Weekly Opinion Editorial
by Steve Fair
President Joe Biden will announce his re-election bid on Tuesday. The Democratic National Committee (DNC) announced they support Biden’s nomination and that no primary debates will be held. Biden, at age 80, is the oldest U.S. president in history. If he is reelected in 2024, Biden would be 82 when sworn in for his second term.
2024 is shaping up to be a sequel rematch between Joe Biden and Donald Trump. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, Biden will be the Democrat nominee. He faces token opposition and the leaders in the Party appear united in clearing a path to the nomination. While it is still a year before GOP presidential primaries will be held, Trump, 77, has a double-digit lead among Republican primary voters. Trump will face several viable opponents for the nomination, but none have the voter base or the fundraising ability of the former president. If a rematch happens between Biden and Trump in 2024, what must the two candidates do differently than they did in 2020? Three things
First, Trump must lead with his accomplishments. Trump tends to spend more time attacking/mocking his opponents than detailing public policy plan. During the 2016 election, Trump had great appeal to swing voters. Swing voters are the people who didn’t attend Trump’s rallies, laugh at his insults, or wear a MAGA ball cap. They voted for Trump because their manufacturing job had been exported by the Obama administration. They put Trump in office in 2016, but didn’t show up in 2020. No president in recent history did more to help America manufacturing than Trump. Buy America appeals to the working Democrat. Trump should recreate that appeal in 2024.
Second, Biden must campaign. During the 2020 election, Joe Biden used the COVID pandemic as an excuse to hide in the basement. He did less public campaigning than any presidential candidate in modern history. That bizarre strategy worked in 2016 because the pandemic had everybody hunkered down. But that approach will not work in 2024. Biden must detail his plan on how to deal with record inflation, high interest rates, and diminishing retirement accounts, while explaining how his failed policies created the problem.
Third, the VP pick must be carefully watched. If Biden or Trump are elected in 2024, they would be the oldest president in American history. That makes the vice president pick very important. Mike Pence was a capable and competent VP- Kamala Harris not so much. Harris is a far left ideolog that would will be a disaster as president. It’s a safe bet Pence will not be Donald Trump’s running mate again, but whomever he selects needs to be capable. American voters need to pay very close attention to who the VP picks are because they could very well be president due to the advanced age of the candidates.
A Washington Post/ABC poll conducted in February showed Republicans spilt between nominating Donald Trump or someone else. The poll found most Democrats preferred an alternative to Biden. It found few Americans were excited about a Trump-Biden rematch. Sequels are seldom as good as the original. Dr. Don Marquis was an American philosopher that taught at the University of Kansas. Marquis famously said, “A sequel is an admission that you’ve been reduced to imitating yourself.” That appears to be where America is today.