The State of the Union Was a Preview of 2024 for Both Biden and Republicans
Sarah Huckabee Sanders road-tested the DeSantis 2024 playbook. Let's see how it works out for her.
1. Campaign Strategery
Biden’s 2024 campaign launched Tuesday night. “Finish the Job” will be the campaign’s guiding theme. The major pillars will be:
The economy, the economy, and the economy.
Biden’s bipartisan legislative accomplishments, which were achieved with the help of Republicans.
The need to keep spending money to help small towns and rural areas.
The risky proposals of some Republicans.
Explicit in all of this is the following:
Biden likes working with Republicans.
Not all Republicans are crazy and Democrats can still do business with the party.
Areas of the country which did not (and will not) vote for Biden are in desperate need of help, irrespective of their political identities.
Thus, we had Biden congratulating Kevin McCarthy and Mitch McConnell; giving equal credit for many of his administration’s accomplishments to Republicans; claiming that only some Republicans want to hold the debt ceiling hostage and cut Social Security and/or Medicare; talk at length about the necessity of helping small, rural towns which have been left behind by building infrastructure and bringing manufacturing back to Red America.
The campaign wants to make inroads with Republican voters, particularly in the Midwest. That’s the primary objective. That’s what this speech was all about.
You can call it a unity speech or say that Biden was trying to bring America together and those sentiments are nice and possibly even true. But let’s put sentiment to the side and be cold-eyed. Biden believes that he must further expand his coalition and increase his vote share from 2020. He thinks he accomplishes this by clawing back another point or two of non-college whites (in addition to the couple of points he won back already in 2020).
That’s why he’s running on the economy, on the reasonableness of some Republicans, and the need to keep helping America’s forgotten small communities.
2. The Sanders-DeSantis View
Conversely, nepo-baby Sarah Huckabee Sanders’s response telegraphed a different theory of 2024.