Because the election was very close and in an almost equally politically divided country, the challenges ahead are greater than maybe anytime in history with obstacles in the way including the pandemic and a looming depression for many Americans. On top of that, the 2024 Presidential race has in essence already started. Trump is not going away and is preparing his supporters to do everything possible to hurt Biden. Because Trump remains engaged in politics, I fear the bulk of current Republican members in Congress, particularly the Senate, will be gutless in risking offending him.
Additionally, the Biden team is being pushed by elements of their own party who are making all sorts of demands on key appointments as well as pushing several key policy areas further to the left. Biden needs his liberal supporters to be reasonable, be at the table, and be heard. But the liberals should not publicly demand that their views totally prevail because they believe they won the election for him. Delivering the victory could be claimed of almost any group or area when an election is as close as this one. It’s also far too early in this process to claim that one particular constituency or another has “won or lost” anything. It’s best to be patient and allow the selection processes to play out, knowing the functionality and success of the overall team is the priority here.
Strategically, the plan moving forward must include directions that enhance the likelihood of re-election. I say that for at least two reasons. First, I think the chances increase for the policy changes achieved to survive a Republican reversal if the people re-elect the Biden-Harris team, thus showing public support for the Administration’s leadership. Secondly, we need eight years of appointing judges to begin balancing the court system after the unbelievable Trump move to only appoint not just conservative judges but anti-government ones that have and will continue to reverse positions that have stood for decades under leadership of both parties.
For me, this means strategically to accomplish these goals we must be pragmatic. Biden’s tendency to want Republican support needs to really be given a chance. This is absolutely true if Democrats do not win both Georgia Senate races in January. And in achieving even minimal Republican votes, the public perception should be more positive. And the Administration's messaging will be key. Remembering the audience you need to reach beyond your core supporters will be a must.
Regarding overcoming obstacles, we will probably learn soon whether Biden’s long history in the Senate with some former Republican colleagues can work to some modest degree in helping move his Presidential agenda forward. The first clue will be how those key Republicans start to act following the transition and with less direct pressure from the former President, allowing at least some independent thought. Depending on how the Georgia runoff races go, Biden may need none or only a couple Senators to work with him. Ideally, he will find those Republican votes so that legislation looks at least a little bipartisan, which should increase the chances of surviving a future Republican administration.
Given the challenges of dealing with Covid-19 and the unbelievable growth in cases and deaths as well as the economy, we had better hope and pray Joe and Kamala have the support necessary to succeed. Lives are at stake, and the future is on the line.