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Now that we’ve gotten the disturbing scenario of Trump’s return to the presidency out of the way, let’s game out a Biden victory in 2024.
In this one, the Trump nomination proved to be a hell of a food fight as DeSantis held his own for a while and the attacks, condemnations, insults really flew back and forth. Trump wins but the primaries showed a real hunger to move on from him.
Biden had no real opponent (I don’t count Robert Kennedy Jr.). He sails to renomination and as expected, again selects Kamala Harris as his vice presidential candidate. On the same track, she’s been assigned the heavily desired task of speaking to every single woman (and man) in America revolted by the overturning of Roe v Wade and horrified by bans in 20 or 25 states that outlaw abortion at six weeks with no exceptions.
The United States, after enduring more than a year of historically high inflation is now seeing first hand a real reduction and inflation moves closer to typical levels. A very shallow recession is already receding due to cuts in interest rates. Or even if it was a bit deeper, the clear trajectory is growth and a recovery with good jobs numbers.
In this scenario, Trump picks Tim Scott of South Carolina (which means I lose a previously envisioned bet, when I said that the Republican would pick a female) as his running mate in order to take a slice out of Biden’s enormous and often underestimated strength in the Black community.
Biden touts, to the extent he is able with surrogates blanketing the country, the infrastructure bill that became law (“You talked about it for 1,500 days, Donald; I enacted it in my first year). He highlights how he’s restored a sense of calm and normalcy to American politics and tried be the president for all, not just a slice of the electorate. He touts the Covid vaccine rollout, job growth and other key measures of presidential accomplishments.
Biden addresses the age issue head on.
“Yes, I’m 81 years old. Yes, I’ve slowed down a step. But, but, I am wise, experienced and my decisions are 100 percent within expected norms. I may miss a beat from time to time, but Trump is insane, whether he’s 78 or if he were 35 years old. Do I do anything crazy? Do I scare your children? Do I scare women? No, I don’t. Who cares if I mispronounce a word here and there. I’m basically healthy and while I can’t campaign 24/7, you should feel you can count on me to always do the right thing. Always! I am the steady hand. Do you really want another four years of daily insanity?
“The lunatic I’m running against inspired a mob of lawless men and women to attack the Capitol on January 6th. He dragged this nation through months and months of mindless chaos trying to overturn an election he simply lost.
“Did I mention that he was indicted and convicted for fraud? Did I mention that he was found civilly liable in a rape lawsuit? Did I mention that he was indicted in Georgia for trying to overturn the lawful results there?
“And one more thing! Donald Trump sent Roe v Wade to the grave. Donald Trump appointed three justices to the Supreme Court who overturned a 50-year-old decision that gave American women the right to reproductive choice.
“Your rights were taken away. They were taken away by a man whose thinking is more 1955 than 2024.
“Sure, I’m older. So what? I’m smarter, kinder, gentler, wiser and more like you than the mid-20th century throwback.”
Results: Biden wins by 10+ million votes, keeps the states he won in 2020 and wins the Electoral College vote 302 to 235.
Odds of the two scenarios? Better left to an expert pollster, but history tells us that most major party nominees probably have an even or close to even shot at winning. The decision takes place in only about six or seven states (no one expects Biden to win Texas or Trump to win California). But I give Biden a 55 percent chance of victory. More of a nail biter than I’d like but I think I’d rather be the Biden campaign. The upper Midwest appears lost to Trump in most scenarios. The selection of a Tim Scott, while intriguing, doesn’t dent Biden’s standing with Black voters (did the selection of Sarah Palin give McCain a leg up with women?).
Tim Scott will prove to be a decent dud! To really break into the Black vote, Trump would have had to select Kanye West. Another lunatic to be sure (that wouldn’t balance the ticket admittedly) but at least he has an appeal.
Goodbye, Donald! Please go away.
Actually, please don’t. Claim a rigged election and run in 2028! Please. And then run in 2032. Hell, run in 2036 …
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