So what winners look like. With a radiant smile, Joe Biden takes the stage with his wife Jill and daughter Ashley on the stage in South Carolina’s capital Columbia. Nearly half of the South Carolina electorate voted for him in the Democratic primary that day. The big competitor Bernie Sanders came second, roughly thirty percentage points behind. “We won and we won big,” Biden calls out to his cheering supporters.
What follows is not just a normal victory speech, but a highly emotional appearance, which many observers will later call Biden’s best speech in this election campaign. Visibly moved, the former vice president talks, among other things, about how hard his son Beau’s cancer death had hit him, how much he despised President Trump’s divisive words, and how great his hope was for a better future in America and the world. He, Joe Biden, stands for “dignity, decency, and respect”.
It is a triumph with an announcement. The success in South Carolina was literally conjured up by Biden. After voting in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada, which was so disappointing for him, it was clear: the election in the southern United States had to be won by a large margin to give a political signal of life. South Carolina, it was said from the Biden camp, again and again, was the “firewall”. Now it is clear: the wall has held.
Anyone who has observed Biden in the past few days has seen a politician who had accepted the fight for his last chance. Biden seemed more dynamic than in the other states and seemed to enjoy the encounters with the base. “If I die, I want to be born again in Charleston,” he had said a few years ago. In the campaign in South Carolina, he gives his own quote at the best opportunity.