Home Should Joe Biden do the Super Bowl interview? Assessing the benefits, risks
Football, Politics

Should Joe Biden do the Super Bowl interview? Assessing the benefits, risks

Chris Graham
white house
(© Maksym Yemelyanov – stock.adobe.com)

President Biden has a golden opportunity to balance the narrative that he’s too old, but for the second straight year, Biden has turned down the standing invite to do a recorded interview to air during the Super Bowl pregame.

It made some sense last year, when Fox had the Super Bowl, but this year, the game is being broadcast by CBS, where the news division is populated by sane people who won’t go full-out Marjorie Taylor Greene asking questions about space lasers.

The Super Bowl is the one TV show per year that everybody watches – we’re talking 100 million-plus people watching once the game starts.

The pregame coverage that starts at 12:30 p.m. ET ebbs and flows in terms of ratings, but the recent trend with the presidential interviews suggests a viewer number between 20 million and 25 million would be likely this weekend.

So, a chance to talk to 20 million-plus, for free, and then, hey, it’s not like there isn’t a lot for Biden to talk about – the southern border deal that Donald Trump blew up, Ukraine aid, his recent criticism of Israel, and then that awful partisan special counsel report claiming he’s a doddering old fool.

Seriously, he doesn’t want a few minutes of airtime to show the country, the world, that he’s on top of what’s going on in the world, and to make the case that Trump is a clear and present danger?

We talked with Carrie Cousins, an adjunct marketing professor at Virginia Tech and the director of digital marketing at the Roanoke-based LeadPoint Digital, to get one professional’s opinion.

Cousins did not equivocate: Biden and his team are correct to turn down the invite.

“From a PR standpoint, I would tell him not to do it,” Cousins said. “It’s too easy to get caught in a blender or a hot mic that you didn’t know was hot. When it’s more innocuous and a less charged environment, I think it would be great, and I would probably recommend it. But right now, I’d stay away from it. It would be really hard to get enough positive value from it to offset the potential risk from a PR standpoint.”

You could look at what she’s saying there and think, the biggest risk to Biden is a hot-mic moment that catches him in a blunder that Republicans turn into more political fodder.

But it’s not just that. In this day and age, it doesn’t take much for one side or the other to turn what they want to turn into something big.

“Politics is just so fragmented in this country, like, you can’t win, right?” Cousins said. “That used to always be a feel-good-type thing. And I mean, for the last, what, nearly a decade now, we’ve been so torn politically in this country, like, it doesn’t matter which party it is, you’re not going to come out ahead from that event. So, I think they’re just trying to save face a little bit.”

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].