OPINION | Biden risks being a lame-duck president

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OPINION | Biden risks being a lame-duck president

As president, Biden’s agenda will be stumped by Trump because his ghost will live on in his victorious co-conspirators

Edward Luce

Damaged liberal hearts may briefly be lifted by Joe Biden receiving more votes than anyone in US presidential history, until they find out Donald Trump came in a historic second. He even exceeded Barack Obama’s peak 2008 tally. The real lesson from Tuesday’s record turnout and the continuing vote counts is that America is bitterly, energetically and almost evenly divided.

A president Biden would at best have an equivocal mandate. The question is what he could do with it. The answer is much less than even he, the most moderate of Democratic contenders, would have hoped. Barring a serious upset, Republicans will retain control of the US Senate. Biden would be lucky to push through even the incremental parts of his agenda, such as a public option for US healthcare insurance, big investments in green technology and free tuition for middle-class university students.

Tuesday night left the epoch-changing hopes of American progressives in tatters and, of course, the votes are still being counted in key swing states...

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