Mar 25, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Joe Biden launches newsletter and podcast amid coronavirus outbreak

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden launched a virtual newsletter and announced a new podcast on Wednesday to remain in touch with supporters amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Why it matters: Biden's move illustrates that if you can’t get the media to pay attention to you, instead be the media, per Axios' Sara Fischer. Sen. Bernie Sanders has deployed a similar strategy with his own campaign video series.

The big picture: Biden shifted to remote campaigning to cooperate with social distancing mandates, canceling rallies and allowing his staff to telework. He wrote in Wednesday's emailed newsletter that he hopes to "send it out regularly" and that "it can help us stay connected."

  • The email notified subscribers of the former VP's upcoming events and described his podcast, which is intended to "be a program to share some more of [his] ideas and plans and to bring on some experts and people [he's] worked with in the White House."

Biden has also begun hosting virtual press briefings. He spoke at a virtual town hall Wednesday morning and noted that Democrats have "had enough debates" and the party "should get on with this."

The state of play: Biden is the presumed Democratic nominee since racking up delegates in state primary contests. But lone 2020 competitor Sanders has indicated he doesn't plan on dropping out anytime soon, saying Tuesday that he plans to partake in the April Democratic primary debate.

Go deeper

Biden: "I think we've had enough debates"

Former Vice President Joe Biden at the Democratic primary debate in March. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden said during a virtual press briefing on Wednesday that he believes the Democratic Party has "had enough debates" and "should get on with this."

Why it matters: Bernie Sanders' campaign said yesterday that he plans to attend an April debate — signaling he has no plans of dropping out. Biden's delegate lead is essentially insurmountable, per FiveThirtyEight, and his comments highlight his lack of interest in continuing the primary race with Sanders as the coronavirus outbreak rages.

What to watch in tonight's debate: A new Joe Biden

Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden at the Democratic debate at Gaillard Center, Charleston, South Carolina, Feb. 25. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Viewers tuning in to tonight’s Democratic debate will meet a new Joe Biden — one who’s adopted two new progressive policies from Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders and who’s eager to pull their supporters away from the movement they’ve built into his own coalition.

Why it matters: This could very well be the last primary debate of the 2020 cycle, and Biden knows he has to start the work of winning over Sanders’ supporters before Sanders drops out.

2020 candidates lean on virtual town halls as coronavirus spreads

Lally Doerrer (left) watches Joe Biden's virtual town hall yesterday, in her Chicago living room with neighbors Douglas and Marlene Groll. Photo: Charles Rex Arbogast/AP

Former Vice President Joe Biden's virtual town hall in Illinois on Friday marks a new normal for campaigning, AP reports.

What's happening: With the Prairie State primary coming up Tuesday, Biden held a town hall from 800+ miles away in Delaware. Sen. Bernie Sanders has been holding daily press briefings from his home state, and said this is hurting him.