When Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election, he promised to be a “transition candidate.”
Biden’s presidency sparked hope of stability after four tumultuous years under Donald Trump. A global pandemic certainly played a factor, but the reality is that America had not seen such radical, sweeping changes during a four-year tenure as they had in any other electoral cycle.
President Biden’s role seemed to be to reverse the most extreme Trump-era policies, while laying the groundwork for a future Democratic president to take the reins in 2024. It’s not that anyone expected him to do nothing, but many assumed that Biden would bring America back to the center after four years of right-wing leadership.
Instead, Biden took the nation past the center into a new radical left where even Democrats wonder if he’s gone too far.
Prominent Democratic figures are toying with independent campaigns of their own, offering a middle ground between Biden and Trump, given how polarized Biden has made the nation.
“They’re All The Same”
Albeit a marmite figure, it’s hard to argue that Trump didn’t offer a fresh alternative for a nation that had never seen a president elected who wasn’t already in politics or the military prior to 2016.
This has been reflected in the recent legal debacles involving next year’s likely electoral adversaries.
Trump, while denying wrongdoing, has at least acknowledged his legal battles, often using them to his advantage. It marks a stark contrast to Biden, who has largely shied away from the intense scrutiny on first son Hunter.
Terms like “Bidenomics” are not helping the President’s cause. Yes, he didn’t coin the term, but he still uses it. It’s an almost egotistical approach, changing America’s perception of him. Biden’s gone from a candidate to steady the ship to one who wants to lead it onto its next journey. Given that he’s turning 81 in November, it’s not difficult to see why many Democrats have concerns.
Not helped by Vice President Kamala Harris’ widespread disapproval, Biden is now forced to extend his “transition” period by another four years. It sparks memories of George Bush’s “no new taxes” pledge, where a candidate says one thing only to change their mind mid-presidency. Biden was elected on what many felt was the condition of a single term, something he’s now overruling.
Trump’s charisma certainly helps him beat Biden in hypothetical elections, even if a majority disagree with him on topics such as the 2020 election results. That said, the former president’s polarizing nature is arguably helping Biden, who could be faring even worse against a more moderate Republican frontrunner.
Either way, when you bill yourself as a transition candidate only to go against that during your presidency, it does not often bode well with the public. 2024 is both Biden and Trump’s last roll of the dice for a presidential election, as neither are likely to stand in 2028. It’s up to America to decide who it wants to lead them into a new political era before the new decade, and right now it’s Donald Trump.
Shay Bottomley is a British journalist based in Canada. He has written for the Western Standard, Maidenhead Advertiser, Slough Express, Windsor Express, Berkshire Live and Southend Echo, and has covered notable events including the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.