Financial TimesFinancial Times

No cakewalk for Biden against Trump

By Edward Luce

25 Apr 2023 · 3 min read

Editor's Note

Joe Biden and Donald Trump are set to go head-to-head for a second time. Will history repeat itself? Maybe, though the Democrats can't afford to be complacent, argues The FT's Edward Luce.

Let us finish the job, said Joe Biden in his re-election video. The rest of us, including Biden, could have been forgiven for thinking he had already done that by defeating Donald Trump in 2020. Yet here we are again: two bald men fighting over a comb, as Jorge Luis Borges depicted the British-Argentina war over the Falklands. America is no comb and Trump has plenty of hair. Nor is he certain to be the Republican nominee. But a repeat battle between ageing men would test America’s tolerance.

Many rashly assume that Biden can easily beat Trump. Nothing could be more certain in Biden’s mind. With some reason, he believes that had he, rather than Hillary Clinton, had been the Democratic nominee in 2016, Trump would never have become president. Those 77,000 votes that were Trump’s winning margin in a handful of mid-western states that tipped him over the electoral college line, included Biden’s native Pennsylvania. In 2020, of course, Biden was the only candidate to defeat Trump in an election.

Sign in to informed

  • Curated articles from premium publishers, ad-free
  • Concise Daily Briefs with quick-read summaries
  • Read, listen, save for later, or enjoy offline
  • Enjoy personalized content