Joe Biden
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Former VP and Democratic candidate for President Joe Biden
Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden has launched a podcast, attempting to reassure voters by channeling FDR's WW2-era Fireside Chats but failing to distract from sexual assault allegations and concerns about his mental state.

The show, called Here's the Deal, debuted on Monday with a sit-down with Obama administration "Ebola czar" and venture capitalist Ron Klain, whom Biden (jokingly?) called an "old friend of the show." Perhaps tellingly for the candidate, who has staunchly refused to participate in a final primary debate with Democratic Socialist challenger Bernie Sanders, the pre-recorded, heavily-edited podcast clocked in at under 22 minutes.

Biden's campaign laid it on thick in their publicity materials, promising that the show "provides a voice of clarity during uncertain times." The podcast itself was unremarkable - reassuring platitudes ("I have overwhelming faith in the American people") bookended promises of competent crisis management. There were gentle criticisms of the Trump administration's response to the epidemic, and the package was marred by barely any of the stumbles that have come to characterize Biden's public appearances. But the reactions on social media were intense.

The candidate's detractors were quick to bring the conversation back to disturbing allegations from former Senate staffer Tara Reade, who accused Biden of sexually assaulting her back when he was a senator and recently took her story public. Biden's campaign has denied the allegations.


Others skewered the candidate's vision - or lack thereof. "First episode of Joe Biden's Here's the Deal should be called 'Nothing Will Fundamentally Change,'" one user snarked...


...while others brought up his disintegrating mental state, taking special mirth in the idea of "a voice of clarity."


Stunned Sanders supporters insisted the centrist had stolen their candidate's idea, right down to the name of the show - Sanders has a podcast called "Hear the Bern."


Plenty of Biden fans welcomed the news, however, trumpeting the unremarkable debut as a major win for the candidate.


Certainly the audio format presented an improvement over the previous week's TV interviews streamed live from the candidate's home, in which he stumbled, slurred, and seemed to forget what he was talking about. Biden disappeared for a week before resurfacing in his home studio and doing that series of short, but increasingly weird interviews with reporters who nevertheless handled him with kid gloves.


Progressive Democrats have warned for months that nominating Biden will essentially hand reelection to President Donald Trump on a silver platter, but a series of primary victories amid concerns over voter suppression and election-rigging have created an improbable "JoeMentum" behind the former vice president.

Accompanied by a media narrative painting him as the only answer to Trump — a return to normalcy, as it were — the candidate seems a sure pick for the nomination.