What a Joe Biden presidency could mean for Yorkshire

We will need to wait until the early hours of November 4 to find out who will be the next president of the United States but this week we are set to find out the person who has the best shot at reaching that office in 2024.

Former Vice-President Joe Biden is set to unveil who will be his running mate when he goes up against President Donald Trump in November.

We do at least know the gender of his running mate, with Biden having pledged to pick a female vice-presidential candidate.

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A number of names are in the frame, with California Senator Kamala Harris, and former national security adviser to Barack Obama, Susan Rice, the top contenders with bookmakers.

If either is picked they would make history as the first black woman to be a running mate and would almost certainly be frontrunners for the Democratic nominee for president in 2024.

Biden will be 77 years old when he contests the election on November 3 and 78 when he is sworn into office. By the time the 2024 election comes along he will be 82.

Biden defeated a diverse and crowded field to capture the nomination as Democrats sought to play it safe in their quest to avoid a second humiliation at the hands of Trump.

He was a very popular vice president under Obama and his experience and record is seen as having the best chance of defeating Trump. Since emerging as the frontrunner Biden has kept a low profile. Unable to campaign as normal owing to the pandemic there have been no mass rallies or events, with his appearances limited to a handful of media interviews.

Joe Biden

Part of this strategy has been that Biden, with all his experience, will be following the classic advice from Napoleon that one should never interrupt an opponent when they are making a mistake.

Trump’s presidency, for all his bluster, has been besmirched by crisis after crisis and a litany of broken promises. The strong economy he inherited barely moved on his watch and has now tanked owing to the coronavirus pandemic lockdown.

His handling of the crisis has been virtually universally criticised in the US and every poll points towards a heavy defeat in November.

However, Biden’s lack of exposure is also rumoured to have more concerning reasons. Rumours about a decline in his cognitive ability have circulated from his opponents for some time but are also shared by certain sectors of the Democratic Party.

Donald Trump

Certainly, public appearances have seen Biden, on occasion, seemingly lose his train of thought. Malicious or not, it seems improbable that an 82-year-old would be able to sustain the rigours of holding the most powerful job in the world for more than four years.

So, you may be asking, what does this have to do with Yorkshire? Well, for a start, a Biden presidency would be good news for the whole country and much of Europe.

Trump is likely to be toast in November, along with his protectionism and confrontational foreign policy. As such the market has already seen increased US interest in European equities, currency and bonds.

However, the main area of potential comes with green energy. Biden has pledged a multi-trillion dollar climate plan and a great deal of this will come from green energy. This is a sector which Yorkshire and the North is poised to lead upon on a worldwide basis. If Biden wins the US is likely to enter a buying mode and, as the nation’s green energy sector is behind the curve of other parts of the world, much of its infrastructure demands will need to be met from overseas.

Green energy plant

We are talking serious long-term projects which will take decades to implement in some cases.

The region, if it is agile and bold, could capitalise on this, set up a pipeline of work that will sustain jobs for many years and make us a global leader on a futureproof sector that will revolutionise the way we harness power.

All of this, of course, is contingent on Trump losing. We all thought he would do so in 2016. And look how that turned out. Perhaps all of this column will end up being ‘Fake News’.

Donald Trump