Reaction, impact of Joe Biden no longer coming to Milwaukee for DNC

NOW: Reaction, impact of Joe Biden no longer coming to Milwaukee for DNC

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MADISON, Wis. (CBS 58) – Political conventions are meant to serve as coming out parties but the party that was to be the DNC in Milwaukee is now limited to television, computer and phone screens, leaving questions over how much of an impact it can have on the campaign with Election Day about three months away.

“My reaction was, I think like everyone else’s, which is, this just kind of sucks,” Alex Lasry, the Bucks Senior VP and DNC Host Committee member told CBS 58 in an interview.

Lasry was ultimately disappointed in the missed opportunity for the City of Milwaukee, which had expected some 50,000 visitors and an estimated economic boost of about $200 million. But he believes public health and safety led to the right, but difficult decisions to scale down the DNC.

However, Lasry doesn’t believe there will be large political implications with the virtual version of the convention, pointing to how Joe Biden and President Donald Trump have handled the pandemic.

“You know I think you’ve seen steady consistent leadership [with Biden] whereas, you know on the Republican side it’s been a little bit more chaotic.”

Republicans, however, criticized Biden’s lack of public appearances as a sign of weakness.

“I’m not surprised at all I mean Joe Biden doesn’t want to leave his basement,” Donald Trump Jr. told CBS 58. “You would think that after 50 years, 50 years as an elected Washington DC swamp creature, you think he’d be able to get through a speech.”

But political experts say the Biden campaign is not losing much by not having a grandiose convention.

“Clearly, what Biden is doing is an old political maxim,” UWM Professor Mordecai Lee said. “And the maxim is, if you’re ahead and if your opponent is in trouble, keep your head down. And that is exactly what he is doing.”

Part of the significance of Milwaukee being chosen as the DNC host goes back to 2016 when then-candidate Hillary Clinton lost Wisconsin after not visiting the state after the primary. Currently, Biden holds a lead over the president in the most recent Marquette University Law School Poll as well as leads and competitive polling in other battleground states.

For that reason, placing health as a priority and keeping other risks low makes sense for the campaign. Lee also says that an orchestrated, scripted convention doesn’t offer many surprises as it did in the past.

“To a certain extent his decision not to come is a reflection of political realities of communication,” Lee said.

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