DNC Night 4: Joe Biden is Old…
…and it’s everything we need right now
A DNC recap seems pointless tonight. Now that the four-day Joe-athon is done, who really cares whether or not Julia Louis-Dreyfus was funny (I seem to be in the minority, though I’m usually a loyal devotee) or that Hunter Biden seemed like President Snow addressing the 2020 class of tributes? There is only one takeaway from the final night of the DNC: Joe Biden is old…and it’s everything we need right now.
Joe Biden’s speech managed to pull off the very feat I never expected we could pull off: to re-frame Joe Biden’s age as his best asset. Tonight, “old” meant wise. It meant deep. It meant solid, steady, comforting, strong. It meant guardian, steward, caretaker. There was simply nothing “sleepy” about it. In fact, judging Joe’s energy suddenly seemed silly and completely beside the point. In an America exhausted by our own childishness, being led by a tweeting brat, energy is for the young — temper tantrums and all. Wisdom and soul are for the old. And Joe owned it. Tonight, old meant trusted elder. It meant leader.
If you didn’t see it, watch it. After what seemed like a slightly shaky start, something beautiful happened: Biden settled into what makes him Biden. He’s your uncle, your father, your grandfather. He was not only presidential, recalling FDR and JFK all at once — complete with the policy proposals to round out his call for a modern New Deal — he was loving and kind and strong. He was even refreshingly angry, furious, like a dad shouting, “No one’s gonna hurt my little girl.” You wanted him to hug you. He basically did.
This year has been so painful for all of us, so truly devastating, and tonight we needed to know that there is finally an adult in the room. Enter Joe. His whole life has prepared him for this moment. And for just a second, we could all breathe. We weren’t on our own. We could share the burden with someone. And we knew that it was going to be okay.
Whether or not it works and can carry him into the White House is up to us. We’re the ones with all the energy. Let’s use it. Don’t worry about Joe. Joe is ready.