Ben Rhodes


The best argument I can make to those people and I'm probably closer to that on the spectrum that party the named Joe but is that Joe Biden is precisely because he's always at the center where the Party is. You guys have moved the Party so far to the left. Job is more running on a much more progressive platform. Rob Obama did eat so so. Take your success like. You, guys have won a lot of these fights and he will have to govern in a way that is responsive to that and you have more influence if you're trying to change Democratic Party than you will if you try to Bernadette. For eight years between two, thousand, nine and two, thousand seventeen Ben Rhodes served as deputy national security adviser to Barack. Obama. Invite time ideas of national security changed in tangible ways in the United States that tone having been set in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in the US September the eleventh two, thousand and one which took the US to war in Afghanistan and in Iraq. During his tenure in the royal roads in the room curing some of the key moments of the Obama presidency. The attempts at dialogue with Iran, the normalization of relations with Cuba, the signing of the Paris climate accord the killing by US Navy seals Somma bin. Laden and the successful attempts to curb the Abo- zeke outbreaks on US soil. Rhodes began his work with Obama as a speechwriter on the then senators two thousand, eight presidential campaign, and he has over the years recounted many of those chapters of the storage political career as a writer, apart, Kosta and political commentator. His new podcast missing America aims to highlight and suggest remedies some of the effects of Donald Trump's first term in office I'm Thomas Lewis, and for the first episode of a special series of the US presidential election I sucked on with Ben Rhodes for the big interview. Ben Rhodes very warm welcome to the big interview just to begin on a very broad brush question. Bad. We are very close to election day if you to characterize the sort of state of the race with the tone of the race right now at the moment so far how would you describe it? Well, character the state of the race as totally unlike any election I've been involved in my life in the sense that Joe Biden is. Quite comfortably head. If you look at the public opinion surveys, he has bigger. Leeds Alabama had in two thousand and eight. When we ended up winning in a landslide however nobody is confident that it's possible to have a free and fair election in the United. States. In Two thousand, twenty governed by Donald Trump in. So it's election where Frankly the biggest challenge to abide and victory. May, just be whether it's at all possible to to to have a free and fair election and that is a new element. I'm aware of many friends in other countries you have to deal with that come election time, but that's a new phenomenon here in America? and. It seems as though that is I feel as though activism, the United States of course also has a different turn to this year as well. Given all of the upheavals that are still ongoing in the US. I've spoken to few activists who talked about the ways of they're pushing back can trying to hold people to account to ensure the systems are in place in a rigorous enough to ensure the election is is free fad you confident that that is enough The challenge in the United States with an election in particular is at the election system is set up an incredibly decentralized way. So it's not one election. It's fifty state elections, and then even in states they're all men are of more local election and studies. And the Republican Party for very long time has figured out how to hack that apparatus. The. Jim Crow laws enacted. To basically dig dig into places where Republicans have any degree power to prevent black people from voting prevent Martin's communities from voting, make it far easier for some people the vote than others. Now, we see obvious efforts to tamper with or de-legitimize mail and voting, which is very normal in the United States until now. So the problem activism is No matter how hard you try You can't plug every hole. You know you have to replicate that degree of activism in every state in every county in every city, and so there's always just that fear that where might there be a blind spot and if that is in an important state that can make the difference right and so yes, there's a higher degree of actors in than I've seen before but there's still sense of. Panic that that it might not be now. I'm what's your assessment? Of Joe Biden's campaign so far it's been a presidential campaign that no other candidates in political history in the US has had to run given the circumstances of this year what you make of how that campaigns being run. I'm do you think it's an effective one? In these final weeks before Election Day. Look it was always an unusual campaign is unusual that that he went from way behind to essentially locking up the Democratic nomination in a couple of weeks. Because people just decided like we cannot afford to take any chances in this election with a younger person or a more socialist person like Bernie like this idea get biden as an experienced well, lights decent guy everybody knows and is comfortable with. That that was kind of the rationale that led him to cola support because in native trump people felt that you couldn't take risk that same ethos is carried into the campaign through code which is. He should just demonstrate. Decency the fact that he'll hire the right people the fact that he'll kind of try to detoxify the American presidency in send that message in his come daily appearances, and in that sufficient in insofar as it becomes a referendum on trump, that's an advantage for Democrats trump wants to make it a referendum on. Hillary and Biden. His is not giving him the ammunition to do that I think the one challenge here when he has to close the deal is making more of a case about why him and what he's going to do. Rather than just discount drafting off the averages of trump and what he would do for an economy in the United States that has been battered by covert but already had an equities in what he would do to mobilize voting constituencies who care about things like climate change you know and he's beginning to do that but I think you'll need to do. More of that to close the deal here because people know intuitively that they should vote against trump but I think in order to risk losing them at the last minute you also have to make sure that they feel like they know why they're voting for Joe Biden spoken to a few during the process and at the stop, the primary process to. Some people who were supporting sanders similar supporting Elizabeth Warren Spitting. To some of them sort of very recently who seem to be still fairly suspicious of Joe Biden some of them some of them have said that when I can't possibly vote for Joe Biden. which is sort of as an aside to the processes struck me as. Quite surprising and maybe shocking to a certain degree as the narrative goes that seems to what happened in some parts. Henry Clinton. Last time around is that something you're hearing is that something that you think might be risk or is there a sense that there is a galvanizing of light? Well, Joe Biden might not be preferred

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