New Orleans Charles Blow, a columnist for the New York Times wrote an interesting column the other day on President Biden’s prospects for winning a second term. His angle was interesting. He talked to three veteran campaigners who had made their chops running winning campaigns for Carter, Clinton, and Obama. They joined me in believing that Biden’s best chances were in a rerun match with Donald Trump. They all agreed that Biden’s age is going to be an issue we’ll hear about every day, although with Trump as the Republican nominee will make some of their cry tongue-in-cheek, because he’s no spring chicken either. All agreed that the “policy case” for Biden’s re-election campaign was excellent. There’s an uncomfortable “but” to all of this, though.
`James Carville from Carville, Louisiana, had the most interesting insight to my reckoning. He worried that the Black voting turnout was down in the 2022 midterms, especially among young Black voters and Black men. He called the results “underwhelming” even when strong Democratic candidates were facing weak Republicans. A contemporary consultant cited a recent survey that was troubling, because it “found that three-quarters of Black voters don’t believe their lives have improved since Biden became president, despite his administration’s “initiating or completing” a majority of the Black agenda….”
Whoa, Nellie! What you say?!?
Part of their argument is that the Biden administration is not doing a good enough job communicating its success. Sound familiar? This was also the rap on the Obama administration on health care and other initiatives. Here’s my question: we have a Black vice-president Kamala Harris in the White House, why don’t they have her out there going wild to spread the Biden policy gospel, especially in Black and other communities? I noticed they had sent Harris on a fast plane to Nashville in the wake of the crazy Tennessee expulsion of two Black state representatives. Maybe they are putting two and two together as well? What are they saving her for? These international jobs where she’s dealing with Latin American immigration issues and visiting countries in Asia are fine for her resume, I guess, but the clock is ticking to 2024. What’s a vice-president’s real job other than selling the administration high and low across the country? Right, nothing but ceremony. It’s time for heavy lifting for Harris.
I get the fact that Harris has been a better ambassador to Black women’s groups, but if she’s the best the administration has, they need to have her go hard among Black men as well. Time for Cedric Richmond, former New Orleans representative in the House, to get cracking as well now that he’s already in campaign mode. And, how about young Black progressives, just like these two guys, being sent back to the legislature in Tennessee from Nashville and Memphis? They know how to stir the pot. They ought to put them in motion.
Trump, Biden, whoever, the programs that made a difference during the pandemic need strong advocates, if we want to ever see them become permanent. We need great safety net sales people, because we need that to be the future for Americans, no matter who happens to be president.