(Image Credit: Andrea Widburg)
The elites have what they wanted.
Joe Biden, the presumptive nominee of the Democratic Party, will fight Donald Trump for the presidency. The nightmare Democrats thought they’d have to endure with Sanders as their candidate turned out to be exactly that – a nightmare. The reality is that former vice president Joe Biden, the man who wants to ‘make America look like America’, leads the fight against the Republicans.
And so, sitting in the first week of May, this is a good time to speculate what the campaign for the next six months could entail. Joe Biden will have the backing of the entire DNC machinery. Mainstream media will pave his path with positive coverage.
To know these things doesn’t take a genius. Biden has already been a recipient of the media’s mercy. The coverage of serious accusations made against him by his former aide Tara Reade is a perfect example. Let’s also not forget the poor debate performances Biden gave during the primary cycle. Only when he remained quiet for a long period of time did Biden actually look like a decent candidate.
Interestingly, there is no real way of determining what the Biden campaign will be like. Until now, Biden’s greatest victories have come from political machinations engineered by his friends (read this and this for more info). Biden didn’t even have a campaign office in some states he won on Super Tuesday I. So, to suggest the Biden campaign is yet to show any form of political mastery is not wrong.
Looking at the Clinton campaign from 2016 and some initial readings from DNC operatives, we can form a good idea about what the Biden 2020 campaign will be all about.
Platitudes for the Soul
Biden has repeatedly stated his desire to restore the soul of America. The jury is out on what that means. However, looking at Biden’s performances in the debate and the things he says in TV interviews, he will resort to vague platitudes.
Calling for the restoration of America’s soul and wanting to make ‘America look like America’ are good things to talk about at fundraisers where half the people are drunk. These things won’t work with the American public.
Sanders promised Medicare for All, Free College, and a Green New Deal to Democratic voters. He was ready to base his entire presidency on these worthwhile issues. Biden only promises to repackage Obamacare and initiate Obama-era foreign policy.
Voters won’t get excited to get in line to vote in November just to get back to the Obama years. The mainstream media may not believe this, but the working class struggled during the Obama years like they struggled during the Bush years, and before that during the Clinton years. They won’t just vote for Biden because they spite Trump.
Sanders understood this simple notion and made policy positions the core of his campaign. Biden is not ready to commit on an ambitious policy plan, thus increasing the likelihood of him speaking about vague American ideals.
Rust Belt Strategy
The rust belt would decide the next president of the United States. This much is clear to both political parties.
In 2016, the working-class people in states like Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Wisconsin that stuck with the Democrats for many elections jumped ship and went with Trump. Trump’s overtures to them about getting jobs back to the United States and a harder stance on trade had a defining impact.
Biden won’t be as naïve as Hillary while shaping his strategy to take back the rust belt states. For a start, he will campaign more often in Michigan and Pennsylvania than California.
However, he still might not be able to beat Trump.
The recent protests over the extension of stay-at-home orders are a prime example. The working-class people in the rust belt states can’t afford to stay at home for much longer. Trump understands this and is already asking governors to open things back up. This tweet is a case in point.
The Governor of Michigan should give a little, and put out the fire. These are very good people, but they are angry. They want their lives back again, safely! See them, talk to them, make a deal.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 1, 2020
The protestors also included some gun nuts and alt-right idiots. However, it is important to realize the point of the whole protest – open things back up. Every working-class man and woman in American can relate to such a cause.
The Democrats, on the other hand, are disqualifying the validity of the protest because of the presence of some idiots.
This is a classic case of Democrats missing the forest for the trees. Instead of identifying with the pain of the working class and suggesting solutions, they are making this an issue about fringe elements nobody cares about.
Considering Biden lacks the kind of policy excitement Bernie can generate, he is already at a disadvantage. He would do well to advise his friends in the mainstream media and the DNC to focus more on real issues.
Embrace the Cringe
How would you feel when Brad Pitt or LeBron James come on TV in October and ask you to vote for Biden?
There is a very real possibility this could happen.
Celebrity endorsements take the cringe level to the stratosphere. Common people don’t like celebrities telling them who to vote for. Just because you were in a film about something doesn’t mean you get to tell the country how to vote.
It’s that simple.
The bonhomie between celebrities and politicians can have a bad effect on the latter’s image. Just look at the Nancy Pelosi ice cream fiasco last month.
Then there are people like Alyssa Milano. Every time Alyssa tells people to vote for Biden, he could end up losing voters. Especially now, when the hypocrisy of her activism career is clear as day, Biden should avoid being seen with personalities like her. We are all humans and as a result, we are all hypocrites at some level.
However, some are less ashamed of their hypocrisy than others. Milano is one of those people. The cringe they will bring to the Biden campaign will scare away genuine voters looking to vote blue in November.
Biden, while himself not being a cringe-worthy figure, could get hurt by the cringe brought by others.