By Jacob T., Seventh Grader, Krieger Schechter Day School of Chizuk Amuno Congregation

Editor’s Note: This opinion piece was written in early April, prior to Bernie Sanders’ withdrawal from the race.

Both Democratic Presidential candidates, Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden, have aspirations of defeating President Donald Trump; however, each has different strategies to get there. Both have poured money and time into their campaigns, yet neither will win against Trump. 

Sanders’s bold statements and past involvement in politics as a Vermont Congressman has made him a popular Democratic candidate, especially among young people, according to The Economist. His goal is to create a movement that will lead to the largest voter turnout in history in order to defeat Trump.

The problem with Sanders’s campaign is timing. Sanders is a self-declared Democratic socialist. This basically means that he wants more government involvement in industry and has programs that would be paid for by increased taxes. Since Sanders has economic views other than strict capitalism, winning against Trump will be difficult, as Trump’s main pitch for 2020 will be the economy.

According to the White House, the administration achieved record low unemployment rates; manufacturing jobs are growing at the fastest rate in three decades; and about 3.9 million Americans have been lifted off of food stamps (all before the coronavirus crippled the global economy). Overall, in his time in office, he has done well for the economy and will use that to his full advantage in his campaign.

The problem for Sanders is that Americans will see that the economy is doing well for them under a Republican, less regulatory, capitalistic economy and wonder who Sanders thinks he is. Afterall, the current economy is helping their situation, so why should they abandon a success bound ship? 

Joe Biden is the other Democratic candidate. He has two advantages, both of which are double-edged swords. His first advantage is that he has been in politics forever. According to Encyclopedia Britannica, he represented Delaware in the Senate for 36 years (1973 to 2009), and then he served as vice president for eight years (2009 – 2017). He is a familiar face in politics and has decades of experience to prove he is fit for the job, or decades of experience to be attacked. Most likely, Trump will attack Biden on his reputation, just like he did with Hillary Clinton. And though some may question his linguistic abilities, it is clear from the 2016 debates that Trump is very strong on the offensive. Biden’s extensive record could show that he is an experienced politician, or just give Trump extra attack material. 

Biden’s second advantage/disadvantage is his demeanor. Biden seems more relaxed and contained which oftentimes comes off as slow and old. This seemingly dignified and calm vibe could work to Biden’s benefit because people might be tired of the provocative and controversial president. If Biden could harness this power of being a steady hand as president, he could actually have a shot. 

The problem is that Biden is a terrible public speaker, which makes him seem unsteadier than anyone in the race. His blunders are hilariously abundant. In a Texas campaign speech, Biden tried to recite the Declaration of Independence, but failed. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, all men and women are created by – go- you know the – you know the thing…”. In an interview in New Hampshire, Biden said, “I’ve been here a number of times . . . I love this place . . . what’s not to like about Vermont in terms of the beauty of it?” Biden forgot which state he was campaigning in. 

This is not a good strategy for appealing to voters and gives the President a lot of comedic material. In a campaign rally, Trump mocked Biden saying, “Now sleepy Joe would say: ‘the unemployment rate in the great state of Ohio.’ No, no you’re in South Carolina. Joe you’re in South Carolina!” Maybe the funniest mistake was when Biden was speaking about tax breaks for people who have childcare costs at the Workers’ Presidential Summit in Philadelphia, when he said, “It would put 720 million women back in the workforce,” according to Fox News. According to the Census Bureau, the U.S. population is about 329 million. Biden said that 720 million women would be put back in the workforce while the U.S. population is less than half that. There are many more blunders like this. Biden forgets important details that the president needs to know. Forgetting the name of which state he’s in makes him seem out of touch, and misquoting the Declaration of Independence makes him seem unpatriotic, or at the least unintelligent.

According to the White House, the administration achieved record low unemployment rates; manufacturing jobs are growing at the fastest rate in three decades; and about 3.9 million Americans have been lifted off of food stamps (all before the coronavirus crippled the global economy). Overall, in his time in office, he has done well for the economy and will use that to his full advantage in his campaign.

The problem for Sanders is that Americans will see that the economy is doing well for them under a Republican, less regulatory, capitalistic economy and wonder who Sanders thinks he is. Afterall, the current economy is helping their situation, so why should they abandon a success bound ship? 

Joe Biden is the other Democratic candidate. He has two advantages, both of which are double-edged swords. His first advantage is that he has been in politics forever. According to Encyclopedia Britannica, he represented Delaware in the Senate for 36 years (1973 to 2009), and then he served as vice president for eight years (2009 – 2017). He is a familiar face in politics and has decades of experience to prove he is fit for the job, or decades of experience to be attacked. Most likely, Trump will attack Biden on his reputation, just like he did with Hillary Clinton. And though some may question his linguistic abilities, it is clear from the 2016 debates that Trump is very strong on the offensive. Biden’s extensive record could show that he is an experienced politician, or just give Trump extra attack material. 

Biden’s second advantage/disadvantage is his demeanor. Biden seems more relaxed and contained which oftentimes comes off as slow and old. This seemingly dignified and calm vibe could work to Biden’s benefit because people might be tired of the provocative and controversial president. If Biden could harness this power of being a steady hand as president, he could actually have a shot. 

The problem is that Biden is a terrible public speaker, which makes him seem unsteadier than anyone in the race. His blunders are hilariously abundant. In a Texas campaign speech, Biden tried to recite the Declaration of Independence, but failed. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, all men and women are created by – go- you know the – you know the thing…”. In an interview in New Hampshire, Biden said, “I’ve been here a number of times . . . I love this place . . . what’s not to like about Vermont in terms of the beauty of it?” Biden forgot which state he was campaigning in. 

This is not a good strategy for appealing to voters and gives the President a lot of comedic material. In a campaign rally, Trump mocked Biden saying, “Now sleepy Joe would say: ‘the unemployment rate in the great state of Ohio.’ No, no you’re in South Carolina. Joe you’re in South Carolina!” Maybe the funniest mistake was when Biden was speaking about tax breaks for people who have childcare costs at the Workers’ Presidential Summit in Philadelphia, when he said, “It would put 720 million women back in the workforce,” according to Fox News. According to the Census Bureau, the U.S. population is about 329 million. Biden said that 720 million women would be put back in the workforce while the U.S. population is less than half that. There are many more blunders like this. Biden forgets important details that the president needs to know. Forgetting the name of which state he’s in makes him seem out of touch, and misquoting the Declaration of Independence makes him seem unpatriotic, or at the least unintelligent.

Sanders will not win because he plans radical new economic programs that would replace what is currently in place. However, the current programs are working for Americans, who will not take the risk of voting in a radical president with radical economic policies. The problem for Biden is that he is one of the worst speakers in modern politics, which ruins his steady and reliable impression. For these reasons, a Democratic victory in 2020 will be nearly impossible. 

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