Where does Joe Biden go from here?
At this moment, it appears the “less is more strategy” could be the best route for the former Vice
President. Currently, the former VP is campaigning on the internet from the comfort of his basement.
Some voters would like to see the former VP doing more to connect with Democratic voters across the
nation. However, in the time of the COVID-19 crisis, Biden appears to let Trump do some of the
campaigning and messaging on his behalf.
The president has delivered daily diatribes for the past month. With each passing briefing the contrived
theories and incompetence of the president are on full display. For now, Trump appears to be making
the case for a Biden presidency with each incoherent rant. Although polls show the Biden strategy of
allowing Trump to take votes away from himself seems to be a legitimate strategy, Biden will need to do
more over the next few months to give voters not only a case against the sitting president, but a
concrete rationale to vote for him.
Part of Biden making his case to the American public will largely rest on his choice for a vice presidential
running mate. In the past, the vice presidential pick as not made a game changing difference. However,
in this election Biden’s selection will definitely be scrutinized in specific ways. First, Biden pledged to
choose a female running mate. Whether he will choose an African American woman (as he initially
stated) or a non-Black elected official will be a clear indication of Biden’s proposed electoral strategy.
Due to Biden’s advanced age, the age and experience of his running mate will also be scrutinized. If
successful, Biden will be the oldest U.S. president in our nation’s history, being sworn in at 78 years old.
The role and presence of his number two will be a position of great curiosity to Democratic and
Republican voters alike.
The Democratic Party has several factions, but the progressive and centrist wings of the party were on
full display during the Democratic presidential primary and the exchanges between Biden and Vermont
Senator Bernie Sanders. Although Sanders was not able to translate the excitement of his followers into
a substantive electoral strategy, Biden will need to include those voters in his messaging and policy
proposals. Biden and the Democratic party cannot afford to have disaffected progressive voters sit out
the election on November 3 rd , vote but ignore the top of the ticket, or vote for Trump or an alternative
party candidate, as quite a few Bernie supporters decided to do in 2016.
Biden has a long and complicated campaign season ahead of him. The Coronavirus has made
campaigning a unique challenge and Biden’s communication style, surrogate selection, vice presidential
selection, and policy incorporation must be coordinated for an electoral victory in November.
Christina Greer, Ph.D., is an associate professor at Fordham University, political editor at The
Grio, the author of “Black Ethnics: Race, Immigration, and the Pursuit of the American Dream”,
the co-host of the podcast FAQ-NYC and co-host of The Election Show on MNN.