Joe Biden gave another big speech on Tuesday, his third this month. It was pre-billed as him stepping up his attacks on Donald Trump, and he did that (“Donald Trump failed us. Month after month, as many of us urged him to step up and do his job, he failed us”), both in prepared remarks and in response to press questions.
But he also did something else, something that wasn’t “news” but was more compelling than a few canned jibes. Remember how Trump used to talk about how he’d be “so presidential that you people would be so bored”? Well, that’s never been true. But Biden is looking so presidential—no, really—that you’ll be thrilled.
This man has changed: History has placed him in the most grim and daunting of occasions, and he is rising to it. He carries himself like a leader and public servant. He talks the way a president is supposed to talk. In laying out five steps he said we should take to fight the coronavirus, which any candidate would do, he conveyed empathy and a proper sense of what being president is about: “Your health will be my responsibility if I’m your president. And I will not abandon you.”