Ronald Klain, Indiana native and potential future White House Chief of Staff, provided a campaign update for former Vice President Joe Biden during “Motivational Mondays,” meetings held every Monday until the election where volunteers participate in a phone banking campaign for Biden.
About 35 individuals were present in the meeting.
David Ziemba, state coordinator for Biden’s campaign efforts in Indiana, said expanded early voting started Saturday in Indiana and there was an increase in voting in Marion County over the weekend. He said officially more than 1 million voters have already voted in Indiana.
Ziemba said 73% of absentee ballots requested in Indiana have already been cast. The Marion County Election Board confirmed they are ahead of the 2008 election in terms of early voters, he said.
“We’re way ahead of where we want to be,” he said.
Klain met Biden when working for the Senate Judiciary Committee, Ziemba said. He said Klain worked for the Clinton campaign, ran the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and served as Biden’s Chief of Staff during President Barack Obama’s administration.
Klain said there are tremendous issues on the line with this election, many of which related to the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, such as women’s rights, voting rights and health care.
“It’s just a reminder of what’s at stake in this election,” he said. “What’s at stake that goes beyond any short term or immediate issues and have great, historical impact."
The Biden campaign has to do everything possible to win, Klain said. He said he thinks the campaign is in good shape with support coming from across the country.
“We can’t afford to come up short once again and have nights like tonight once again,” he said. “Because who knows what will be left of our country if that’s what happens.”
Klain said he thinks there are a lot of reasons to be optimistic about Biden winning the election, but he isn’t taking anything for granted. He said he has been encouraged by the increase in young people, people becoming active in politics for the first time and older people voting.
The key issues at stake with this election are the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the economic crisis, health care, the climate crisis and racial inequality Klain said. He said the Biden campaign has plans in place to address these issues.
Klain said he believes the Trump administration has done everything wrong in combating the COVID-19 pandemic and has completely given up efforts to solve the crisis.
The unemployment rate is at an unacceptable high, Klain said. In the United States right now, one in eight Black people is out of work and one in ten Hispanic people is also unemployed, he said.
Klain said health care is at stake because the Supreme Court may soon vote to get rid of the Affordable Care Act. The Biden campaign wants to expand on the Affordable Care Act to give the American people a public option for healthcare and bring down costs, he said.
Trump continues to deny the climate crisis as more hurricanes, storms and fires continue across the country and around the world, Klain said.
“It’s not just a problem for our children or our grandchildren,” he said. “It’s a problem for us, right now.”
The racism crisis is another prevalent issue at stake during this election, Klain said.
“We need a president who can tackle racism head on, who certainly is not going to continue to enflame white supremacists as Donald Trump has done and will bring people together to try to find solutions to these problems,” he said.
Klain said he believes the Biden campaign has to win by a large enough margin that the results of the election cannot be disputed or doubted at all.
“Winning isn’t enough, winning by a lot is important,” he said.
Klain said he believes the Democratic party needs to have the majority in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate in order for Biden and Harris to implement their policies.
“The opportunity to effectuate sweeping, powerful, progressive, positive change is enormous,” he said.
The meeting concluded with volunteers for the Biden campaign participating in a phone bank where they call swing voters across the country who are undecided about voting or their plan to vote and have meaningful conversations with those individuals.