The Field of Candidates is Cleared – the Final Battle Can Begin

The Democrats launched a promising start to this year's pre-election campaign. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic this has come to an abrupt end and the candidates are set: Trump versus Biden.

United Against Trump

Never has there been a more elaborate and interesting number of democratic candidates for a US election. Now, only a few months later, the “tried and tested” approach has succeeded. The Democrats' declared objective is to get Trump out of the White House. One term is enough and Biden shall be the man for the job. Under Obama’s presidency, Vice-President Biden often enjoyed great popularity. He represented Delaware in the Senate for over 36 years and was known for his rhetoric blows against the NRA or the Apartheid-Regime of South Africa. Biden, an extremely experienced politician, is also admired for his work improving the rights of women and Afro-Americans. What Biden lacks, is Obama’s charisma or Sander’s vision. But his forte is dependability as well as the willingness to compromise and this is appreciated and esteemed well across party borders. Joe Biden, for instance, was one of the main speakers at republican Senator John McCain’s funeral.

Election Campaign of Generations

The first and most important hurdle has been taken. The Democratic Party and all former democratic candidates unite behind Joe Biden. It remains to be seen if the voters have done the same. We look back at Hillary Clinton’s campaign, where many young democratic voters felt they had to choose between a lesser of two evils – Trump or Clinton. And how it turned out was that a large number of millenials just did not turn up to vote – with the result of Trump’s unlikely victory. But Biden might just have another surprise up his sleeve. Many insiders expect him to nominate a woman as his Vice-President and this would make him more attractive for younger voters. He could cleverly decide to nominate a women of the Midwest to pick up the votes of the swing states and who might represent, just like Biden, a more down to earth approach – or alternatively, might it be the younger and more left-wing Kamala Harris from California?

A Limited Election Campaign

As clever and cunning the current strategic games may be, a US election campaign lives off the mobilisation of the masses to turn them into voters for one candidate. And it is precisely this factor which will eventually swing the result. The townhall meetings, the visits to companies, the speeches on the market squares, shopping malls and in front of US troops – all this is extremely important to get more votes but also to collect donations. These events represent a unique opportunity for potential voters to experience a candidate. The candidate himself has a chance to make a decisive impression on his electorate. But now with no handshakes, no hugs, no baby-kissing the electoral campaign has been moved to the media and the internet. While Trump enjoys full attention at his daily press briefings called “Press Corps Offices”, Joe Biden turned the cellar of his house in Delaware into an improvised studio from where he floods social media channels with his message.

It remains to be seen how Trump is going to deal with the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic and mass unemployment as a result. As soon as the travel ban is lifted though, we can look forward to a tough duel as both candidates will do everything to make up for the delay.

April 16, 2020


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