Thanks to Thomas Aloysius Dorgan and the Joe Biden Campaign "malarkey" is still around to see another day in political discourse.
But one thing malarkey doesn’t do: help qualm the nerves of anxious Biden fundraisers and Democratic political activists. They may well be scratching their heads and asking —just what is Joe Biden, and now his campaign, thinking?
We’re speaking, of course, of the Biden Campaign’s newest creative misstep: The No Malarkey Bus Tour!
It's the latest faux pas, one underscoring how out of touch Biden and those around him are with the , the campaign cycle, and unique nature of running a digital marketing-based campaign —where mistakes are magnified 100-fold.
It’s one thing for affable candidate Biden, who deserves respect for his many years of public service, to make "on the stump gaffes."
It’s another when senior campaign officials fail to catch obvious errors-in-waiting. And in doing so, this gets everyone thinking, saying and querying: "What the heck is going on over there?"
The Oxford Dictionary defines malarkey as, "meaningless talk, nonsense."
That’s not (the only) issue. It’s the choice of a word that is dated and in today’s very faddish political environment this reinforces the perception that Biden just isn’t living in the 21st century.
As a matter of fact, malarkey traces its roots to a 20th century cartoonist, Thomas Aloysius Dorgan ("TAD" for short), who in 1924 popularized the word. In his sentence he spelled it differently with its nonsense meaning when he used it in the following way, "Malachy — You said it — I wouldn't trust a lawyer no further than I could throw a case of Scotch')."
This use of the word that only baby boomers know will not change his popularity among this solid demographic (the lawyers.) But it also won’t help Biden to move the "poll needle" among Gen Z, X or for that matter millennials. It does little to expand his base, something that Democratic consultants are quick to point out when it comes to Donald Trump.
The dirty little secret — Trump’s base is solid. Biden and the Democrats? Not so much.
In a column penned in January of this year,"Biden's Brand Has Issues as 2020 Approaches," four issues were cited with the Biden brand.
They included his: age, health, experience, and political philosophy.
Recently these concerns have not been allayed. His age is still highlighted by his limited schedule; his health — in connection with the recovery time from rumored plastic surgery; his experience, regarding the Clarence Thomas hearings and its recent reference in a Justice Thomas Biopic, "Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words."
And finally, his gaffes which are only supported by this No Malarkey bus campaign blooper.
It may be time for Sen. Biden to think long and hard on whether he wants to pursue this path to be the 2020 Democratic nominee. These issues along with his son Hunter’s embarrassing consulting work for foreign governments just may be too much for the venerable candidate to handle.
It all depends on whether Biden and his team understand that it's always easier when you have marketing and branding in mind.
Dr. John Tantillo is a marketing and branding expert, known as The Marketing Doctor. JT utilizes his doctoral skills in applied research psychology to analyze the issues and personalities of the day utilizing his marketing and branding lens. This provides his readers with additional insight needed to understand the “new normal” in politics, news, and culture. Dr. Tantillo is the OpEd writer for Political Vanguard. He is the author of "People Buy Brands, Not Companies,” and the Udemy course "Go Brand Yourself!" You can follow him on Twitter @marketingdoctor and at Facebook.com/dr.johntantillo. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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