Biden's sloppy launch may cost him

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenThe Hill's Morning Report - White House, Congress: Urgency of now around budget The Memo: Trump faces steep climb to reelection Trump: Foreign countries want Biden in office so they can continue 'ripping off' the US MORE officially launched his presidential campaign on Thursday. He couldn't have done it in a more awkward, authentically challenged way — via a video message. 

The 76-year-old front-runner-for-now is apparently following the dubious strategy of 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe Memo: Trump faces steep climb to reelection What the Mueller report tells us about Putin, Russia and Trump's election Steve Bullock puts Citizens United decision at center of presidential push MORE. Clinton also launched in a perfectly homogenized, almost Hollywood-like production of her campaign four years ago.

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The problem is, a video doesn't connect or inspire voters the way a live announcement in front of a raucous crowd could. Now Clinton and Biden share one very big thing in common: a campaign launch lacking energy.

There's also reported squabbling among Biden's advisers leading up to the big day. It reportedly got so bad that one former Biden aide told Time recently that he's "never seen anything so half-assed." Tell us how you really feel ...

“They’re improvising and doing last-minute planning. The guy has been running for President since 1987 and can’t figure the basics out, like where to stand on his first day? This should make everyone very nervous," the former aide added. 

Then there's the matter of Biden's schedule. Instead of spring-boarding off all the media coverage he'll undoubtedly command on Thursday, Biden will again mimic Clinton in taking a long weekend break before making his first campaign stop on Monday in Pittsburgh.

With 20 other Democrats running for the nomination — and thereby slicing up the press coverage pie multiple ways — waiting four days before appearing on the stump is not taking advantage of his position as the candidate with the best name recognition.

Then there's the issue of fundraising. This headline in Tuesday's New York Times is an ominous one: "Joe Biden Plans to Enter the 2020 Race on Thursday. He’s Starting With $0." 

The story goes on to underscore just how far behind Biden is, with no tangible small-donor base.

"It is an urgent task, especially for a politician not previously known as a prolific fund-raiser," the Times story reads. 

Meanwhile, Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Memo: Trump faces steep climb to reelection California Democrats face crisis of credibility after lawsuits Fox's Brit Hume fires back at Trump's criticism of the channel MORE (I-Vt.) has raised $26.6 million, $10 million of which remain from his last presidential bid and Senate campaign.

"Mr. Biden begins at $0, and it would take his raising more than $100,000 every day until Christmas just to match what Mr. Sanders had banked at the start of April," the Times notes.

Biden has run for president several times before. Each time, he didn't come remotely close to earning the nomination. Polls show — for now, anyway — that he is best positioned to beat President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report - White House, Congress: Urgency of now around budget GOP presses Trump to make a deal on spending Democrats wary of handing Trump a win on infrastructure MORE, making him the safe choice. But safe choices don't tend to do well in these situations — think John KerryJohn Forbes KerryDem Sen. Markey faces potential primary challenge in Massachusetts Judd Gregg: The dangers of the Bolton Doctrine Rubio asks Barr to investigate Kerry over Iran meetings MORE, John McCainJohn Sidney McCainPelosi receives John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award Romney: Trump 'has distanced himself from some of the best qualities of the human character' MSNBC host: Barr 'the most dangerous person' who works for Trump MORE, Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyOvernight Health Care — Presented by PCMA — McConnell, Kaine offer bill to raise tobacco buying age to 21 | Measles outbreak spreads to 24 states | Pro-ObamaCare group launches ad blitz to protect Dems Dem senator: Many Republicans 'privately expressed concerns' about Mueller findings Romney expresses opposition to Alabama abortion ban MORE or Jeb Bush. 

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Then there's the matter of what the Democratic Party, and arguably the media, increasingly doesn't want: old, white, establishment. The establishment part is especially important, because one could argue the past two presidents elected were anything but establishment, in Trump and former President Obama. Both men were seen as outsiders. Both were sent to change the status quo of Washington.  

Unfortunately for Biden, he's the most prominent example of a living, breathing establishment politician. 

And then there's what one would have believed was Biden's best asset — the kind who can overcome fundraising deficits or stumbling out of the gate: his former boss. Obama left office with an eye-popping 59 percent approval rating. Given how polarized the country has been for the past decade, any president approaching 6-in-10 approval is something any candidate would love to have as their chief endorser.

But curiously, Obama will not endorse his vice president out of the gate, sources told The New York Times in a February report. Remember how the headlines used to describe the relationship between Obama and Biden?

Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaFeehery: A whole new season of 'Game of Thrones' Mercury rollback is a direct threat to our children's health Lightfoot takes office as Chicago's first black woman mayor MORE And Joe Biden's Unforgettable Bromance” — NBC News

“Barack Obama and Joe Biden Visit a Bakery Together Proving the Bromance Is Alive and Well” — Entertainment Tonight

“Barack Obama and Joe Biden: The Ultimate Friendship” — Vanity Fair 

Add it all up, and you have Biden launching a presidential campaign through a pre-packaged video, infighting in the campaign before it has even launched, no events planned for days after launching, a huge lag in fundraising, and the president he worked for won't endorse him when he needs it most. 

The old saying goes: It’s not how you start that’s important, but how you finish.

Biden better finish strong, because the start couldn't be going much worse. 

Joe Concha is a media reporter for The Hill and co-host of "WOR Tonight with Joe Concha and Lis Wiehl" weeknights on 710-WOR in New York. Follow him on Twitter @JoeConchaTV.