The race for the White House: What comes next?


David Micali '21, Senior Correspondent

A dialogue between Phillip Dragone ’21, and David Micali ’21:

David: So Phil, it appears our primary season is finally over. Joe Biden is the winner.

Phil: Yeah, it was a pretty long time coming at this point. Obviously, we had upwards of 28 major candidates for the Democratic nomination and with Bernie Sanders now out of the race, Biden is the presumptive nominee for the Democrats in 2020. 

David: Do you think that the Sanders camp of the party will unite around Biden?

Phil: Most Bernie Sanders supporters will likely vote for Joe Biden in the fall but, at the same time, you do have this pretty strong core contingent of people who are very anti-establishment, maybe left-wing, maybe a little of both, who will be opposed to Joe Biden. I do believe that the majority of Sanders supporters will unite around Biden though. 

David: Exactly, the Democrats seem to be united by their hatred of the current president, Donald J. Trump. An important next step in all this is who Biden will pick as his running mate. During the last CNN TV debate, he promised to pick a woman. Who do you think he will pick?

Phil: You know, this answer might seem like a cliché, but I say Stacey Abrams. Kamala Harris is also likely, Amy Klobuchar is up there too.

David: The Klomentum continues. 

Phil: The Klomentum does indeed continue. I think her strong debate performance before the New Hampshire Primary led to a sudden last-minute surge for her to come in third place in New Hampshire and she got a boost in fundraising after that. Biden would be smart to look in her direction, especially her appeal to rustbelt swing states. Abrams, Harris, and Klobuchar; I would say those are the most likely. 

David: I get the appeal of Harris and Klobuchar, but what would be the appeal of an Abrams running mate?

Phil: She is a strong voice for black women, she’s young, she is a fresh new face in politics which gives her kind of an outsider appeal. I think the Biden campaign is looking South this election. She’s from Georgia, she probably has some major pull. 

David: It shows how far the Democrats have come in four years where they have gone from losing historically blue states like Michigan and Pennsylvania to thinking that they can flip the South which has been red since the 1970s. 

Phil: It goes to show the power of shifting demographics. 

David: Like in Virginia.

Phil: Exactly! Virginia, a historic red state, now has a Democratic House, Senate, and governor and they have been pushing a liberal agenda. We saw this recently when the state passed a slew of gun control bills in response to the shooting in Virginia Beach last year. Clearly the suburbs are playing a part in the country’s shifting politics and changing demographics.   

David: So, Phil, I don’t know if you have heard, but people keep talking about this thing called the coronavirus.

Phil: Really, I hadn’t heard that.

David: Yeah, and one of the big names coming out of this story is the governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo. Do you think Democrats have a buyer’s remorse? Is there any substance to this “Draft Cuomo” movement? 

Phil: Andrew Cuomo was thought to be a 2020 contender long before what has happened in New York, but he endorsed Biden even before Biden officially joined the race. I don’t think the “Draft Cuomo” movement is anything more than gossip.

David: Speaking of COVID-19, what did you think of our “wartime president’s” response to the virus? 

Phil: I would argue that Trump responded too slowly. We have evidence that Trump knew about the dangers of the Coronavirus ahead of time but didn’t do anything about it. Besides that, though, I would say Trump is doing okay. I am worried about the second wave of this virus and what will happen if the country opens up too soon.

David: I think a lot of people feel the same way, and those who have been following the news closely know that this debate is happening across the country. I think if Trump opens up the country too soon and the deaths spike, he is done in November.

Phil: For the longest time, I put the odds of Trump winning at 50/50. Recently, after Biden’s sudden surge to first place, I think Biden would have to really screw up to not win. I’d give him a four out of five chance of beating Trump. 

David: Well, we will have to see what comes of this. Stay safe Phil.

Phil: You as well.