Unprecedented attack on Trump: If Obama were completely convinced of Biden, this appearance might never have happened
Barack Obama does what is actually not supposed to. As a former president, he addresses his successor in office in sharp words. But the attack on Donald Trump also says a lot about the candidacy of Obama’s friend and old companion Joe Bide.
The virtual format of this year’s party conference of the US Democrats leaves a lot of leeway for the staging of the individual speeches, a leeway that is sometimes better used, sometimes worse. For example, the delegates from Rhode Island landed a laugh on social media on Wednesday when they offered a plate of calamari for sale on their beach, along with the votes for Joe Biden, to promote the state’s fishing.
On the other hand, Barack Obama, the featured speaker on the third evening, applied the statesmanship that one is used to from him when choosing his backdrop. Obama traveled to Philadelphia to record his speech, the place where Joe Biden’s campaign headquarters was set up, but also the place where the nation’s Constitution was written and ratified.
In the Museum of the American Revolution, Obama stood in front of an oversized copy of the document, above which the words “We the people” were emblazoned in head-high letters. The message was clear – Obama was about fundamentals.
Obama: “Was hoping he would start taking the job seriously”
With the weight of the founding document in his back, the ex-president, after three and a half years of sheer superhuman discipline, let go of all restraint this Wednesday and described his successor as a fundamental danger to American democracy. “I was hoping the day he took office that someday he would start taking the job seriously,” Obama scoffed. “But he never did.”
For 20 minutes, longer than any other speaker allowed at this convention, Obama made it very clear how serious the consequences of Trump’s re-election would be. “He’s not up to the job because he can’t. Now 170,000 Americans are dead, millions of jobs are lost. It has unleashed our lowest impulses, damaged our reputation in the world and threatens our democratic institutions in a way that has never been threatened before. “
An unprecedented attack
Such an open attack on the incumbent president by one of his predecessors has never been seen in American politics. Until Trump shattered the conventions, the country’s political culture was at least superficial. And so Obama certainly did not make the decision to take this step easy for himself.
But the ex-president, like his entire party, understood that it is currently their strongest selling argument to be the better alternative to Trump. And Obama has chosen to throw the full weight of his still considerable pull behind his party’s attempt to position itself as America’s salvation from the abyss of an authoritarian Trump regime.
Obviously, Obama is aware of the depths of this tactic. He knows that quite a few Americans, especially in their own camp, were also disappointed with his presidency and are turning their backs on Washington overall. At the end of his speech, he warned against cynicism and disaffection with politics. Trump and his party, according to Obama, are only waiting for this stance to rigorously exploit it for themselves.
There is also a major concern behind Obama’s unprecedented attack on Trump
The state-supporting tone that one is used to from Obama, paired with the backdrop and the big issues that Obama was raising, of course made the impression that Obama himself was still at the head of his party. It didn’t help much that he went to the best of his ability to get his vice and Kamala Harris in place as exactly the right people to lead the country out of its current crisis. “Joe has the character and experience to make us a better country again.”
Obama may actually believe in that. But he would certainly not take up so much space again at this point in time if he did not also believe that Biden urgently needs his help. Biden’s association with Obama was what made a realistic candidacy possible for him in the first place. And many Democrats, especially African Americans, according to the New York Times, openly admit that they support Biden primarily because of a nostalgia for the Obama era.
Harris attracts donations
Biden and the Democratic Party of Kamala Harris, which officially accepted their nomination for Vice President on Wednesday evening, are hoping for an energy boost that is just as great as that from Obama. After both Obama and Hillary Clinton had warned of the dangers of Trump, Harris concentrated in her speech at the end of the evening on the “structural racism” in America, which she and Biden vowed to attack head-on.
Harris was the first non-white woman to be nominated for such high office in exactly the position that was intended for her in the Biden camp. It is intended to mobilize younger voters and members of the minority for the white, 77-year-old candidate. At least with the donors, it seems to have worked. In the second days after Harris ‘was nominated, the Biden campaign received $ 48 million in donations, a result Biden could never achieve on his own
The third evening of the democratic convention showed two charismatic protagonists who threaten to overshadow the real head of the party in the coming months and perhaps even beyond. Harris, for example, is already being openly traded as a candidate for 2024, her speech on Wednesday was as much an interview for the next election as it was for the current one. Which makes the fact even more puzzling as to why the party chose Joe Biden as its front man on Tuesday, a man who needs support from all sides.