Allow us to take you back to the year of 2012. The Republicans were trying to broaden their base, nominating a Massachusetts governor who had been deemed too liberal by certain circles of the party. When the party was pushed about this, they decided to bring in a conservative type who was known to make his staffers read Ayn Rand.
It seems like all of this happened so long ago now. The GOP had a simple theory at the time: the conservative choice would balance out the liberal and keep their voters happy. Of course, seasoned observers remember that the conservative wonk was not nearly as conservative as he seemed. As for the liberal governor, he did everything that he could to appeal to the more conservative voter.
He opposed gay marriage, promised to strip Planned Parenthood of their funding and pandered to the center right. We don’t have to tell you that this strategy did not end well. The Democrats won with ease and controlled the White House for another four years. Let’s take a moment to fast forward to the present day now.
The Democrats have presented a presidential nominee who is considered to be a centrist. Their solution to this problem? They’ve chosen a progressive California senator to balance him out. Harris has already done a good job of attacking the president during the primary and the Democrats believe that she can change the minds of their progressive voters.
They are apparently supposed to be neglecting her past record when it comes to justice reform. The policies she was responsible for during her stint as California Attorney General are being swept under the rug. The convention offered up a mixture of center left voters, progressives and former Republicans who are looking to remove the unpopular current president.
The party is clearly still worried about progressives heading elsewhere. It shows when you hear the recent commentary from Barack Obama. “If you look at Joe Biden’s goals and Bernie Sanders’s goals, they’re not that different, from a forty-thousand-foot level,” the former president said. The party desperately wants to convince people that Sanders and Biden are one and the same.
Since Biden wants the same things as Sanders and he’s decided that incremental process is no longer acceptable, the Democrats are all set, right? The New Yorker spoke with Obama about the campaign but they are not convinced. Biden started off by sprinting to the center and now he is trying to shore up his leftist bonafides.
The strategy might work but it depends on the percentage of the electorate that is currently at stake. Biden is even hammering away at the Republicans who are doing everything in their power to paint the party as a group of socialists. Now that Biden is starting to move to the left, the Republicans believe that they can use it to their advantage.
There is a major potential flaw in the Democrat campaign and we wonder if Biden is even aware of it. It’s understandable that he would look for votes from those who are disgusted with Trump. The problem is a simple one. Biden is not doing anything to galvanize the voting base because he is not saying anything deeper than “Democrats are good and Trump is bad”.
He’s got to be able to draw people into his candidacy without resorting to “well, at least I’m not Trump”. There are two questions that still need to be answered. First of all, are there Republicans out there who are not going to want to vote for Trump OR Biden? What happens if there are Republicans who are still willing to vote for Trump because they do not care for Biden’s stances?
These are questions that the former vice president needs to find answers for and quickly. He can’t make the mistake of assuming that the election is already sewn up. As the election season drags on, Biden must make sure to avoid complacency. The polls do not always tell the full story.