In an unexpected move on Super Bowl Sunday, the Biden-Harris campaign joined TikTok, a platform previously banned by President Joe Biden for federal devices in 2022. The decision to embrace the Chinese-owned social media app is part of the campaign's strategy to connect with young voters.
The Biden-Harris campaign made its TikTok debut with a video featuring President Joe Biden, who discussed Super Bowl-related questions while sharing a meal with a family in North Carolina. The choice to join the popular app, despite past political and security concerns, reflects the campaign's commitment to reaching younger audiences.
Critics have raised concerns about potential security risks associated with the use of TikTok, particularly given the app's Chinese ownership. However, the campaign has taken measures to ensure security, using separate non-government issued phones to access the platform.
Engaging with Influencers and Young Voters
As part of their efforts to engage with younger voters, the Biden-Harris campaign has also sought to collaborate with TikTok influencers. By leveraging the platform's massive reach, the campaign hopes to make the 81-year-old president more relatable to a younger demographic.
The strategy appears to be working, as the campaign's first video quickly gained traction on the platform. In the clip, President Biden discussed topics such as basketball and student loan debt relief while sharing a meal with a black family in North Carolina.
Mixed Reactions and Criticism from the RNC
The campaign's decision to join TikTok has received mixed responses. While some praised the move as a savvy strategy to connect with young voters, others questioned the wisdom of embracing a platform with known security concerns.
The Republican National Committee (RNC) was quick to criticize the Biden-Harris campaign's decision, highlighting the president's less-than-stellar economic record. In a tweet, Republican state Sen. Phil Berger pointed out a 28% increase in the cost of a Cook Out tray since Biden's previous photo op at the restaurant.
Some critics went so far as to speculate whether the campaign's decision to join TikTok was a form of "purposeful sabotage" designed to remove Biden from office. However, the campaign has maintained that its goal is simply to engage with young voters and make the president more relatable.
As the 2024 election approaches, the Biden-Harris campaign's decision to join TikTok is just one example of how political campaigns are adapting their strategies to reach younger voters. Whether the move pays off remains to be seen, but one thing is certain: the world of politics is changing, and campaigns must evolve if they hope to stay relevant.