Show an ad over header. AMP

I am the FIRST

Biden: Back on the road, maybe

Joe Biden is considering a modified return to the campaign trail after Labor Day, with short, surgical travel to swing states in the closing two months of the race, people familiar with the discussions tell Axios.

Why it matters: As some polls suggest Biden's lead is narrowing, some Democrats worry that President Trump could gain a tactical advantage at crunch time if he's campaigning in person and Biden's only out there virtually.

  • Still, many Biden advisers remain convinced that there's a strategic benefit to drawing a sharp contrast with Trump when it comes to curbing travel and social distancing — as well as a public health benefit.

Driving the news: Biden hinted at his openness in an interview on MSNBC, saying "yes" when asked whether he'd consider visiting Kenosha, Wisconsin, the scene of violent protests after the police shooting of Jacob Blake.

  • “Yes I would consider it,” Biden said. “What I don’t want to do is become part of the problem. If I were president, I would be going.”
  • It was a shift in tone from an interview last week with ABC in which Biden seemed more circumspect and insisted that he could win in November by staying home.
  • “We're going to follow the science, what the scientists tell us,” Biden had said. When Trump travels, Biden said, “People die, people get together, they don't wear masks, they end up getting COVID, they end up dying."

Between the lines: Biden has been saying for months that he'd only travel if it’s medically safe, as he seeks to draw a contrast with Trump, who has addressed rallies during the pandemic and who has had live audiences for Republican National Convention events this week.

  • But Biden campaign officials have long said they would reevaluate their travel posture around Labor Day and let the virus dictate whether and where it’s safe to fly.
  • Biden likely will opt for some short trips — but not like Trump.
  • He also is likely to scrap any potential plans if doctors and scientists advise against them.

Be smart: There isn’t the same grassroots groundswell for Biden to travel to swing states as Trump finds in his own base. Many Democratic activists and lawmakers share Biden’s view that it’s simply too dangerous to gather large crowds with case positivity still so high.

  • “The whole Republican Party is being reckless with their rallies,” said Bill Jacobs, the Democratic Party chairman in Clinton County, Iowa. “Biden could visit, but you’d have to keep the crowd size very small.”
  • “The Biden-Harris campaign is not going to risk spreading COVID-19,” said Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) “The American public appreciates that, it is why he is winning.”

Why the startup world needs to ditch "unicorns" for "dragons"

When Aileen Lee originally coined the term "unicorn" in late 2013, she was describing the 39 "U.S.-based software companies started since 2003 and valued at over $1 billion by public or private market investors."

Flashback: It got redefined in early 2015 by yours truly and Erin Griffith, in a cover story for Fortune, as any privately-held startup valued at $1 billion or more. At the time, we counted 80 of them.

Keep reading... Show less

Scoop: Facebook's new moves to lower News Feed's political volume

Facebook plans to announce that it will de-emphasize political posts and current events content in the News Feed based on negative user feedback, Axios has learned. It also plans to expand tests to limit the amount of political content that people see in their News Feeds to more countries outside of the U.S.

Why it matters: The changes could reduce traffic to some news publishers, particularly companies that post a lot of political content.

Keep reading... Show less

Scoop: Amazon quietly getting into live audio business

Amazon is investing heavily in a new live audio feature that's similar to other live audio offerings like Clubhouse, Twitter Spaces and Spotify's new live audio platform, sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: As with Amazon's efforts in podcasting and music subscriptions, the company sees live audio as a way to bolster the types of content it can offer through its voice assistant, Alexa, and its smart speaker products.

Keep reading... Show less

Hurricane Ida exposes America's precarious energy infrastructure

The powerful hurricane that plunged New Orleans into darkness for what could be weeks is the latest sign that U.S. power systems are not ready for a warmer, more volatile world.

The big picture: “Our current infrastructure is not adequate when it comes to these kinds of weather extremes,” Joshua Rhodes, a University of Texas energy expert, tells Axios.

Keep reading... Show less

"We must go further": 70% of adults in European Union are fully vaccinated

About 70% of adults in the European Union are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, said Tuesday.

Why it matters: The milestone makes the E.U. one of the world's leaders in inoculations, after an initially lagging vaccine campaign, the New York Times notes.

Keep reading... Show less

What Elizabeth Holmes jurors will be asked ahead of fraud trial

Jury selection begins today in USA v. Elizabeth Holmes, with the actual jury trial to get underway on Sept. 8.

Why it matters: Theranos was the biggest fraud in Silicon Valley history, putting both hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of patients' health at risk.

Keep reading... Show less



Get Goodhumans in your inbox

Most Read

More Stories