Grandpa Biden's Disastrous Virtual Town Hall
Former vice president’s foray into virtual campaigning turned out to be a disaster as his first virtual town hall was plagued by “technical” difficulties. The Biden campaign was scheduled to hold a regular rally in Illinois on Friday. However, with fears over having mass gatherings and restrictions that are being put into place because of the coronavirus, they decided that it was better to hold a virtual town hall instead.
They could have just relied on the proven method of broadcasting online using Facebook Live, but they made things more complicated. They wanted participants to dial in through Zoom, a video conferencing app, so their own video can then be broadcasted into the video too. That was a bit more complicated than running a simple and straightforward live streaming video, but it was not technically hard to figure out.
Unfortunately for the campaign, things went wrong right away. The virtual town hall started three hours late. One journalist who joined the online town hall reported that she was greeted by a local politician adjusting her camera, and then there was a crying baby. Things didn’t get better even when the former Vice President finally appeared on the screen. When he started talking, there was no audio, so they had to restart it. When the candidate started talking again, the audio was too noisy it was almost impossible to understand. In the end, they had to replace the microphone with a smartphone.
After the largely unintelligible speech concluded, the audience was allowed to ask questions. The first caller complained that they did not understand the speech before being cut off. The former vice president also appeared to be puzzled with modern technology that was being used.
Throughout the live video, he could be heard asking his staff if he was live or if he was on camera. At some point during the video, Biden started moving off-screen, so his staff was forced to turn off the camera. There was a moment that only the back of his head could be seen. His campaign staff soon decided that they had made their candidate look bad enough for one event, and they soon ended the campaign.
But, the technical difficulties were not the worst part of the event—it was Biden’s performance that was deeply troubling. Aside from wandering away from the camera, and seemingly forgetting that he had to stay in one place for the participants to see him, there was also an instance when he seems to forget what year it was. No matter how they look at it, the event was a complete disaster.