But a normal, rollicking working mate rollout this was not.
There was no mass crowd to salute inside, no “thank you, Florida!” — or Pennsylvania, or Michigan, or whichever swing state marketing campaign advisers would have most well-liked on Day 1.
There was no overstuffed picture line the place Mr. Biden may level his finger-guns and pose, no cluster of locals to high-five the brand new ticket.
“I wish we were able to talk to the folks outside,” Mr. Biden mentioned at the beginning of his deal with, alluding to supporters who had come to greet the 2 exterior the gymnasium. “But we’re keeping our social distancing and playing by the rules.”
Still, for all the eccentricities endemic to a mid-virus presidential marketing campaign, Wednesday’s occasion amounted to a most peculiar consequence on this political age: a scene that appeared totally believable, even predictable, a 12 months in the past — the traditional knowledge validated, if solely this as soon as.
Since the Democratic major season started in earnest in early 2019, many citizens had anointed themselves as real-time pundits, guessing at which mixture of candidates stood the very best likelihood in opposition to Mr. Trump. Even after a searing debate trade over busing, musings a few would-be Biden-Harris unity ticket ricocheted by way of union halls and college auditoriums throughout Iowa and New Hampshire. (In the tip, Ms. Harris’s marketing campaign collapsed earlier than these states even weighed in formally.)
For a self-described “gut politician” like Mr. Biden — recognized to shake arms and shoulders and the edges of faces, if an attendee seems amenable — the evaporation of the standard marketing campaign path has been jarring. Ms. Harris, who has likewise proven a capability for in-the-room connection, will most likely have few alternatives to lean on this ability set this 12 months.
But on steadiness, Democrats would possibly depend themselves grateful for these political circumstances. Both candidates have been recognized to stumble in unrehearsed settings, with Ms. Harris specifically usually demonstrating a large hole between scripted performances and on-the-fly questioning.