Everything was there: the wall of flags, the calm and soothing tone, the unifying speech with presidential overtones. But the speaker was Joe Biden, the Democratic candidate, not Donald Trump. He repeated “I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe”, the last words of George Floyd, this black man dead during an arrest in Minneapolis. These words, he said, “are not going to die with him. We will continue to hear them. Their echo resounds in the nation … It is a wake-up call, for the country and for all of us. “
He then addressed the Americans: “Look where we are and think: is that what we are?” Is that what we want to be? And he obviously attacked Donald Trump, who turned the country into a “battlefield”. The nation “demands leadership that can unite us,” he added, and if elected, he will do his best to limit “fear and division.”
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Joe Biden, after spending two months entrenched in the basement of his Delaware home, returned to the countryside. Much to the relief of the Democrats, who worried about seeing it to absent subscribers. Yesterday, he went to Philadelphia, the headquarters of his headquarters, where he delivered his first speech since March to a real audience at the town hall. The day before, he had a discussion in a temple with 14 black leaders, then a videoconference with the mayors of big cities. On Sunday, he walked the streets of his home town of Wilmington, Delaware, and spoke with protesters and traders.
Calm, compassion, competence
The past few months have been tough for Joe Biden. He had to convert to the virtual campaign when, as an old-fashioned politician, he is more apt to shake hands than to tweet. This was seen in his speeches via Zoom, often clumsy and marred by technical problems. Especially for lack of an elective mandate, he struggled to be heard in the media, monopolized by the virus and the statements of Donald Trump.
Mr. Biden’s main asset in the campaign is his tangible empathy
But the racial riots offered him the opportunity to transform his image of a crumbling grandpa and to offer a striking contrast to Donald Trump by showing himself calm in the face of the crisis and capable of compassion, a quality of which the current president is singularly lacking.
“Mr. Biden’s main asset in the campaign is his tangible empathy,” said Lis Smith, a Democratic strategist. “The human touch is particularly important at a time when voters are looking for a chief comforter as much as a commander-in-chief. “
You have to dominate, otherwise you’re wasting your time, they’re going to crush you and you’re going to look like a bunch of morons.
While on Sunday the Democratic candidate spoke to the protesters, Donald Trump tweeted to praise law and order with accents of General Patton, his hero. On Monday, when Joe Biden expressed his sympathy for the black leaders and said he understood their anger, the president threatened to call the army and attacked the state governors, during a conference call, saying that they were ” wimps “. “You have to make arrests. You have to dominate, otherwise you’re wasting your time, they’re going to crush you and you’re going to look like a bunch of morons. A few hours later, he cleared the place in front of the White House with tear gas to drive out peaceful demonstrators and have his photo taken with the Bible in front of a church.
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The basement version campaign has its advantages, however. Joe Biden was able to gain some respite by avoiding having to chain debates, electoral meetings and fundraisers. An exhausting rhythm, especially at 77 years old. He then made campaign savings, a precious gain, because his kitty is significantly less well furnished than that of Donald Trump. Incidentally, the media only have eyes for the president, which limits the opportunities to make blunders, an annoying trait of Joe Biden. Most recently, he said in an interview that African-Americans were not “black” if they voted for Trump in November. He must have apologized.
Donald Trump’s popularity down
However, it is far from being out of the woods. He still has five months of campaigning to be heard, rally the pro-Bernie Sanders left wing and mobilize the Democrats, in whom, to tell the truth, Joe Biden does not trigger an overflowing enthusiasm. However, the pandemic limits the campaign on the ground, door-to-door, fundraising galas … And the economic and racial crises will undoubtedly force him to review his very centrist program. So far, he had avoided calling for specific reforms against the excessive use of force by the police. In his speech from Philadelphia, he promised to create a supervisory commission, to ban certain muscular practices of arrest …
Joe Biden spent days hiding in his cellar while the country was in turmoil
And then, of course, he has in front of him a formidable adversary who monopolizes the waves. The Trump team immediately counterattacked. She accused members of the Biden campaign of offering to pay the bonds for protesters arrested in Minneapolis. “Joe Biden spent days hiding in his cellar while the country was in turmoil. When he and his team finally emerged, their first reaction was to bail the criminals who burned, looted and ransacked Minneapolis, “said Melissa Reed, his spokesperson.
Read also “I can’t breathe”: night of riots in Minneapolis
But the Democrat, an old road politician, knows that presidential campaigns are often played out at times like this. In 1992, candidate Bill Clinton traveled to Los Angeles, which had just experienced terrible racial riots, and sharply criticized the Bush father administration. Six months later, he won the election. Will Joe Biden travel to Minneapolis? Not impossible. Meanwhile, in the last poll Washington Post / ABC, it tops voting intentions, 10 points ahead of Donald Trump. Two months ago, it was only 2 points apart.
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