On Saturday, November 7, 2020, Joe Biden was declared the USA President-elect beating the incumbent Donald Trump in both the majority and college votes.
In 2016, Donald Trump won a majority of electoral college votes although more people voted for Hillary Clinton across the US.
Biden served a vice President during President Barrack Obama’s reign between 2008 and 2016, and just like Kenya’s Deputy President Dr William Ruto, bore ambitions to become a President.
As Dr Ruto gears up his campaigns to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2022, there are some lessons he should learn from Joe Biden.
- Respect is paramount
Despite being elected on a joint ticket, Biden never disrespected Obama or appeared to be more powerful than Obama. His allegiance was to Obama and the US as a nation.
However, this is not the case in Ruto’s ambitions. Ruto, during the first term, was a man known to show how powerful he was. In most cases he would even step into the President’s shoes and give directions to his juniors. He dictated where most of the appointments went. He behaved like a President, despite Uhuru Kenyatta being the President.
Immediately after re-election in 2017, President Uhuru Kenyatta asked asked all politicians to halt campaigns to enable him achieve his legacy. He even had a handshake with his big rival Raila Odinga meant to calm the political storm in the country.
However, Ruto, obsessed with power started his 2022 campaigns accusing imaginary enemies of planning to stop his Presidential dream. No one was campaigning for 2022 apart from him. It was three years to election, and even the President kept asking him to stop the campaigns but he was adamant. His lieutenants severally issued ultimatums to President Kenyatta to declare his support for Ruto in 2022.
Back to Biden. Biden never campaigned during President Barrack Obama’s reign, like witnessed in Ruto’s case. In the 2016 election, Obama supported former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, and Biden had no issue since Clinton was the party’s choice. What would happen if the ruling Party fronted a different candidate for President in 2022 apart from Ruto?
Ruto should learn the virtue of patience and respect shown by Biden. Did he even learn anything when the President publicly accused him of abandoning him and the Jubilee Party dream. In both the Kenyan and US Constitutions, the Deputy and Vice Presidents respectively have no roles apart from what is assigned to them by the President. Ruto has not stuck to that, which translates to disrespect to the President.
When time came for Biden, Obama came from retirement and campaigned for him, and he clinched the top seat. If he disrespected him, Obama would never even care to what the outcome of the election would be.
- Crowds do not amount to votes
In the US elections, Trump had the biggest crowds and it seemed that he was winning, with a record-breaking amount of votes. It is true, he set a new record of the most votes ever received by an incumbent, but on the other hand, Bidden set a record of the most votes than anyone ever to run for the US presidency.
He had smaller crowds as compared to Trump, but he was keen on asking votes than popularity. One thing played to his advantage, he avoided arrogance and chest thumbing while on the other hand Trump capitalized on that.
Ruto’s lieutenants have been bragging how they can pull a bigger crowd than the President, who will not be in the ballot come 2022. It is good to have crowds in politics, but they do not always translate to votes.
- Online numbers lie
On Twitter, Biden has around 17 million followers, most of which he got during the campaigns while Trump has around 90 million followers.
Within just minutes after tweeting, Trump would receive thousands of reactions and it looked like he was winning. If only his Twitter followers were converted into votes, he would be having a record of 88.9 million votes. With that, this would mean he won both the majority votes and the college votes, there is no doubt about that.
Ruto and his followers seem to be capitalizing so much on online numbers, to an extend of comparing online reactions on Ruto’s posts and those of President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila.
Online reactions do not, in any means, reflect the will of the people, and the earlier Ruto camp learns this the better.
In fact, most Kenyan voters do not have a significant online presence, and the erlier Ruto learns this, the better.