Biden v Trump round two: How we ended up with the presidential race that no-one wants

Trump is going into the 2024 election with some new policies, including wanting to end 'woke' ideology in schools, limiting abortion rights and cutting taxes

This year, it was less Super Tuesday, and more Predictable Tuesday.

It was the day that delivered us the Biden-Trump re-match in November that everyone has been expecting for months.

I have yet to meet a single American who relishes the choice in November. Even the party loyalists admit qualms in private.

So how can we explain that America is now facing the presidential contest no-one actually wants?

America is still a land of youth and opportunity. As my colleague Dan Rivers has been reporting this week from Texas, thousands are desperate to reach the US to share in the American dream. The country has one of the most dynamic economies in the world.

And so for two octogenarians to be fighting over the leadership of America feels perverse.

Joe Biden is 81. Four years ago he promised to be a "bridge to the future." So much for that.

Donald Trump will be 82 at the end of another term as president. And he's facing 91 criminal charges.

The answer to why America is in this predicament, it seems to me, is hubris and broken politics.

Biden could have announced that he would be a one-term president, just like Lyndon Johnson did in 1968.

President Joe Biden is bidding for a second term in office. Credit: AP

But it turns out that Biden's implicit promise to mentor a young generation of Democrats was a mirage. He still believes, without much evidence, that he is the only person who can stop a Trump second term.

His case is helped by the underwhelming performance - and poor poll ratings - of his vice president, Kamala Harris.

Biden feels he has been underestimated for his entire political career. So this is his final attempt to prove the critics wrong.

But the opposite is also true. His critics may be about to be vindicated. Biden's pride - his gamble - seems to many Democrats as deeply irresponsible.

If Biden loses in November - as polls suggest is likely - he will always be remembered by history as the man who handed the country back to Trump, jeopardising the very democracy he had promised to protect. Everything else will be a footnote.

The case Trump and 18 other defendants are facing centres around their alleged attempts to interfere with the results of the 2020 election. Credit: AP

For Trump, boosted by his grip over the Republican Party, this campaign is to avenge his 2020 defeat.

So Trump's pride is also the driving force behind his attempt to win back the presidency.

Trump has another major motive: winning the presidency is the best legal strategy.

If he can win back the White House in November, he can order the Department of Justice - which will report to him - to drop the federal charges. And the state charges would also likely be suspended while he occupies the Oval Office.

If American politics was less dominated by big money donors, if it was more meritocratic, then a new generation might have emerged.

But Trump and Biden have smothered the debate about successors. Talented younger politicians are having to eye the 2028 election instead.

The bridge to the future ended up being the bridge to nowhere.

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