Monday, April 15, 2024

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Biden Clinches Democratic Nomination, Sets Up Rematch with Trump

Biden clinches Democratic nomination, bracing for high-stakes rematch against Trump's extremist MAGA movement.

biden state of the union address
Andrew Harnik / AP Photo

In a resounding show of party unity, President Joe Biden has locked up the Democratic nomination, dispatching fringe challengers with ease. The 80-year-old president now pivots to the daunting task of defeating the unprecedented threat to democracy posed by Donald Trump’s MAGA movement.

Biden’s victory in the Georgia primary cemented his position as the presumptive nominee, accumulating the 1,968 delegates required. This sets up a bitter rematch with twice-impeached former President Trump, who is struggling under the weight of over 90 criminal charges and over half a billion dollars in pending civil damages.

Biden’s path to renomination was almost entirely uncontested, underscoring the broad support he maintains among Democrats. The president did face pockets of protest from progressives and Muslim activists frustrated by his support for Israel. But these “uncommitted” voters represented a small fraction even in their relative strongholds like Michigan and Minnesota. And Biden has since taken steps to assuage the concerns of Democrats who disagree with his handling of the crisis in Gaza.

While Biden faces doubts even among his own supporters about his age and foreign policy record, his steady leadership and contrast with Trump’s chaos makes him well-positioned to prevail this November.

Make no mistake – for all the hand-wringing over Biden’s age and stamina, Democrats clearly understand what’s at stake against the clear and present danger that another Trump presidency would pose to the future of democracy in the United States.

With the primary now officially behind him, Biden can train his full focus on the arduous mission of defeating Trump and his fascist movement that continues to spread corrosive lies about the 2020 election being “stolen.”

After Trump’s norm-shattering tenure culminated in the horrific January 6th insurrection, it’s clear he represents an existential crisis for American democracy itself. Biden recognizes this, repeatedly contrasting his “predecessor’s” anti-democratic behavior with his defense of democratic values during his extremely impressive State of the Union address.

And while Trump currently leads in some sketchy partisan polls, his blitzkrieg of legal woes looms as a significant wildcard that could impact the race drastically.

Conversely, Biden holds a massive fundraising lead, allowing his campaign to scale up operations ahead of the brutal trench warfare to come. They’ve already launched a $30 million ad campaign touting Biden’s accomplishments while attacking Trump’s failures as President.

Of course, the president faces tough headwinds of his own amid economic anxieties. But Democrats are rallying around him as the sole bulwark against a planet-scorching second Trump term. Through policy achievements like historic infrastructure legislation and a competent pandemic response, Biden has shown he can deliver results for the people where Trump failed catastrophically. By underscoring this contrast between Biden’s workmanlike dignity and Trump’s disgraceful corruption, Democrats can energize their base and persuade swing voters to overlook Biden’s imperfections.

Biden’s commanding State of the Union address and subsequent campaigning in battleground states signaled a two-pronged strategy to defeat Trump’s extremist movement. He spoke forcefully on Democratic priorities like abortion access and infrastructure while attacking Trump regarding the January 6th insurrection. Although he declined to utter Trump’s name, Biden made it clear that twice-impeached former presidents who incite violent attempts to overturn elections are not fit for office.

Biden also confronted superficial concerns over his age head-on in an impressive new ad. While acknowledging he’s “not a young guy,” Biden argued that the wisdom and expertise he has accrued over decades of public service uniquely equip him to move America forward. This frames Biden’s maturity as an asset compared to Trump’s incompetence, which brought America to the brink during his four catastrophic years in power that ended with thousands of people dying every day.

This frames the election not as a choice between two flawed geriatrics, but as an existential decision between democratic stability and authoritarian chaos. Yes, Biden has blemishes – from the Gaza crisis to occasional memory lapses. But compared to Trump’s manifest corruption, bigotry, and obvious mental decline, Biden remains devoted to truth, inclusion, and the rule of law.

As the convention nears, Democrats must unify behind that core contrast. Tuning out the partisan noise, voters must recognize America’s future hangs in the balance. Will we enable Trump’s cruel demagoguery and race-baiting by elevating false equivalences with Biden? Or will we secure the soul of this nation by reelecting a leader defined by experience, empathy, and fundamental decency?

Biden’s nomination crystallizes that monumental choice. Despite valid doubts, Democrats must spotlight his humanity and policy successes while exposing Trump’s unprecedented criminality and his slide into dementia. Leaning into this contrast gives hope that a majority of voters will choose unity over division, facts over lies, and democracy over despotism. With democracy itself in the balance, Biden remains our bulwark against American descent into darkness.