Aug 29, 2020 - Politics & Policy

What's next for Joe Biden after Democratic National Convention

Illustration of Joe Biden.
Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios; Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Joe Biden’s calculation is clear: he wants to scare the hell out of America about four more years of President Trump and keep the camera, focus and media trained on his opponent, not himself.

Why it matters: Biden said this week he plans a partial return to the road after Labor Day, with targeted visits to swing states — but strictly within the guidelines of safe crowd sizes, social distancing and guidance from scientists and public health officials.

  • That's easier said than done, but the conventions gave him a roadmap to talk about Trump's blunders and the stakes for the nation in three areas — the pandemic, racial strife and preserving American democratic ideals.
  • “This is on Donald Trump," said one Biden official. “He can’t hide from that.”

What's next: In addition to some Biden travel, officials said Kamala Harris will also hit the road. And former President Barack Obama is expected to do some in-person events.

  • Democrats also plan to deploy some of the other convention speakers at the state level, playing on their local connections to drive interest.
  • The idea is to turn everyday Americans who shined during the convention into regular Biden surrogates.
  • Gold Star father Khizr Khan will do press calls in Virginia. Jeff Jeans, the conservative Republican critic who now says the Affordable Care Act saved his life, will be a Biden surrogate in his home state of Arizona.

Go deeper: TV ratings were down for both the RNC and DNC

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