The next US presidential election will take place a year today – and the Democrats think it will be “very close”.
Mr Biden, spending a working weekend at his Rehoboth beach house in Delaware, has been briefed on the Israel/Gaza situation by Secretary of State Anthony Blinken.
How that conflict and the war in Ukraine play into a year of campaigning will depend on their course and consequences.
Biden’s stewardship of US involvement in international conflict will be but one factor influencing the minds of voters, even if it’s lower down a list of campaign issues than the economy, jobs, abortion and US democracy itself.
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Trump & Biden: 2 distinct cases, 1 political wedge
Add all of that to the age of the incumbent and questions about infirmity. Opponents of Donald Trump say he faces similar questions.
In terms of the strategy of winning an election, Biden’s campaign manager, Julie Chavez Rodriguez, wrote in her election memo that it would mirror the tactics that won in 2020 – to draw a contrast with what she called “MAGA extremism”.
The Make America Great Again movement that once carried Donald Trump to the White House gives him momentum still, in spite of legal travails that see him facing 91 charges across four criminal trials in the coming months.
They come on top of one civil case in which he was found liable for sexual abuse, and another in which he was found liable for fraud, after falsely inflating the value of Trump properties.
To explore what might shape the next 12 months, we brought together politicians from both sides of the House of Representatives – Democrat Adam Smith, and Republican Victoria Spartz.
Adam Smith: Certainly abortion is a huge issue. The efforts to ban abortion nationwide has certainly motivated a lot of people to vote. That will be a motivating factor. Overall, I think the two biggest issues are going to be the economy and democracy. If Donald Trump is re-elected president, a lot of us are concerned that it will be the end of our democracy and I think people share that concern.
Victoria Spratz: I wish we would spend more time trying to unite and do something good for the country. We’re not dealing with border security. This is a very serious issue. We want to help the rest of the world but we need to keep our republic strong.
Victoria Spratz: People age differently, but I think people can observe and make decisions themselves. Who is much better, who we’ve got, who is affected by age? I don’t have to say, to make a comment on that.
Adam Smith: Trump’s just as old as Biden, like two years short. So age really isn’t a factor in that contest. At this point, I think both Trump and Biden are old, but both of them seem perfectly capable of doing their job. I think it’s the policies that are really going to drive this.
Adam Smith: To be perfectly honest, most elections are about domestic issues. I don’t know that it’s going to have a huge impact. People want to know that there’s stable leadership, but I think they’re going to care a lot more about the economy, about abortion, about the strength of our democracy, about the border. I think those are the issues that are going to drive the election in 2024.
Victoria Spratz: I have to agree that it is going to be a domestic issues. I think Joe Biden has a chance to find common ground on the issues of debt and border security. And it remains to be seen. But if he’s not willing to deal with the domestic issues, I think it’s going to hurt him significantly.
Victoria Spratz: I think American people are getting fed up with that. A lot of his opposition might shoot themselves in the foot and the American people will say “it’s enough” and it actually might help Trump.
Adam Smith: Ultimately. I think it will hurt him. That record is not a good one. Financially, in terms of business, in terms of what he did on the insurrection on January 6, in terms of trying to steal the election in 2020 – I don’t think that helps him in a general election.
Victoria Spratz: Trump was much tougher on foreign policy and his toughness brought a lot of deterrence. I think President Biden, he’s not a bad person, but he’s very political. He has very political people around him. So everything is driven by politics. Government takes some backbone and strength. I truly believe we need to have much tougher leadership with dealing with domestic issues, border security, debt and dealing with foreign issues. So, I think Trump would be much stronger if he’s the nominee.
Adam Smith: The greatest strength that the United States of America has – what we have over China and Russia – is our system of partnerships and alliances. And Trump, while he was president, tried to break up pretty much every single one of those. He wanted us out of NATO. He wanted us to stop supporting South Korea. He wanted us to be “America First” and push the rest of the world away. I think that makes it more dangerous, not less.
Written by: Newsroom