Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden will have been rubbing his hands with anticipation ahead of the first televised presidential debate. After all, the debates offer the chance for Biden to hammer home his advantage in the Betfair Exchange presidential election odds, with Trump’s popularity having taken a nosedive since the coronavirus pandemic took the world by surprise.
While by no means a perfect candidate, Biden is seen by many as the antidote to Trump’s loud, brash presence in the White House. The President’s style is to be controversial, to incite debate and stir the pot in American politics, and it’s clear that there is a desire among certain sections of the public for a return to normalcy within the upper levels of the US political system.
Biden is the man hoping to win the favour of citizens who are fed up with Trump’s braggadocio and his confrontational style. The President’s social media presence is a source of much embarrassment for many Americans, even among those who support Trump and his policies, and so the Democratic challenger will be keen to present himself as an answer to that desire for a more measured leader.
The recent debate gave further evidence of how Trump intends to handle the remainder of time before Election Day. The President was constantly interrupting Biden, and constantly trying to discredit him too. At one stage, Trump took issue with Biden over his use of the word ‘smart’, saying: “You graduated either the lowest or almost the lowest in your class. Don’t ever use the word smart with me. Don’t ever use that word.”
Those kind of petty squabbles are what Trump thrives on, and perhaps Biden’s best course of action between now and Election Day is to try and rise above those verbal barbs and focus on the major issues facing the country at the moment.
The biggest and most urgent of these is the coronavirus pandemic, which has claimed over 200,000 lives in the US alone. There has been widespread criticism of Trump’s handling of the crisis, with the President seemingly prioritising economic recovery over healthcare issues. It’s an area where Biden will feel he can make gains and appeal to the public, as the country seeks to stem the impact of the pandemic.
There are two more televised debates to be held between now and November, and Biden will be eyeing them up as opportunities to really give himself a firm advantage ahead of the election. Without doubt, Trump will stick to his current tactics of trying to unsettle Biden, but if the Democrat can hold firm, he may just find himself in with a good chance of winning back the White House when the election rolls around.
Of course, Biden has White House experience on his CV already, having served as vice-president to Barack Obama between 2009 and 2017, and that may help him in building trust among the public as someone who has been there and done it.
With just a few weeks before the American public take to the polling stations, it’s clear that Biden has given himself a good chance of success. The challenge now is to rise to the challenge of going head-to-head with Trump in the hopes of election success on November 3rd.