Trump’s Democratic rival is not a beginner in the business and he knows how to bet on his opponent’s flaws more than on his own qualities.
Hello, hello, this is the old fellow gond. Forty-eight years he’s been in the landscape. He knew Brezhnev and Kossyguine, Zhou Enlai, Amin Dada and Kissinger, the Bulgarian umbrellas and Checkpoint Charlie. It hasn’t changed too much, it still has a head to advertise for Viagra, the complexion of a guy who sleeps under the tanning lamp. Teeth a little too white, smile Ultra Brite, still thin, step a little slowed down, certainly, but it’s Joe Biden.
Sometimes, on the stage, he closes his eyes while his praise is made. We wake him up discreetly. Joe, please, there’s the TVs. He raises his head and smiles, it feels good, a little roupillon.
He spoke last Thursday at the Democratic convention that confirmed his inauguration. There was a general view that it was not too bad. It is true that he did in the consensual, assuring, the air penetrated: « Love is more powerful than hatred, hope is more powerful than fear, light is more powerful than darkness. »
Crowdsaren’t his thing, and it’s good because the crowds are out of season.
It’s their Own Chirac. A bonhomie displayed that serves to mask a fierce ambition, an overplayed empathy in the face of the misfortunes of the little people, a foolproof longevity (senator of Delaware from the age of 29, until 2008, third attempt at the supreme election), tactile (especially with these ladies), a perfect knowledge of washingtonian institutions, a sense of gaffe that defies comprehension.
He once plagiarized Labour leader Neil Kinnock, tending to embellish his academic results. He recounted his run-ins with South African police while trying to meet Nelson Mandela, except that it did not happen.
Le Chirac du Delaware
Sometimes he better keep quiet and recognize himself. When Obama ran in the Democratic Primary in 2008, he said, « He’s smart, he’s clean, he’s good. » A racist remark that the winner did not hold him against him by choosing him as vice president, nor the African-Americans, who overwhelmingly support him and whom he has always defended. Nothing, anyway, that can shake him.
The Delaware Chirac is a born centrist. « He has no ideology, he is at the centre, and whatever the center, he goes, » said Gérard Araud, former French ambassador to the United States. Since Bernie Sanders’ breakthrough, the center among Democrats has moved to the left, and Joe has followed, not upsetting for two cents.
Go for the left bar. He therefore advocates a sharp increase in the minimum wage, and 2 trillion investments in four years to combat global warming.
Can he win? « A party as bubbling with ideas as the Democratic Party, where the debates are lively, has lined up behind Biden, who has had the ability to closely associate the left wing of the party with the drafting of the program, » recalls Jean-Eric Branaa, senior lecturer at the University of Pantheon-Assas, and author of « Joe Biden: The 3rd Term of Barack Obama » (VA Editions).
He always knew how to negotiate: with republicans in the Senate, with Obama, of whom he was the clever complement to the White House by investing in foreign policy, especially the Afghanitan, and now with those who were rough opponents within the party.
A touchy nothing
His running mate, Senator Kamala Harris, had shaken him during the primaries by recalling his hostility to busing, a system that promoted school diversity that allowed black children to enrol in good schools far from home.
Here he is with a comfortable lead in the polls. He enjoys the leniency of the American press, which is now more discreet about the seven accusations of harassment and one of rape made by women who crossed his path. So Joe is « touchy. »
Can being the embodiment of the « system » harm him? « He has been at the heart of American foreign policy, of judicial policy as well. But can Trump, heir, billionaire and jet-setter, claim to be out of the system? » Branaa has fun. As to whether he will be able to mobilize the young people, disappointed by the failure of Sanders, and the Latinos, who probably would have wanted a vice-president from their ranks…
Expectations are high, and Biden is an old Sioux. After George Floyd’s death, he said, « I realize we have to do something great. »
He still hasn’t said what.
Anne-Sophie Mercier. Le Canard Enchainé (The Chained Duck). 26/08/2020