With the 2020 US presidential election fast approaching, political pundits and enthusiasts are rubbing their hands at the prospect of incumbent President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden going head-to-head. It’s set to be a close battle, with Biden having made ground on Trump in recent months in the US Election odds.
Of course, Biden has plenty of experience in the White House, having served as vice-president throughout Barack Obama’s eight years in office. The challenge for the 77-year-old is to channel that experience into an effective campaign strategy, geared towards highlighting the supposed flaws in Trump’s term in office, and shining a light on how Biden can bring change in America towards a brighter future.
Alongside him, Biden will have running mate Kamala Harris backing him all the way. Harris was herself in the running to win the Democratic nomination, but just couldn’t garner enough support and funding to make her dreams of becoming the first female US President a reality. Instead, she’ll have to focus on becoming the first female vice-president. The fact that the country has never had a woman as President or vice-president is surprising in 2020, but Harris will be hoping to change that as she and Biden seek the victory.
The pair will no doubt fancy their chances given the political unrest that seems to have enshrouded the US since Donald Trump came to power. The 2016 election was a bitter one, with Trump and Democratic rival Hillary Clinton trading verbal blows throughout the campaign. Clinton was the firm favourite to win the election, but Trump overcame the odds to win the Electoral College vote, despite losing the popular vote.
But his first term in office has been littered with controversies and questionable rhetoric. Trump’s opinion in immigration has always been a sore spot for many of his opponents, while the articles of impeachment which were brought against him have also led to controversy and bitterness. These issues and challenges would have an effect on any presidency, let alone the tenure of a man as divisive as Trump.
Then of course there is his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, and the further division that has brought among large swathes of the American public. Trump has taken a rather controversial stance on the matter at times, including stating that he had been taking the unproven drug hydroxychloroquine – a drug which has since been dismissed as an effective treatment for coronavirus.
Biden will feel confident of his chances after overcoming a whole host of candidates to win the Democratic nomination. He faced stiff competition from both Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, but proved that he has the potential to win the election and help resolve the differences that have plagued the Democratic Party since the end of Barack Obama’s presidency.
Harris too, while she never looked likely to be a serious challenger for the White House herself, garnered impressive support throughout her campaign, and should bring important votes for Biden when push comes to shove on Election Day.
It’ll be a fascinating campaign, and while Trump at one stage looked odds-on to retain his presidency, the waters have become much more muddied in recent months. The question is whether Biden and Harris have what it takes to rise to the challenge and win the election.