The dust around the chaotic US Presidential election of 2020 has settled, with news about vaccines and Covid-19 variants taking over. We all know by now how Joe Biden won the crucial swing states, throwing Trump out of the White House in the process. People will hope that the storming of the Capitol will be the last they ever have to hear of the previous administration, and following Trump’s historic second impeachment and the official inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th president of the United States, the White House will now be passed on to yet another unique administration.
While Joe Biden is hardly a unique pick for president, being an established male politician, the unique part of this ticket was Kamala Harris, who, with this victory, becomes the first African-American and the first woman to win the vice-presidency. Harris, 56, initially ran for the Democratic nomination herself and was considered a strong contender but had to drop out of the race in December 2019. Her journey towards office resumed however when she accepted to run alongside Joe Biden.
It is hard to forget sometimes that just 5 years ago the world was on the cusp of seeing Hillary Clinton being elected as the first ever female president of the United States, only to be narrowly defeated by Donald Trump who took control of the Electoral College, despite Clinton winning out on the popular vote.
For many, the Clinton administration was meant to be a sure thing, few were those who predicted Trump’s victory. But while the Trump campaign went from strength to strength throughout 2016, Hillary’s campaign seemed to fail in every way.
One of the main differences between the campaigns of Hillary and Harris was the use of the gender card. Race and gender have often played an important part in US elections, it certainly didn’t hurt the Obama campaign at least. Hillary Clinton however seemed to rely too heavily on the US population wanting to elect a female president, and campaigned around that fact frequently. When Trump appealed to the people by pointing out that he was an outsider and that he would ‘Drain the Swamp,’ Hillary was quick to respond, but botched the response entirely.
Clinton decided to try and fit into the mould of an outsider, saying that the people could not choose more of an outsider for the presidency than a woman. This was one of the many failings of the Clinton campaign. Hillary Clinton lived in the White House as First Lady during her husband’s administration and then served as Secretary of State under Obama, she was even part of the deliberations about how to handle Osama bin Laden back in 2011. In 2016, the US population could not have voted for more of an insider than Hillary Clinton, and campaigning around this fact would have given her a significant advantage over the largely inexperienced Trump.
Kamala Harris on the other hand fit the mould that the US people needed in 2020. She fought for social change in the wake of the death of George Floyd and campaigned in favour of a tougher fight against Covid. She becomes the first female to take vice-presidency of the United States because she ran as part of a campaign that the people could relate to, a campaign that the people needed, unlike Hillary Clinton’s campaign in 2016.
Written by: Anonymous