It was a big political news day on Tuesday as the de facto Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden announced Kamala Harris as his running mate, a position Trevor Noah called “America’s assistant manager”.
Did Joe Biden pick Kamala Harris just so she can’t dust his ass in public again? Who knows, but congrats to the first Black woman on a major party ticket. pic.twitter.com/QvAqmgFkTJ— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) August 12, 2020
The 55-year-old Democratic senator from California becomes the first black woman and woman of Indian descent on a major party ticket for national office. “Say what you want about Joe, but the man went black and he’s not going back,” the Daily Show host said, adding that he’s impressed Biden picked Harris after she “destroyed” him in Democratic debates.
“Part of me thinks he only picked her so that she could just never dust his ass in public again. This isn’t a VP pick; it’s an insurance policy.”
Jokes aside, Noah said, the selection of the first black woman on a major party ticket is a “great moment for her and for America”.
The big question is no longer IF Trump will cheat to win re-election, but HOW. Answer? Attacking the postal service and vote-by-mail. pic.twitter.com/d5WZUqPTCD— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) August 12, 2020
Noah also zoomed in on Trump’s sabotaging of the post office, an American institution critical to holding a fair election in November. The president has attacked mail-in voting in tweets and interviews, and efforts to undermine the service have extended to regular mail delivery; Noah cited news clips reporting on the massive mail backlog in post offices across the country, which workers attribute to major changes enacted by the new postmaster general, Louis DeJoy, a top Republican donor.
The consequences are already dire, Noah explained: “A lot of people think that mail is just a waste of paper, credit cards that they’re not going to sign up for and ads for shit that they’re not gonna buy, but for many, many people, that’s how they get their medicine. It’s how they communicate with family members in prison, and in many areas of the country, especially rural areas, the post office is the only way they can receive mail.
“So the mail might mean nothing to you, but it means everything to some people.”
Given the reports, it’s clear, Noah concluded, that “unless Trump changes his mind on the post office, just like every other Trump business, it could be doomed.”
Joe Biden’s selection of Kamala Harris as his running mate marks some significant firsts: the first black woman and the first person of Indian descent to be nominated on a major party ticket, which means “Trump’s gonna have a hard time deciding exactly how to be racist about her,” said Stephen Colbert.
The Late Show host called Harris a “surprising” choice given how “she hit him so hard he was spitting teeth like Chiclets” during the Democratic debates last year.
Regardless, Harris is “going to receive a lot of scrutiny,” Colbert continued, because Biden has promised to be a “transition” candidate of one term and “has a chronic condition doctors call ‘old’”.
And on Late Night, Seth Meyers broke down a “Friday night massacre” that has gutted the US Postal Service. Last week, the USPS announced a dramatic restructuring of the department which would center power around the postmaster general, Louis DeJoy, a Trump appointee who has up to $75m invested in the post office’s competitors. The blatant conflict of interest is “like finding out the new president of Peta is the colonel”, said Meyers.
It’s also “suspicious”, he added, for Trump to appoint a big-money Republican businessman to run a non-partisan, generally beloved agency – “it’s like if your town ice cream man was replaced by Karl Rove”.
More sinister are the implications of a backed-up postal service for the national election this fall, especially when 32 states discard late ballots even if they’re post-marked in time.
“Whether or not Trump actually succeeds in stopping mail-in voting is almost beside the point,” said Meyers. “Either way, he’s sowing confusion, setting up lengthy court battles, and laying the groundwork to claim the results are disputed even if they’re not.
“Trump is openly trying to disrupt timely delivery of the mail ahead of a November election that will almost certainly rely on an unprecedented surge in mail-in balloting because of the deadly plague he failed to stop,” Meyers concluded. Meanwhile, DeJoy has announced operational changes amid reports of chronic understaffing and major delays – weeks or more – in mail delivery.
The undermining of the postal service isn’t accidental, Meyers argued, since “Trump knows that if we have a safe and fair election in which everyone can freely participate, he has no chance.”