After Biden won the presidency in part, claiming a larger share of the college trained in the suburbs, some of his GOP enemies see his early moves as an opportunity to label him an elite president serving the country’s coastal professionals at his heart’s expense. workers. The growing momentum underscores how the battle for populism is likely to revive the nation’s politics, even after Trump leaves the White House and is replaced by a man named “middle-class Joe.”
“This is our mentality against them – a system of beliefs that there is a real America and we are the only party fighting for it,” Walter said. “I think Trump was the most successful there, and I don’t know how well anyone else will be able to do it.”
His decision to nominate Anthony Blinken, a Harvard-educated secretary of state, Yale-educated Jake Sullivan as national security adviser and former Yale-educated Secretary of State John F. Kerry as special presidential envoy for the climate, sparked an immediate reaction among Republicans seeking to take up the populist mantle.
“Biden’s cabinet choice went to Ivy League schools, has strong resumes, attends all the right conferences, and will be a polite and orderly guardian of America’s decline,” Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) Wrote on Twitter. “I support American greatness. And I have no interest in returning to the “normal” that left us dependent on China. “
Mrs. Rubio was echoed by a handful of other CSO senators, including some who were also nominated as potential presidential candidates in 2024. Each tried to file an anti-elite lawsuit against Biden’s team of educated, experienced government officials with experience in government and international affairs. diplomacy.
The attacks underscore the delicate balance Biden may need to strike in order to stand up to a government capable of pursuing its policies without backing down Republican candidates in hopes of restoring Trump’s success with white working-class voters in 2016. and its modest improvements in the work of class minorities in 2020.
During his election campaign, Biden made direct appeals to these voters, often using his own populist language to describe his policies and approach to governance.
Branding himself as the son of middle-class Scranton, Pennsylvania, Biden campaigned against Trump’s tax cuts for the rich and corporations and tried to portray the presidential race as “Scranton vs. Park Avenue.”
“We’re used to guys looking at us with their noses, or people looking at us and thinking we’re nasty, looking at us and thinking we don’t, that we’re not the equivalent,” Biden said at the time. at CNN City Hall in September.
He attacked “boys like Trump” for thinking “you must be stupid if you haven’t actually been able to go to school in Ivy.”
In contrast, Trump boasted his Ivy League degree from the University of Pennsylvania while mocking Biden for his educational qualities.
“Never use the word smart with me,” Trump told Biden during the first presidential debate. “Never use that word. Because you know what? There’s nothing smart about you, Joe.
Trump’s cabinet was the richest in modern history, filled with well-educated secretaries with resumes of names like Goldman Sachs, ExxonMobil, and OneWest Bank Group. As the president highlighted their lineage, calling some of them “killers,” he also embraced a nationalist ruling philosophy that resonated with working-class voters who hailed brazen attacks on Washington’s elites and the diseases of globalism.
Republican authorities hope to upgrade this game book by attacking Biden and his incoming team with a similar theme.
Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) Took to Twitter to attack Biden’s preferred cabinet as a “group of corporatists and war enthusiasts.”
“Take Tony Blinken.” He supports any endless war since the invasion of Iraq, “wrote Hawley, who attended Yale Law School earlier this week. “He now works for #BigTech and helps companies penetrate #China. He has no idea what working Americans want or need. “
Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) Tweeted that Biden was “surrounded by panda hunters who would only strengthen his instinct to soften China.” Cotton, a Harvard law graduate, accused another Biden candidate of “selling green cards of Chinese citizens on behalf of wealthy, democratic donors. “
Rubio, Hawley, and Cotton’s decision to focus on China shows one way Republicans could try to force Biden after he took office in January. Their strategy is to draw a sharp line between global forces and American workers, then accuse Biden and his team of being too global to make the right decision about where to stand.
“President-elect Biden and newly elected Vice President Harris have just won a historic victory over Scranton v. Park Avenue, with a platform shaped by many of the same advisers that puts the US middle class at the top of this administration’s agenda,” said Biden spokesman Andrew. Bates. “These are nominees who have lived by the American dream and earned their credentials through hard work and determination, including a black woman educated in segregated schools and a Cuban American who came to that country as a refugee.”
Bates added: “The Biden-Harris ticket was also the first selected in decades in which none of the candidates attended school in the Ivy League. At the same time, as Senators Cotton and Hawley can attest, there’s nothing wrong with having an Ivy League degree. We look forward to working with these members in good faith. “
Biden said he would take a firm stand against China and attacked Trump for praising Chinese President Xi Jinping in the early weeks of the pandemic, when Beijing did not cooperate with US scientists to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
The president-elect is also trying to be a champion of populist politics, while rejecting some of his party’s more liberal ideas, which Republicans call socialism.
Still, coordinated attacks on Biden’s incoming administration threaten to complicate the first days of his presidency.
Biden has already faced calls to forgive billions of dollars in student loans through enforcement action. Republicans have lashed out at such a move, saying it benefits the rich enough to attend college and graduate school.
Democratic leaders are also seeking to use legislation in response to the pandemic to remove the restriction on state and local tax breaks introduced by Trump’s 2017 tax bill. But the benefits of such a move would greatly help wealthy homeowners. housing in high-tax states, opening Democrats to accusations of prioritizing the rich over the middle class.
The pandemic, which Biden said would be his first priority when he took office, also poses class-related challenges to both public health and the economic front. Poor Americans are disproportionately affected by the deadly virus, and the country is experiencing a K-shaped recovery in which wealthy people prosper as unemployment, layoffs and food lines rise.
In the midst of a pandemic in which Democrats are more likely to pass home orders and other mitigation measures, Republicans accuse them of seeing the world through the eyes of a privileged class of workers capable of doing work from home. Some Democrats, including New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and California Gov. Gavin Newsum, have been attacked for failing to follow their own virus guidelines.
After Trump campaigned, saying Biden wanted to shut down the country’s economy – something that would disproportionately hurt low-income workers – Biden repeatedly had to declare that he would not support such a move.
“I’m not going to stop the economy, period,” Biden told reporters at a news conference last week. “I’ll close the virus.”
He reiterated: “There is no national exclusion.”
For his part, Trump has never bothered to be considered too elitist – instead leaning on his businessman and taste for high life. He spends much of Thanksgiving playing golf at his private club in Virginia, which he attends throughout his presidency.
As he swings his fortune, Trump often tries to lure his supporters together by posing as their champion against what is traditionally seen as a social elite.
During the rallies, Trump bragged about having “better houses,” “better apartments,” and “better everything” than his enemies.
“Do you know the way they talk about the elite?” Trump told a crowd of supporters at a September rally in Michigan. “I see them, they are not elite, you are the elite. . . . You are the super-elite. “