Biden's sloppy launch may cost him

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenJames Carville: Biden represents 'stability' not 'generational change' Trump's misspelling of Biden's name trends on Twitter Trump says 'I have confidence' after past North Korea missile tests 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 Clinton2020 Democrats target federal ban on abortion funding Hillary Clinton slams Trump for spreading 'sexist trash' about Pelosi Gillibrand seizes on abortion debate to jump-start campaign 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 SandersJames Carville: Biden represents 'stability' not 'generational change' Ocasio-Cortez, progressives trash 'antisemitic' Politico illustration of Bernie Sanders 2020 Democrats target federal ban on abortion funding 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 TrumpPapadopoulos on AG's new powers: 'Trump is now on the offense' Pelosi uses Trump to her advantage Mike Pence delivers West Point commencement address MORE, making him the safe choice. But safe choices don't tend to do well in these situations — think John KerryJohn Forbes KerryPompeo has never directly spoken to Iranian counterpart: report Trump's rejection of the Arms Trade Treaty Is based on reality Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie becomes first African to deliver Yale graduation speech MORE, John McCainJohn Sidney McCainClimate change is a GOP issue, too It's Joe Biden's 2020 presidential nomination to lose Meghan McCain on Pelosi-Trump feud: 'Put this crap aside' and 'work together for America' MORE, Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyClimate change is a GOP issue, too On The Money: Senate passes disaster aid bill after deal with Trump | Trump to offer B aid package for farmers | House votes to boost retirement savings | Study says new tariffs to double costs for consumers Senate passes disaster aid bill after deal with Trump 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 ObamaIt's Joe Biden's 2020 presidential nomination to lose Assange hit with 17 new charges, including Espionage Act violations Progressive commentator says Obama was delusional thinking he could work with Republicans 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.