Running Mate is a US election podcast – just for Brits. In our second episode, we find out who Joe Biden is and ask whether the Democratic party candidate can defeat Trump.
Host Graeme Demianyk speak to HuffPost reporters in the US, Kevin Robillard and Tara Golshan, who have been covering the former vice president’s campaign. They explain his fondness for push-ups, ice cream and the word “malarkey”, and – more seriously – why he’s rooted in the centre of the Democratic party despite its shift to the left.
Tara says: “His platform is much more progressive than I think he would have run on four years ago if he had run for president, certainly more progressive than past presidential runs he has attempted in the past. But at the same time, he’s no Bernie Sanders. He’s not on the left wing of the party, and he has no intention of being there.”
Kevin adds: “Biden has always been a guy who’s wanted to be in the centre of the Democratic party. Joe Biden would say his primary political identity is: ‘I’m a Democrat.’ And for him, that means standing up for the little guy, standing up for the working class in broad senses. But I think it also means that if the party shifts, he will gladly follow the party.”
We also speak to Democratic strategist Jeff Hauser, who fears that Biden’s “protect the lead” strategy over Trump is faltering as the polls narrow: “Trump should be in increasing trouble, and he is very much not. You would think that Biden would be trying to shoot for a landslide – and he is neither shooting for it overtly nor achieving one.”
Listen to the second episode of Running Mate above. There’ll be a new episode to download every Monday – find it by searching for Running Mate on any good podcast platform, and get involved in the conversation on social media by using our hashtag #HPRunningMate.