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Joe Biden is the Democratic Party’s Final Hope

After a long and tedious primary season, Senator Bernie Sanders has dropped out of the race, leaving former Vice President Joe Biden victorious above all. He defeated popular contenders including Senator Elizabeth Warren, former Mayor of New York City Mike Bloomberg, and Senator Amy Klobuchar. Though this victory should feel really good for Biden, he now has to be fully prepared to take on President Donald Trump in the general election.

Campaigning against Trump is no easy task, as Hillary Clinton could tell you from her failed presidential campaign in 2016. He plays dirty, he hits below the belt, and he will do anything that it takes to win. He is not afraid to say what is on his mind. He will make accusations about candidates based on little to no evidence. Biden, on the other hand, is a career politician. He has teams of people that can calculate the best way for him to market his messaging. When he makes mistakes, he knows how to hop back on the horse with little to no repercussions. He has the executive experience under former President Barack Obama’s leadership that could possibly lead him to victory in November.

After Trump upset the country in November of 2016 with his White House win, people began to start wondering whether the Democratic Party needed to be reassessed. They chose who they thought was the best candidate to defeat Donald Trump and fell short of victory. Everybody was almost certain that Clinton was going to defeat Trump, but in the final moments of the election, it was clear that Trump’s campaign ran the best fight. Trump’s win was a huge upset to the Democratic Party.

If we’re looking at the 2020 Presidential election as a referendum on Trump’s presidency, we must also observe that the 2018 midterm elections were also a referendum on Trump’s presidency. In 2018, people were not happy with Trump’s performance as commander-in-chief and gave Democrats back the leadership in the House of Representatives. This was more than a significant win for the Democrats, but it’s possible that their momentum has died since 2018.

If 2020 is, in fact, a referendum on Trump’s presidency, then we must agree that Joe Biden has been elected as the Democratic Party’s final hope of success. If Joe Biden loses his bid for the presidency to Trump’s second term, the Democratic Party may want to reconsider how they conduct business.

Trump has made headlines nearly daily during his duration in office. He has been accused of high crimes and impeached for his participation in election rigging. If Joe Biden, the candidate that the Democratic Party chose as their best hope in defeating Trump, is unsuccessful, then the party loses credibility.

The Democratic Party is guilty for the second election year in a row of hand selecting a party politician to take on Donald Trump. Joe Biden has been an obedient member of the party since he began his career in politics 50 years ago in 1970. Similar to Biden, Clinton has also been a party loyal since the beginning of time. Sanders, whose supporters argue was snuffed out of both elections, is not even a registered member of the Democratic Party; he is registered Independent in the state of Vermont. He is not expected to vote along partisan lines and owes no loyalty to the Democratic Party. Therefore, the party would not have the control over Sanders that they do have over candidates such as Biden and Clinton.

Personally, I do not believe that Biden is the best candidate to go head to head with Trump. I believe that there were many more viable candidates that could take on the party’s battle and be successful. However, Joe Biden is without a doubt the party’s nominee. We can ignore any speculation that New York Governor Andrew Cuamo is going to sneak into the race and win the nomination, because the Democratic Party is much too calculated to allow for such a thing. Instead, Democrats are going to have to heavily invest time and money into Biden’s campaign in hopes that their efforts will dethrone Trump. They will have to unite and stand behind a candidate that lacks any real ideological platform. I’d argue that they wouldn’t have to put this much effort behind any other candidate, but that’s not the subject of this discussion.

Biden is going to have to ‘Wow’ American voters with his Vice President pick. If he’s looking to defeat Trump, he should select someone with name recognition that can work across the aisle. If this election was about progressing the Democratic agenda, he’d have more room to select a more polarizing candidate like Warren or Sanders, but this election is about Trump. He needs to select a candidate that will appeal to the radical faction of the party, the ‘Bernie Bros,’ while also appealing to conservatives who are on the fence about voting for Trump. He needs to select someone who is experienced enough to assume the role of President if anything unfortunate were to happen. His Vice President pick needs to be the first success of his campaign. If he falls short here, he will significantly hinder his chances of success in November.

He will have to create a platform that not only addresses the grievances he has with the current administration, but also illustrates leadership in America after the mandatory quarantine and economic downfalls of the coronavirus. He will have to be able to respond quickly and firmly to Trump’s criticisms and be able to ignore Trump’s insults. He will have to run a long and tough campaign in these times of uncertainty. If he is able to do all of this, he will win the nomination, become the 46th President of the United States, and give the Democratic Party more than a leg to stand on. However, losing this election could lead to drastically worse outcomes for the party.

Imagine if the Democratic Party were to unite behind Biden financially and politically. Imagine that the ‘Bernie Bros’ let bygones be bygones and voter turnout in 2020 is significantly higher than it was in 2016. What if Biden still loses to Trump? What if, all things considered, he ran a highly competitive campaign with little to no problems and still cannot come out on top? What does this mean for the Democratic Party?

We know that this election is a referendum on Trump; the media will not let us forget. However, we seem to be ignoring what this election means to the Democratic Party. We recognized that a crowded Republican Primary field in 2016 indicated fear and urgency within the party, but we didn’t speculate much about what the crowded Democratic Primary field meant in late 2019. It’s clear that there’s dissatisfaction within the party. The debates were almost unbearable to watch with each candidate at the others’ throats. The only two things that the candidates could agree on were defeating Trump and irresponsible spending. They could not agree on healthcare, how high or low the minimum wage should be, or immigration policy. The unity that the Democratic Party enjoyed in 2008 with the election of then Senator Barack Obama has not existed since his departure from the White House in 2016.

This could be the end of the Democratic Party. Biden’s campaign is the final leg that the party has to stand on, and if he fails, I argue that the party has years of restructuring before finding success on a national level. I find it odd that the party put all of their eggs into the Biden basket, but backing an experienced candidate who has proven to be successful in political campaigns is not their worst option. As the country continues to pass historically large spending bills, forcing the nation deeper and deeper into debt, a solid, unified platform that recognizes the problem of wasteful spending would go a long way for the Democratic Party.

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