The Slatest

What Is Joe Biden Hiding About What He’s Hiding From the New York Times?

Joe Biden points toward the camera.
Joe Biden speaks during a campaign kickoff rally in Philadelphia in May.
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

On Wednesday, the New York Times published the culmination of a three-month-long project in which it asked 21 Democratic primary candidates the same 18 questions. According to the Times’ own description of the project, every single candidate invited to participate in the Q&A sessions did so, except for one: former Vice President and current Democratic primary front-runner Joe Biden.

This was not, however, for lack of trying:

The Times appears to have been more than accommodating of any candidates’ scheduling difficulties, also noting in the description of the project that teams traveled to Iowa, Texas, and D.C. to meet the few who were unable to stop by its office in New York. Yet, for some reason, Biden still simply didn’t have the time.

Perhaps Biden really is that busy. After all, though the Times conducted the interviews from March until early June, Biden didn’t officially announce his candidacy until late April. It would make sense that such a (comparatively) late announcement might encourage a candidate to hit the trail extra hard to make up for lost time. That candidate, however, is not Joe Biden.

Over the past month, outlets such as the Washington Post, the New York Times, CNN, Vox, and Vanity Fair, to name just a few, have all written stories about Biden’s remarkably sparse schedule. According to the Post, in Biden’s first month, he held a mere 11 public events, whereas Elizabeth Warren held 27 and Beto O’Rourke held “nearly four times” Biden’s number in that same time period.

So what is Biden doing if he’s not running around the country campaigning at a pace so frenetic that he can’t find a single pocket of time over the course of months for the New York Times? Speaking to wealthy donors about the simpler times when he could still be friendly with avowed racists, for one. But even that only takes up so much time.

Presumably, Biden’s campaign should be able to at least answer the question of what exactly it is Biden’s doing that keeps him so busy. Over the past 24 hours, I’ve repeatedly reached out to multiple campaign spokespeople to ask exactly why Biden was the only candidate unable to sit down with the New York Times. At the time of publication, we have yet to receive a response.

We will update this post if and when we hear back, but in the meantime, if you know how Joe Biden’s been filling his time, please do let us know.