NEW DELHI: US presidential candidate Joe Biden has picked Senator Kamala Harris as his vice-presidential running mate. In this exclusive interview recorded earlier, journalist and public policy analyst Akshobh Giridhardas based in Washington DC, argues that Biden’s pick is crucial looking ahead. Given his advanced years and assuming he wins, a second term is in some doubt, which means Biden’s choice now is invested with enormous importance.
On Biden’s widening lead over incumbent President Donald Trump, Giridhardas notes that the Democratic Party is straining every sinew to ensure he wins. But others say what matters is who votes for whom on election day, and that result could negate whatever the opinion polls are projecting.
Giridhardas warns that while the coronavirus and the staggering unemployment numbers are against Trump, don’t ever rule him out.
The Republican constituency remains largely together despite the frequent and bad press Trump is getting. “Then there is the electoral college,” he pointed out which secured Trump the election four years ago.
Last word on India. Giridhardas believes whether it is a Republican or a Democrat presidency, India is well up with both. There will be irritants, such as over H1-B visas, over trade, and if Biden wins, India can expect to be lectured on human rights, freedom of religion and other matters. But the fundamentals of the relationship are strong and will continue to be driven by the State Department, so the India-US narrative will be largely smooth going.