By William J. Ford
WASHINGTON, DC — With another round of Democratic presidential debates coming July 30-31, voters can possibly decide which candidate appeals to them for next year’s primary election.
However, several Maryland voters used the words “charismatic,” “experienced” and “unfazed” to describe former Vice President Joe Biden as the one to defeat Republican President Donald Trump.
Former state Sen. Gloria Lawlah, who represented southern Prince George’s County, admits Sen. Kamala Harris of California excelled at the first round of debates last month, adding however, that it only reinvigorated Biden to “regroup” and come back stronger.
Plus, his connection and work with former President Barack Obama carries weight, she said.
“Joe goes a long way back,” said Lawlah, 80, who serves on the Biden for Maryland campaign. “Women are going to be the deciding vote in this election. Women are coming out in droves…”
Del. Erek Barron (D-District 24) of Mitchellville, who serves as co-chair of the Biden for Maryland campaign, has some personal connection with when he worked on Capitol Hill as counsel and policy advisor for then-Senator Biden.
Not speaking on behalf of the campaign, Barron outlined in an email July 12 several reasons Biden would help Marylanders eliminate inequitable disparities, restore the Voting Rights Act, and dedicate cyber and other resources to defend election systems.
“Biden’s experience far exceeds his competition and his authenticity allows him to naturally connect with Americans from all walks of life,” Barron, 45, said. “Marylanders want to be able to sleep comfortably at night, knowing we’re being led by an experienced hand that shares our values. We were able to trust Biden as a solid partner to President Obama.”
An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll conducted July 7-9 revealed Biden to be well ahead of the more than 20 presidential candidates.
Among 400 Democratic primary voters surveyed, Biden led the pack at 26 percent to receive the Democratic nomination in the primary or caucuses. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts came second at 19 percent, and Harris and Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont tied at 13 percent.
South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg garnered 7 percent. Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke and entrepreneur Andrew Yang both received 2 percent. The remaining candidates either registered at 1 percent or below.
The poll highlights only 12 percent of Democratic voters who say their “mind is definitely made up.”
That’s not the case for Prince George’s County Councilwoman Deni Taveras (D-District 2) of Adelphi, who still wants to hear and read the candidate’s platforms on how to decrease the national debt, create a pathway to immigration, and plans to improve Obamacare, also known as the Affordable Care Act.
Taveras attended the 36th annual National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) conference June 21 in Miami, five and six days before the Democratic presidential debates held in that city.
Eight of the candidates showed up, but Taveras noticed Biden, Harris and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker didn’t attend.
“They didn’t think highly of this portion of the voting bloc to show up to a national event,” Taveras said. “We had thousands of people present. Elected and appointed officials from all over the country from every single party. To not show up spoke volumes to me.”
A Prince George’s voter, who declined to be identified during a July 12 interview, said she might vote for Harris or Warren because “a woman would give this country a kick in the pants.”
Although Del. Nick Charles (D-District 25) of Forestville agrees, he said Biden’s experience makes him the top candidate to challenge Trump.
“Every candidate has some level of experience, but when you couple that with the candor, [Biden’s] able to fight back and forth with [Trump],” Charles said. “I haven’t seen anybody as aggressive going after him like Biden.”
This post originally appeared in the Washington Informer.