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Brazile's Banter: The Biden-Harris Administration's Uncertain Future

Photo courtesy of KPU

The Blackprint was honored to hear Donna Brazile speak in a moderated conversation with SOC Professor Jane Hall, hosted by the Kennedy Political Union. In 2000, Brazile was the campaign manager for Al Gore, making history as the first Black woman to lead a presidential campaign. She served as the Democratic National Convention chair from 2011 to 2017. Brazile has been a contributor to ABC, CNN, C-SPAN and FOX News throughout her career. She now teaches Women and Gender Studies at Georgetown University.

Political Freedoms Through Donna Brazile's Lens

The United States currently exists as a politically polarized nation that struggles with fully hearing the other side in its claims, causes, and arguments. However, where people see chaos, Brazile sees an opportunity to unionize and fight for one American principle: choice. Brazile urges that youth take advantage of the opportunities and options put in front of them and that choosing to act is the most important form of advocacy. Brazile’s reason for fighting is for the protection of others’ right to choose what is best for themselves, “I want equal justice under the law. I want to protect my freedom to choose.” Despite the differences that we share through gender, socioeconomic status, and race, Braizile is determined that a vote for the Biden-Harris administration is a vote for a future of change. 

Your Vote Is Your Voice & Your Voice Is Your Power

Brazile emphasized the importance of voting in the upcoming election throughout the conversation. “Your vote is your voice,” she said, “and your vote is your power.” In an election year where the Biden administration and Democratic Party desperately need young voters, encouraging young people to register not only themselves but also their family members to vote is an important strategy. Donna echoed this sentiment, saying that Democrats must encourage young people to get involved in politics by giving young Americans a seat at the table and speaking about the issues Gen Z cares about. 

The Power of the Black and Latin Vote: A Crucial Influence

It’s common practice for politicians to leverage their influence amongst home states and contentious battleground states, yet many struggle when trying to leverage racial demographics to turn out for them in the polls. This has been shown through racially insensitive campaign strategies such as Trump’s shoe release hoping to “buy back Black voters” or Joe Biden’s saying that voters “aren’t Black” if they don’t vote for him on an interview with Charlamagne tha God from The Breakfast Club. Although he apologized for this action, it doesn’t erase the sentiment that the Black community feels as if they’re just statistics and numbers for the administration. However, as the Hispanic/Latin population has grown in the United States, politicians are changing their strategies. According to the 2020 census, the Hispanic population makes up 18.7% of the national population, while the Black population only makes up 12.1%. Historically, politicians have tried to leverage the Black vote because of the large Black population within the United States. Democrats have been successful in these attempts but have fallen short of integrating legislation and programming that directly and positively impacts Black people. On the surface, this seems cut and dry, yet these populations change on a state-by-state basis. Different demographics and their respective population size affect the states’ voting power due to the electoral college. In the past, because the Black population was spread diversely enough across the nation, it has caused them to act as a “swing voting population.” As the Hispanic/Latin population continues to increase, the public worries the current trend in shifting political strategies to win the “Latin vote” will become permanent, discouraging politicians from keeping any focus on their Black constituents.

The Political Distraction: Humor & Ambiguity

As part of the moderated discussion, members of the audience were invited to ask Brazile questions about both her career and her views on modern American politics. In true politician fashion, Brazil carefully skirted answering the majority of questions she was asked. When the inevitable question of Biden’s age came up, in a typical Donna Brazile fashion, she teased the audience before offering her opinion. “If It was up to me I’d take him to the salon!” she joked. She went on to say that Biden needs to emulate his fierce attitude during the State of the Union address that took place earlier this month. It’s clear that Brazile supports the Biden-Harris administration and has no problem becoming one of their spokespeople. The problem lies in the execution. Young people need Biden to be as passionate as Donna. Voters are demanding clarity from Biden, not from his spokespeople. Until then, young voters remain weary about the administration's true intention. 


As the event came to a close, students were left questioning how to move forward. While American University emphasizes the importance of voting and the critical role it plays in the democratic process, currently, there’s a lack of clarity on what to consider when deciding on a leader to stand behind. Donna Brazile provided the School of Communications with a good chuckle and laugh; however, students are still left with unanswered questions. The Biden-Harris administration continues to struggle with deciding what their narrative is and the communities they’re committed to. This struggle continues to make young voters unresponsive to the administration's incomplete promises and lack of follow-through. Voters have many factors to consider this election year, and hopefully, the future regains some of its optimism as the election year progresses. 

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