Trump is everywhere.
Someone not familiar with US Politics could be forgiven for looking at the news coverage over the last month and still not knowing who the Democratic nominee is.
Joe Biden will be the Democratic nominee after the convention in Milwaukee is done (and we can proceed to not calling him the ‘presumptive’ something). He has scored amazing victories over Bernie Sanders in the primary cycle (victories no one saw coming). Yet, he has not been able to carry the same momentum in taking on Trump. In fact, he has been largely absent from the national conversation.
Since Biden became the nominee, Trump has managed to plaster himself all over the news media coverage. Rather than taking on Biden directly, Trump has instead taken a different tact. His press conferences, as vapid and senseless as they are, have thrust him into the spotlight. He has effectively captured all the coverage the mainstream media has to offer.
Democrats shouldn’t be laughing at the stupid things he says sometimes as they always do. With Trump, there is always a need to step back and see what is going on.
Trump has Shone a Light on Biden’s Irrelevance
By capturing airwaves and column inches, Trump has pushed the ‘presumptive’ Democratic nominee Joe Biden into the background. Trump understands the one simple rule of politics and celebrity life – be in the news.
The thing he said about the disinfectant, HCQ before that, or any number of wacky ideas he purports from time to time, all of them lead to one thing – more coverage. If you like Trump, you get to see him on TV and newspapers. If you hate him, same.
Take Joe Biden for comparison. Despite riding on the momentum of prolonged electoral success for the first time in his long political career, Biden has been relegated to the background.
It is true that Trump isn’t exactly covering himself in glory these days. However, by keeping Biden in the shadows for such a long time, Trump is making sure Democrats cannot gather any type of momentum.
Even when Democrats do have a platform, as Speaker Pelosi did on a late-night show recently, they manage to alienate the electorate and give Trump more ammunition. The ice cream fiasco laid bare the disconnect within the Democratic elites and the rest of the country.
Trump didn’t miss the opportunity to paint a contrast.
Remember, Trump is yet to take on Biden. His team is already coming up with material to take on a candidate the entire Democratic field didn’t vet properly. Biden’s rivals treated him with kid gloves during the primary cycle. Senator Harris jostled with him for a while until going down. Julian Castro and Cory Booker tried to shake him up a bit. Senator Sanders did a terrible job of checking Biden on his record. All this means one thing – Biden is untested and the Republicans won’t be as kind as the Democratic field was.
Trump vs Trump
Progressives are fairly confident that Joe Biden will lose. He has made no concrete effort to bring the party together on policy merit. Progressives will not vote blue if the only agenda is beating Trump. This didn’t work in 2016 for Hilary and it won’t work for Biden.
This brings us to Trump and why he remains the favourite to be re-elected.
In 2016, Brexit and Trump’s election changed something in politics. The electorate is more aware of the class solidarity rampant in the political class. People like AOC are making the progressive agenda look more mainstream with every passing day.
Trump knows this kind of politics because he has been the catalyst in bringing this change. He is very good at making himself look like the working class man fighting the establishment.
On the other hand, Biden hasn’t shown any sign of innovation during his campaign. He sleep-walked to stunning Super Tuesday victories and has now been told to enter a fist-fight with Trump by the establishment.
The only reason Biden stands a chance to win this election is that he faces the most unpredictable and volatile political personality in the United States. Biden cannot be ruled out because Trump could get caught in a bad scandal between now and November.
For now, Biden would be hoping Trump has some really bad skeletons in his closet (which is a very reasonable possibility).