Michigan in the Spotlight: The Biden-Harris campaign’s strategic push and the quest for the Black vote

As the campaign season unfolds, the Biden administration is actively engaging on the ground, particularly in Michigan—a state familiar with their presence. Recently, Biden-Harris campaign co-chair Cedric Richmond visited West Michigan to mobilize voters and emphasize the clear differences between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump. This visit is part of a broader strategy to connect with voters and delineate the administration’s policies compared to the previous leadership.

Most crucially, the objective is clear: demonstrate that the Biden-Harris administration is in sync with the people—that’s the mission. Why? Because there’s a strong and very visible anti-Biden sentiment brewing, especially across social media platforms. It essentially comes down to the questions: “What have you done for me lately?” and, of course, the critique that “he’s way too old.” Faced with these challenges, the administration is deep in damage control mode, a situation that can’t be managed discreetly; ‘the monkey is out of the bottle,’ as the saying goes.

Richmond’s main thrust focused on the hard facts, echoing the age-old saying, “numbers don’t lie.” He pointed out that during Trump’s tenure, Michigan saw over 200,000 jobs vanish and six auto factories shut down—including one right here in Michigan—due to policies that encouraged companies to move production overseas. In contrast, under President Biden and Vice President Harris, Michigan has seen the creation of 390,000 jobs, 24,000 of which are in manufacturing. This stark comparison underlines the differing impacts of the two administrations on Michigan’s economy.

“All Trump does is keep throwing stuff out there to try to distract you from looking at what’s important. And if you look at what’s important in our communities, it’s job creation. We’ve created 15 million jobs, Trump lost jobs. And wages are going up,” said Richmond.

Richmond, having been a former advisor and now co-chair for the campaign, speaks volumes. Although, one must wonder what the goal is here. “I never left. I went into the administration for a year and a half and then I went over to the DNC on the political side but it’s all the same,” Richmond shared with the Michigan Chronicle. “To keep delivering for hard working American families and to make sure that we create policies that uplift families. Because at the end of the day, it’s about community and it’s about empowerment.”

However, the real name of the game is gathering the Black vote. So, how does the Biden-Harris administration plan to do just that? Richmond was clear: “I take your question for what it is, and that is, what are we going to do to consolidate the black vote. What are we going to do to energize black people to go out and vote? And the answer to both is the thing we’re going to keep talking about the historic accomplishments of this president for the black community, whether it’s the increase in wages that the black community has seen, whether it’s lowering the racial wealth disparity gap to the lowest it’s ever been through, record low unemployment in the black community, the 15 million jobs created the infrastructure investment done with equity in mind everything from focus on home ownership and ending redlining and those sorts of things.”

That’s his take on the Black vote. It serves as the administration’s message that they’re working hard for the Black community. But the crucial question remains: Is that enough? Does this array of achievements truly impact the everyday lives of Detroiters, particularly Black Detroiters?

“I think what we have to do is make sure that we answer two questions for the Americans,” said Richmond. “One of which for all Americans, why bother? And then answer the Janet Jackson test, which is, what have you done for me lately? Whether it’s Ketanji Brown Jackson, you can talk about student debt relief, you can talk about a number of things. And so, we’re eager to have those conversations and answer those questions.”

Vital points were indeed reached, yet those central questions—the ones that the public, particularly the Black community, feel haven’t been tangibly answered—still loom large.

One must wonder when the Black community will truly see the change, feel valued, and be heard. Another year passes, and another political cycle spins, all while holding the lives of its people in its hands.


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