Why don't the Obamas support Joe Biden

Presidential Election: How Barack Obama Could Get Joe Biden into the White House

"We need you in the White House," Bernie Sanders said to Joe Biden on a publicly available livestream. Both sat at home in Vermont and Delaware, respectively, because of the restrictions on public life. It was noticeable that they like each other. And this is probably what defines Biden as a person: a lot of people like him, no matter where they are politically. That distinguishes him from his opponent in the fall, Donald Trump, whom not even many of his supporters and colleagues find sympathetic. The nomination of the US Democratic presidential candidate took place without any fanfare or fanfare. Your candidate is the 77-year-old former Vice President of Barack Obama, who was politically almost dead just a few weeks ago. Formally, the nomination still has to follow at the party congress, which was originally supposed to take place in mid-July, but has since been postponed to August. Politically, however, this party congress is no longer necessary, the actual election campaign has now begun.

So Bernie Sanders has thrown his political weight behind Joe Biden. A week earlier he had ended his dynamic campaign, which had the support of many young Americans. Especially in times of national emergency, it is important to concentrate all your efforts on the question of how the country's crisis can be overcome. Senator Sanders cleared the way for Joe Biden and the Democratic Party to focus on the real task: challenge Donald Trump to face his incompetence and corruption and beat him in November.

United against Donald Trump

So everything is very different from four years ago. Sanders stayed in the race through July 2016, and in the end his support for presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was only half-hearted. At least many "Sandernistas" refused to vote. Only four out of five Sanders supporters voted for Clinton in the presidential election. This time, Sanders spoke of how irresponsible it was not to support Biden. He has clearly come to the realization that it is better to focus the political controversy on Donald Trump and to achieve an agreement between moderates and progressives in the Democratic Party.

For Sanders, as the leader of the progressive democrats, it is also about the influence on the further political process - above all on the programmatic design of the election and government programs. In this respect, the end of his campaign is not a tragedy, but an opportunity to gain political power. Sanders gave Biden precedence in anticipation of political concessions. His exit speech made it clear that he sees himself as part of the leadership of the Democratic Party and wants to take on responsibility. And Joe also wants Bernie with him: for the election campaign and for forming a government. Joint positions for the election program are now to be worked out in small teams. It is a sign of the Democrats' pulling together and willingness to fight.

Barack Obama emphasizes "good governance"

The Democrats also had an important joker. Barack Obama had stayed out of the primary campaign. Now he can come into play in the election campaign. His support for Joe Biden came promptly. In a video, Obama spoke of how important good governance is, especially in the times of the corona pandemic. He paid tribute to Bernie Sanders and his politics. He advocated major structural changes in the US, taking up Elizabeth Warren's concerns. He made it clear that America's role in the world must change for the better. But above all, Obama backed Joe Biden. Obama called for a fight - with decency and dignity. The next day came the election recommendation of progressive Senator Elizabeth Warren, who emphasized Biden's integrity, accessibility and ability to work together - qualities no one associates with Trump. It will be a person and personality campaign.

Despite all prophecies of doom, the ex-vice president now has a good chance of beating Trump on November 3rd. He is known and loved in the country, especially in the relevant states. In the pre-election campaign, he showed that he can bring broad groups of voters to the polls. His Achilles heel are the younger voters, the majority of whom have not yet favored him. This is why Bernie Sanders' election recommendation is so important. The Democrats cannot afford to lose 20 percent of Sanders' electorate in 2020. The prospect of spending four more years with Donald Trump in the event of defeat will be additional motivation. The left-wing icon and Congressman from Queens, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, spoke out in favor of Biden.

Biden's Achilles' heel: finances

Biden now has the chance to consolidate his campaign and secure funding - two of the candidate's weaknesses so far. He contested the primaries with almost no organizational structure. The primary campaign has been going on for a long time and it is high time the Democrats focused their political struggle on Donald Trump. Biden is Trump's feared opponent. But US election campaigns are now devouring billions of dollars, and Trump is way ahead of Biden in funding and campaign organization.

What speaks for Biden is that he already looks like a solid alternative to the incumbent president. If he wins, he can get started right away. The trust of the citizens, which he enjoys thanks to his long political experience as a Senator and Vice President, could be decisive in the election, especially in the Corona crisis and the recession. Biden is trusted to present an impressive team for the government even before the election.

The presentation of the candidate for the vice-presidency is important. Biden has decided that it should be a woman. Since he himself only represents a limited representation of the diversity of current American society, it was a wise decision. There is wild speculation about who it will be and different lists are circulating. The likely candidates are the Senators Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris or Amy Klobuchar. The African-American hope for the Democrats, Stacey Abrams, who almost won the Georgia gubernatorial election in 2018, would also be interesting. It can move and mobilize people. Another strong candidate would be the feisty Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer. Coping with the corona pandemic also turns out to be the governors' hour because of the incompetence of the president, as they decide on the central measures to contain the disease and care for the population.

Election as a vote on crisis management

On the other hand, it is precisely the crisis situation in which the executive's hour usually strikes that makes a normal election campaign impossible. It is not easy for Joe Biden to penetrate the media because he has no office and cannot appear in public. Trump stages himself every day and is trying to gain the authority to interpret the crisis.

The numbers, however, speak against Trump. There are over 600,000 infected and almost 30,000 dead. In four weeks, over 22 million people were unemployed. Consumption and industrial production have collapsed, share prices continue to decline. Trump wanted to win the election as president of a booming economy. It is now impossible. The presidential election should turn out to be a vote on crisis management. Even for brilliant communicators, it would be difficult to sell the shocking numbers as good results. Trump is therefore looking for scapegoats. But he is less and less able to control history.

A senior White House employee under President Obama describes it as follows: "Trump is not winning any votes for himself, as he is behaving in this crisis." ineligible for many, especially women and independent voters. The slight increase in approval ratings for Trump in polls should not be overstated. Satisfaction with the way he has been in office is falling again and has never exceeded 50 percent. In this respect, the Democrats can use the historic opportunity to take the fate of the United States into their own hands again from 2021.

This article first appeared in the IPG Journal.