Trump’s bungling thrusts Biden into driver’s seat | Daily News


 

Trump’s bungling thrusts Biden into driver’s seat

Joe Biden Vs. Donald Trump
Joe Biden Vs. Donald Trump

US: President Donald Trump’s bungled coronavirus response and crackdowns on protesters have thrust Joe Biden into the driver’s seat of the US Presidential election, but the Democratic challenger must decide when to start campaigning in earnest and battle his opponent head on.

Polls show American voters have little faith in Trump’s ability to defeat the pandemic, and 130 days out from November’s election Biden has surged into a commanding lead despite holding few in-person events since mid-March.

But with campaign inflection points fast approaching -- notably his pick of a running mate, expected in early July, and the Democratic National Convention in August -- Biden must consider how to balance adhering to coronavirus safety measures and appearing as more than just a virtual candidate.

Hurling criticism at the President from his Delaware home is not a viable long-term strategy for Biden, common sense and experts dictate.

“I don’t see how that’s sustainable through the fall election,” professor Barry Burden, director of the Election Research Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, told AFP. “There will come a point where Biden will need to be a physical presence on the campaign trail, if only to reassure voters he is a real person, in good health and ready to serve.”

That coming out should occur in July, Burden said, so Biden can hone his public messaging and take advantage of the potent imagery of sharing a stage with his new vice presidential pick.

Biden must be wary of appearing contradictory if he were to hold crowded rallies after warning such gatherings are dangerous.

Mocked by Team Trump for repeatedly broadcasting from his basement studio, Biden appears to be making a gradual shift toward in-person events.

On Thursday he travelled to Lancaster, Pennsylvania where he wore a mask and sat with families in a brick-lined garden to discuss health care. In a speech minutes later, he savaged Trump for seeking to dismantle Obamacare.

“We’ve seen that same callousness in his handling of the coronavirus,” Biden said, evoking Trump’s refusal to heed the advice of his own scientists and wear a mask, calling the disease the “kung flu,” and saying he would like to “slow” down virus testing.

“He’s like a child who can’t believe this has happened to him,” Biden said.

“His job isn’t to whine about it, his job is to do something about it.”

Trump is adrift in troubling waters. Scientists say his coronavirus strategy has largely failed, and his former national security advisor John Bolton just accused him of being unfit for office.

- AFP


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