distancing from their own president, hope their candidates can outshine the president’s dimming star.

Biden’s sinking ship has Democratic strategists in a frenzy, worried about a potential Republican takeover of Congress come November. They can afford to lose exactly one seat and still maintain control of the Senate, making every move and every absence from Biden’s side a high-stakes gamble.

In the moments after the debate fiasco, Biden’s campaign tried to soothe the fretting masses with a surge in fundraising numbers. His upcoming stops in Madison and Philadelphia represent a desperate attempt to regain some semblance of stability. Meanwhile, Trump recently used his trip to Wisconsin to smooth over some alleged slights against Milwaukee, showing that the political game is still very much about appearances and strategic distancing.

Written by Staff Reports

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