Following over two years of political campaigning, the United States will finally have its presidential election this upcoming November. While issues surrounding mail-in ballots are key to this election, I believe, as with any election, the candidates’ policies will and should take center stage. With the Democratic Party pushing another establishment neoliberal to defeat Donald Trump, can former Vice President Joe Biden succeed where former First Lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton could not? And will Donald Trump’s poor handling of COVID-19 lead many suburbanites away from voting red this November?
While some may argue that creating parallels between Biden and Clinton is an oversimplification, their vast similarities make them difficult to overlook. Throughout this article, I will outline the key similarities between Biden and Clinton and hope to clarify any key policy differences they may have. In the end, I hope readers have a clearer idea of the neoliberal future that the Democratic Party is heading toward. It is a neoliberal future that has plenty of similarities with neoconservative policies that the Republican Party prides itself in.
Following the “moderate Democrats” coalition to beat Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden was the apparent Democratic nominee post-Super Tuesday. As the New Yorker reports, “The campaign is speeding up, the change measurable in news cycles. Tuesday’s is about the creation of a moderate coalition to back Biden and stop Sanders.” (1) The moderate coalition that boosted Biden before Super Tuesday proved to be a useful method to knock Sanders off his estimated first place in the primary race. However, Sanders being disenfranchised by the DNC is not a new event and happened publicly in 2016.
During the 2016 presidential election, the final two candidates were Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Vox discusses the possible rigging of the 2016 Democratic Primary in their article titled, “Was the Democratic primary rigged?”. Journalist Ezra Klein writes, “First, Donna Brazile, the former chair of the Democratic National Committee, published excerpts of a forthcoming book in which she says that after she took over the Democratic National Committee, she investigated “whether Hillary Clinton’s team had rigged the nomination process” through the DNC, and discovered evidence that they did. “I had found my proof and it broke my heart,” she wrote.” (2) The unfortunate state of affairs is that due to Hillary Clinton’s long-standing connections within the Democratic Party, she was able to capture the nomination with little to no trouble, with or without legitimacy.
Both Clinton and Biden have thorough connections to politics as well as the Democratic Party. Before being nominated as Barack Obama’s Vice President, Joe Biden was a veteran U.S. Senator for the state of Delaware. Similarly, Hillary Clinton was the First Lady with her husband Bill Clinton as he served as President in the late 1990’s, as well as the Secretary of State under President Barack Obama. Such similarities between Biden and Clinton are cause for concern as the Democratic establishment aims to unseat Donald Trump from the presidency. Their best aim should be to shine a light on Donald Trump’s struggle to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic and bring back suburban middle-class voters who voted for Trump in 2016. Furthermore, Biden must hope that Bernie’s outgoing supporters come out to vote for him in November and that they don’t skip the election. By exposing such weaknesses, the Democratic Party can have a shot at assuring that Trump is a one-term president.