Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and California Senator Kamala Harris made their first joint appearance Wednesday, merely a day after Biden announced his VP selection.
The pair met at a high school in Biden’s hometown of Wilmington, Delaware and debuted the Democratic ticket to national televised audience, vowing to heal the soul of the nation and lead America through the principal national crises gripping it currently: the coronavirus pandemic, the flailing economy and systemic racism.
“I have no doubt that I picked the right person to join me as the next vice president of the United States of America,” Biden said in a scripted speech.
Biden went on to trot out Harris’ glittering career accomplishments as California Senator, Attorney General and prosecutor. As well, he acknowledged the historical significance of Harris’ appointment – the daughter of Jamaican and Indian immigrants – in the context of American political history, marking the first woman of (mixed) African and Asian descent to join a major party presidential ticket.
“This morning, all across the nation, little girls woke up, especially little Black and brown girls, who so often feel overlooked and undervalued. Today, just maybe, they’re seeing themselves for the first time in a new way,” Biden said.
Biden dropped some parting shots at Trump before ceding the stage to Harris. Taking President Trump to task for recent personal attacks on Harris, in which he called her “nasty”, a “liar”, and a “madwoman.” In reference to these abuses, Biden responded by saying “It’s no surprise because whining is what Donald Trump does better than any president in American history.”
When Harris took to the podium, she expressed her delight to be joining Biden on the ticket. How “incredibly honoured” she was by assuming the responsibility and how “ready to get to work” she was.
It didn’t take Harris long too before she threw some jibes at the Trump administration.
“America is crying out for leadership. Yet we have a president who cares more about himself than the people who elected him. A president who is making every challenge we face more difficult to solve.”
Criticizing the Trump administration for it’s the mishandling of the pandemic, saying “This is what happens when we elect a guy who just isn’t up for the job. Our country ends in tatters and so does our reputation around the world.” Harris concluded that the “case against Donald Trump and Mike Pence is open and shut.”
Well, the case for the Biden-Harris ticket is very much open – open to debate one might add. While both Biden and Harris put forward a well-constructed debut, political betting trends tell another story – at least for the time being. It might seem to suggest that not everyone is buying what the pair is selling.
In any other election year, Biden and Trump would have been engaging in various rallies, fundraisers and events brimming with adoring supporters. But like everything that has been upended by the global pandemic, traditional electioneering has gone out of the window.
As such, Biden’s campaign rests mostly on Trump committing one blunder after another during this extraordinary period, all the while the former vice president remains in the wings, out of the public eye.
Whether this proves to be concerning for the Democratic hopefuls remains to be seen. Though bearing in mind the punditocracy predicted a significant boost to Biden’s odds with the VP selection, the fact that it didn’t happen isn’t an auspicious sign.
Instead, on the heels of announcing Kamala Harris as the chosen running mate, Biden’s odds took a bit of a nosedive. Although Biden continues to head up the betting the market has narrowed considerably.
Is this a sign that Biden got the Veep Stakes wrong? A sign the debut didn’t resonate with the public? It’s impossible to tell. Perhaps, it’s too soon to tell either way.
Let’s not forget, Trump resumed his daily press briefings this week. Taking the stage front and centre on televisions across the country may have had a hand in the way the betting currently stacks up.
Nevertheless, with the 2020 US Elections fast approaching – less than 90 days away – a scenario in which the odds narrow between Biden and Trump means the presidency is more up for grabs than previously hoped.