Click to go to the Subscriber Log In Page
Go to menu with buttons for all pages on BC
Click here to go to the Home Page
Est. April 5, 2002
Apr 16, 2020 - Issue 814
Bookmark and Share
This page can be shared

Biden’s 2020 Challenges v. Trump

"Biden apparently believes that he does not have to
generate voter fervor other than to be reliable Uncle Joe. 
That will not be nearly enough as he approaches a
critical period for engaging his core voters."


  • New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has a bill on his desk which eliminates hospital liability for implementation of Do Not Attempt to Resuscitate (DNAR) orders by its medical staff, without family input, which was spearheaded by lobbyists for Hackensack Meridian Health, a hospital system which serves the largest share of the state’s African American and Hispanic patients.

  • Hackensack Meridian has already begun implementing this policy which has caused COVID-19 deaths to soar, reaching their highest peak on Wednesday, April 15th.

  • Should Gov. Murphy sign the bill, his decision may affect his 2021 reelection bid as his overwhelming support from these minority voters in 2017 was decisive to his victory, and many of them will be dead or will withdraw their backing.

  • Minorities are further victimized by the coronavirus because of their geographical proximity to environmental toxins—lead, air pollution, spillover from chemical plants, etc.—that weaken their immune systems, making them more susceptible to COVID-19.

  • African American Surgeon General Jerome Adams has yet to release the details of the Trump administration’s plan to address the disproportionate rate of infections and deaths in the minority community from the pandemic that were promised last week other than to urge “big momma, Aquela, granddaddy,” in reference to African Americans and Hispanics, not to smoke, drink alcohol, or do drugs as a response to the coronavirus in a crass and insulting attempt to relate to these populations.

  • A careful analysis of documents from the Trump administration has shown that Trump played politics from January 29, 2020 until now in an effort to prop up the U.S economy and the stock market, and to improve his reelection possibilities.

  • Trump persists in his falsehoods about the availability of personal protective equipment (PPE) despite the urgent daily requests for masks, gowns, gloves, and protective shields from nurses, doctors, and other medical personnel that we see on national TV networks with our own “lying eyes.”

  • The Republican and Democratic electorate, according to recent polls, is beginning to tire of Trump’s daily clown show that he is addicted to because of its high ratings, not realizing that most viewers find it comical and offensive.

Joe Biden is finally alone in the political arena with Donald Trump in a pitched battle for the presidency of the United States. After a tough primary fight in which he sprinted to victory after a slow start, he is now lacing on the gloves for a battle royal for the political heavyweight championship of our nation. In order to win, he must overcome the following challenges to his campaign.

Voter Enthusiasm: At present, Trump is far outdistancing Biden in terms of voter interest among their respective political bases. Trump regularly feeds his most passionate supporters with a steady diet of misogynistic attacks on the press, anti-immigrant, anti-minority, and xenophobic tropes that appeal to their economic fears and prejudices. He leads Biden by 25 points--49 percent to 24 percent--and climbing, with his daily mini-campaign rallies via his so-called COVID-19 updates.

Biden apparently believes that he does not have to generate voter fervor other than to be reliable Uncle Joe. That will not be nearly enough as he approaches a critical period for engaging his core voters. He should use the remaining Democratic primaries, especially those in 2020 swing states—Georgia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania–whose electoral votes will likely determine who wins the presidency.

The Biden campaign needs to register and digitally target Democratic voters in these states. It must immediately collaborate with local activists and solicit Michael Bloomberg to use his Hawkfish digital platform to contact Democratic voters throughout the country. The Democratic base and other persuadable voters need to be revved up for November 3rd.

Vice Presidential Running Mate: This will be one of Biden’s quintessential decisions as he prepares to face Trump. He will need an individual who can excite the Democratic base and who “… can boost enthusiasm among voters that crosses racial, gender and age demographics — precisely the areas Joe Biden needs to bolster.” This person will also need to possess the ability serve as a gaffe deflector as Biden is prone to malapropisms and other misstatements.

His vice presidential selection needs to have name recognition, be able to hit the ground running, have verbal facility, be able to vanquish Mike Pence in the lone vice presidential debate, and be comfortable in the arena. Like Lyndon Baines Johnson for JFK, Al Gore for Clinton and Biden himself for Obama, she (Biden has already committed to choosing a woman) must bring something to the party. A poor choice could doom his candidacy.

Fundraising: Currently, Biden and the Democratic National Committee have approximately $20 million on hand as compared to $225 million for Donald Trump and the Republican National Committee, a 10:1 ratio. Even though Biden has a few independent Super PACs supporting him, they are dwarfed by those supporting Trump. Biden needs to step up his fundraising as Trump’s benefactors are preparing a financial tsunami to drown him with a steady series of negative ads.

Money is the mothers’ milk of politics, and Biden had best start pumping it soon in order to launch a winning strategy to wrest the White House from Trump. Hopefully, his fortunes will improve dramatically in the wake Obama’s full-throated endorsement last Tuesday. Perhaps Obama can twist the arms of mega-donors who have been reluctant to contribute because they felt Biden was a weak candidate.

Organizing for GOTV: The Biden campaign’s most urgent need is to develop an effective get-out-the-vote apparatus. The Republicans have already pursued voter roll purges in Wisconsin and elsewhere and are furiously moving voting polls out of communities with high Democratic and minority turnout in battleground states. The COVID-19 pandemic will continue to be used as a voter suppression tactic as it was in the April 7th Wisconsin primary when the Republicans went to the U.S. Supreme Court to hold it after the Democratic governor cancelled it at the last minute.

Dane County, Wisconsin Judge Jill Karosky, a Democrat, was able to prevail by a 120,000 vote margin in her upset defeat of the incumbent right-wing Wisconsin State Supreme Court Justice, Daniel Kelly, a Republican, who was heavily backed by Trump.

GOTV will be critical in what will probably be a razor-thin presidential election although Trump’s continuing mishandling of the coronavirus crisis could result in his landslide defeat, but only if Biden gets that message out.

COVID-19 could prove to be Trump or Biden’s downfall if either is able to place the blame on the other. Biden has the current advantage, and he must use it.

Development of TV Ads: While Trump will throw tons of political dirt Biden’s way, all Biden has to do is speak the truth. There are enough clips of Trump’s lies and contradictions about the pandemic and other major public policy issues that a systematic sequencing of political ads with a voice over contrasting Biden’s alternatives would resonate with the voting public.

Biden’s position as a truth teller could prove to be an invaluable asset if such ads are run continuously and updated as Trump perseveres in his fabrications and distractions. By doing this in a calm and empathetic manner that the nation sorely needs at this time could give Biden the gravitas that citizens desire in a time of uncertainty and peril.

These are the key challenges Joe Biden must tackle successfully if he is to remove the Donald Trump virus from the White House. Our democracy depends on it.

links to all 20 parts of the opening series Columnist, Dr. Walter C. Farrell, Jr., PhD, MSPH, is a Fellow of the National Education Policy Center (NEPC) at the University of Colorado-Boulder and has written widely on vouchers, charter schools, and public school privatization. He has served as Professor of Social Work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and as Professor of Educational Policy and Community Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Contact Dr. Farrell and BC.

Bookmark and Share
This page can be shared




is published every Thursday
Executive Editor:
David A. Love, JD
Managing Editor:
Nancy Littlefield, MBA
Peter Gamble

Perry NoName: A Journal From A Federal Prison-book 1
Ferguson is America: Roots of Rebellion by Jamala Rogers