President Donald Trump speaks during a press briefing with the coronavirus task force, in the Brady press briefing room at the White House, Monday, March 16, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Two endorsements today really tell an interesting tale.
Barack Obama finally got around to endorsing Joe Biden. It felt like he had to basically be dragged kicking and screaming into it, doing it only after there were no other choices and after everyone else, even Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Biden’s opponent, had already endorsed Biden.
That doesn’t exactly inspire confidence when your boss seems reluctant to come out for you.
But it’s not just Obama.
In general, of course, there’s a lack of enthusiasm for Biden, even among those who sound like they’re resigned to having to vote for him anyway.
Enthusiasm for Biden is 8pts lower than HRC’s lowest point in 2016. This is a Joe Biden problem, not a Bernie Sanders and working class voters problem. pic.twitter.com/7ScYTCCrTs
— David Doel (@daviddoel) April 9, 2020
Not so when it comes to President Donald Trump. He has an incredibly enthusiastic group of supporters who will come out in force, as they showed in the primaries even when Trump didn’t have any real opposition, setting records for turnout.
It’s not just Trump’s words, but his actions that have drawn people, including building the strongest economy and reaching out to lift all boats, until the pandemic put a dent into it. It’s that ability that’s going to be needed to rebuild once we come out of the pandemic.
While Obama’s endorsement is pro forma, Vernon Jones’ endorsement of the Trump is not.
Georgia democrat Rep. Vernon Jones endorsed President @realDonaldTrump.
Jones views Trump as a transformative figure who has helped the black community.https://t.co/TW7VYOrevs
— #ThePersistence (@ScottPresler) April 14, 2020
Jones is a Democratic state representative from Georgia, DeKalb County, a big Democratic stronghold. Jones is definitely bucking his party in coming out for Trump.
Jones said he viewed Trump as a transformative figure who has helped African American voters, military veterans and farmers with his policies.
“It’s very simple to me. President Trump’s handling of the economy, his support for historically black colleges and his criminal justice initiatives drew me to endorse his campaign,” Jones said. “This is not about switching parties. There are a lot of African Americans who clearly see and appreciate he’s doing something that’s never been done before,” Jones added. “When you look at the unemployment rates among black Americans before the pandemic, they were at historic lows. That’s just a fact.”
He hasn’t been afraid to buck the party before, according to the AJC, siding with Republicans on votes in the past and he’s not afraid to praise Trump on social media.
“A philosopher once said, ‘One courageous man in the crowd is a majority.’ I’ve got the courage to express my convictions,” Jones explained. “I believe that Donald Trump is the best person to lead this country going forward.”
Why the endorsement is important is not just about Jones himself, although his willingness to buck the party says something.
It’s also about the recognition of the basic facts that Jones is listing and that he’s not the only person who is going to see those results. It’s one of the reasons that Trump has a higher approval among African-Americans than some prior Republican candidates. He’s working for all Americans, to lift all boats. He’s not just talking, but making active change to earn that vote. That’s going to translate, as Jones shows.
— PARIS (@PARISDENNARD) April 10, 2020
Trump got eight percent of the black vote in 2016. This time, it’s likely to be a lot more. That could spell big trouble for Democrats.