MANCHESTER, N.H. — Campaigning for president in the small states with early primaries is supposed to be retail politicking, but gaffe-prone 2020 front-runner Joe Biden’s handlers are leaving nothing to chance, deploying a teleprompter to help him stay on message.
Appearing in here in Manchester, N.H., before a crowd of 400, Biden’s people rolled out a teleprompter despite the relative intimacy of the gathering.
But it turns out, he used the teleprompter more as a stump speech outline rather than a script. At some points, the prompter operator struggled to find which point he was supposed to hit next while Biden threw in an anecdote or mused about Trump’s poor relationships with foreign leaders.
Another fail-safe anti-gaffe strategy: Speak less.
Several times, Biden stopped himself from talking too long about a particular topic. “I could go on, but I won’t,” he said in at a pizza shop Hampton, N.H., Monday while talking about the potential of the U.S. “I’m sorry to go on,” he said at another point.
Nevertheless, throughout his first campaign trip through New Hampshire Monday and Tuesday, Biden made himself accessible to attendees at campaign events while successfully avoiding gaffes and missteps. Biden spoke at the Hampton event without notes and answered a half-dozen questions from the audience.