Unknown Democratic Candidate Jason Palmer Defeats Joe Biden in American Samoa Primary – A David vs Goliath Upset

A virtually unknown Democratic candidate has defeated US President Joe Biden in a party primary.

March 5 is the “Super Tuesday” for the 2024 U.S. presidential election. The Democratic and Republican parties intensively vote in the party primaries in various states. Most analysts believe that Biden will win these primaries, but may lose the support of a small number of left-wing voters because he failed to broker a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.

However, in the American Samoa primary, Biden lost to a man named Jason Palmer. Biden thus became the first sitting U.S. president to lose a state-level party primary since 1980.

When the news came out, American media and netizens raised a common question: Who is Jason Palmer?

The counterattack of small and medium-sized entrepreneurs

For the past week, Jason Palmer has been on the island of American Samoa trying to convince others to vote for him. This is a U.S. overseas territory in the South Pacific and the only U.S. territory in the southern hemisphere, nearly 10,000 kilometers away from the mainland. There are about 40,000 residents on the island, more than 80% of whom are Samoans. At the national convention where the Democratic Party selects its presidential candidate, it has 6 delegates. The primary election on March 5 is to determine the ownership of these six votes.

Palmer, 52, is the youngest participant in this Democratic primary. Born into a white, middle-class family in Baltimore, Maryland, he claimed to have loved adventure and making money as a young man. According to his campaign website, Palmer’s initial professional experience was working as a waiter in a restaurant in New York State, loading groceries in a supermarket, picking up trash at drive-in theaters, and participating in political lobbying for environmental organizations to earn commissions.

After graduating from Harvard Business School, Palmer worked at Microsoft and the Gates Foundation, serving as the director of higher education at the Gates Foundation. Since then, he has founded a number of technology companies.

Palmer claims to have founded or led technology start-ups with a combined market value of more than $100 million. He also created an AI campaign image for himself, which he claims is the only one in the United States and is designed to “provide voters with an immersive and interactive experience.” However, reporters found that the AI ​​system could only answer given questions. When asked what he thought of Palmer winning the Samoa primary, Palmer AI responded: “I’m sorry, I don’t have any information…”

Until he participates in the 2024 presidential election, Palmer has never had experience in serving in the U.S. government or political party, while most of Biden’s other competitors have held important positions such as governors and members of Congress. When asked about his political qualifications, Palmer responded that the skills required of an American president are no different than those of “successful leaders of all types.”

Seized the only chance of victory

Palmer knew he was a long shot candidate. American Samoa, where primary voting was sparse, is his best chance of winning national attention. In the 2020 Democratic primary, former New York Mayor Bloomberg won his only victory in American Samoa, and then announced his withdrawal from the race and supported Biden. But unlike Palmer, billionaire Bloomberg spent more than $200 million on advertising on Super Tuesday.

Palmer had his own way: He flew directly to Samoa, becoming the only candidate to come to the remote overseas territory in person. His social media information showed that he met with locals behind a simple table and handed out some A4-sized leaflets. As for why he came to Samoa, Palmer said: “Washington, D.C., is long overdue for a president who cares about American Samoa.”

The strategy worked. In the Democratic primary on March 5, 91 local residents voted. Biden received 40 votes and Palmer received 51 votes. As a result, Palmer received 4 delegate votes and Biden received 2 votes. In other words, at the Democratic National Convention, which will be attended by 3,934 delegates, 4 people will vote for Palmer.

This is not a result that affects the overall situation: a candidate needs more than 1,968 votes to win at the national convention, and Biden has basically sealed the victory. But on the other hand, it’s unusual: Even among the Democratic primary candidates outside of Biden, Palmer is the least visible. But apart from him, other candidates have so far failed to take away any delegate votes from Biden.

After winning the American Samoa primary, Palmer said on social media that the victory was “a testament to the power of our voices.”

Palmer has spoken repeatedly about why he is running in the Democratic primary. He said he represents young voters “who are tired of Washington politics.” His ultimate goal is to obtain 10% of the primary votes to “encourage Biden to step down” and allow the Democratic Party to replace a more suitable presidential candidate.

Palmer also said that the Biden administration’s handling of the humanitarian crisis in Gaza is unsatisfactory. Palmer advocated an immediate ceasefire. The United States must seek not to intensify the conflict and should not try to become the “world policeman.” Instead, the United States must advance an agenda aimed at “minimizing the loss of life” and support a path leading to peace and a just outcome. the way.

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