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Joe Biden

Since crossing paths nearly two decades ago, Barack Obama and Joe Biden have forged one of the more potent partnerships in modern American politics – winning three of the last four presidential elections between them – and have built an enduring friendship. It is all the more remarkable for its rarity. The pressures of the White House, overlapping ambitions, and competing loyalties have soured the relationship between most presidents and their deputies (think of Richard Nixon’s notorious bitterness towards Dwight Eisenhower or the froideur between Al Gore and Bill Clinton). 

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The events of January 6 shocked the world. In this episode of the ABR Podcast Samuel Watts reads his article 'This Is America' and offers a historical perspective. As Watts notes, 'To view the assault on the US Capitol as the climax of a dramatic, but brief, period of authoritarianism in the US is a potentially dangerous mistake. This attack was just the latest iteration in a long-lasting tradition of anti-democratic, white supremacist violence that has plagued the Republic since, at least, the Civil War.'

Samuel Watts’s article ‘This Is America’ is one of a series of commentaries funded by the Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund.

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On the morning of 6 January 2021, President Donald Trump addressed a crowd of his supporters outside the White House for more than an hour. The president urged protesters who had already begun gathering along the National Mall to go to the Capitol Building where both houses of Congress were about to start the process of certifying the results of the electoral college, formalising Joe Biden’s victory in the November 2020 election. The election had been stolen, Trump told them: it was time for them to take it back and march on Congress: ‘You will never take back our country with weakness,’ said the president. 

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