Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Thought: Joe Biden is changing things up compared to what Trump did

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The feedback is in for President Joe Biden’s State of the Union, and it seems to be a big success. It came at a crucial time in his presidency, just when even his biggest supporters were questioning if he could handle the challenges of campaigning due to his age. Biden took the opportunity to address concerns and strongly express his views at Capitol Hill.

Biden didn’t hold back; he spoke about his achievements and plans for the future, but he also spent a lot of time warning about the consequences of a second term for his “predecessor.” He connected Donald Trump to a Republican Party that he sees as no longer focused on governing but leaning towards extreme views.

The president criticized Republicans for prioritizing border disputes over fixing the actual border. He blamed Trump and the GOP for threatening reproductive rights, especially with the Supreme Court’s decision on Roe v. Wade. Biden mocked red state legislators for celebrating infrastructure projects despite opposing the funding legislation. Internationally, he painted a worrisome picture of the rise of autocratic forces against democracy.

Interestingly, Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson later complained that Biden’s speech was too partisan, ignoring the fact that one of his members, Marjorie Taylor Greene, heckled Biden while Trump posted negative comments in real-time on Truth Social.

Biden seems to understand Trump’s political strategy – focus on attacking others to make people like him more than the alternative. This strategy isn’t new; a similar approach was used by Lee Atwater in 1988 for President George H.W. Bush’s campaign against Michael Dukakis.

Unlike Atwater, Biden has real material to work with – Trump’s actions during his presidency and his statements on the campaign trail. Biden’s strategy is to remind voters of Trump’s past and present, highlighting the potential risks of another Trump presidency.

To secure votes from various groups, including undecided swing voters and unenthusiastic progressives, Biden needs to keep emphasizing the possible negative outcomes of a Trump 2.0 presidency. American politics is tough, and to win, Biden must continue going after Trump and the entire Republican Party with determination.

In the end, Biden doesn’t necessarily need to be loved; he just has to be seen as the better option compared to Trump for a successful reelection.

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