News & Politics

Dark Brandon: He’s Running

Biden's reelection campaign has embraced the rowdy meme.

President Biden announced Tuesday that he will run for reelection. Kamala Harris will again be his running mate, but Politico reporter Eugene Daniels spotted another, less scrutable member of the campaign: The “Dark Brandon” meme.

It would take a team of French postmodernists to unpack this meme, but for the sake of brevity, it repurposes anti-Biden humor for what the late Blake Hounshell called “towel-snapping” jokes that for Biden staffers were “an expression of a changing mood after months and months of feeling besieged by coverage of Biden’s lousy poll numbers, his struggles to tame inflation and the predilection among Beltway insiders for prematurely declaring Biden’s political demise.”

Just to hammer the point home, the campaign offers a “Dark Brandon” T-shirt for sale. It is, the romance copy reads, “Best worn while vanquishing Malarkey.”

Senior editor

Andrew Beaujon joined Washingtonian in late 2014. He was previously with the Poynter Institute,, and Washington City Paper. He lives in Del Ray.