On Saturday 7 November, the networks finally called the election for Joe Biden. Barack Obama’s vice-president prevailed by more than 7m votes but his margin in the electoral college was too close for comfort. The Democrats lost seats in the House and did not take control of the Senate until January, when Biden took office. America stands divided but the Democrats’ own fissures are also on display.
The party of Jackson, FDR and JFK is now an upstairs-down coalition of coastal elites and minorities, hounded by politically self-destructive demands for defunding the police and ever greater wokeness. As Biden acknowledged to Edward-Isaac Dovere, when he won the White House at the third attempt, the former senator from Delaware was the “dog who caught the bus”. Now what?
Dovere’s first book is informed and granular, filled with up-close quotes and lacerating observations, a must-read for newsrooms and political junkies. It captures Biden’s post-2016 ascent and the conflicts within his party.
Donald Trump weighs on the narrative but is not its focal point. Pride of place goes to Biden and Obama. They are plenty interesting.