We started Confero – now in its eighth year – in the shadow of the 2012 election season. While there were certainly differences between candidates Mitt Romney and Barack Obama, we also noted some natural centrist tendencies shared between them. After 8 years as president, Barack Obama’s public attitude could be described as reserved, and his policies were often tempered by an attempt at consensus building. Mitt Romney, as a governor of a Massachusetts, had always managed to find a governable middle ground that toed the line between traditional conservatism and public advancement. Moreover, between a politically split Congress, there wasn’t likely to be an astonishing amount of tonal distinction between the way each of these candidates would have performed.
No matter where you stand politically, I think we can all agree that in 2020, there is clearly a more distinctive choice to be made. We expect candidates Biden and Trump to have very different biases in terms of diplomatic tone, acceptance of political standards, how receptive they’ll be to informed expertise, how process driven they’ll be, and so on. Over the next week or so, as we tabulate votes, we’ll figure out what direction Americans have chosen to go.