After teasing American voters about his re-election intentions for more than year, Joe Biden formally threw his anti-MAGA hat into the 2024 presidential ring at 6:00 Tuesday morning, confirming what Democrats have reluctantly acknowledged for the past year. Despite Biden’s dismal job approval numbers with the American public, troubling questions about his physical stamina and mental acuity at his current age of 80, Democrats have concluded that they simply do not have a credible alternative candidate who could effectively replace Biden at the top of their 2024 national ticket, least of all including his embarrassingly incompetent vice president, Kamala Harris. The polls suggest that most Democrats are not enthusiastic about the notion of Biden running again, but are supporting him anyway because they believe he is their best bet for keeping the White House, especially if his opponent is the man he beat to win the 2020 election, Donald Trump.
The key slogan of Biden’s re-election campaign is a plea to voters to allow him to “finish the job” he started upon becoming president. “Every generation of Americans has faced a moment when they’ve had to defend democracy, stand up for our personal freedoms, and stand up for our right to vote and our civil rights,” Biden said in his launch video. “This is ours. Let’s finish the job.”
But do the American people really want that job to be finished in the same way that Biden started it?
Contrary to Biden’s claims, Republican proposals to reform state voting laws across the country would actually protect and enhance rather than reduce a minority group citizen’s right to vote. The Trump administration had a strong record for protecting civil rights and expanding the economic opportunities for minority and low-income workers. Also contrary to the Biden administration’s narrative, before it was interrupted by the onset of the Covid pandemic, Trump’s policy goals of business tax reductions and the elimination of unnecessary government regulation had unleashed an unprecedented spurt of economic growth.
RATING BIDEN’S JOB
Biden’s job has not been going nearly as well as his administration spokesmen and Democrat supporters claim. In fact, the list of Biden’s domestic and foreign policy failures since taking office is almost too long to mention.
Chief among them, from the point of view of tens of millions of financially struggling lower and middle income American voters, is that Biden’s multi-trillion dollar liberal free spending policies have unleashed ruinous inflation which now threatens to plunge the economy into recession. Biden’s refusal to enforce federal immigration law has enticed record numbers of illegal immigrants, creating chaos in the states along the southern border. Biden’s war on the domestic fossil fuel industry has driven up the price of gas at the pump while destroying America’s energy independence. By siding with the criminals and condemning efforts by local American police forces to enforce the law as systemically racist, the Biden administration has fostered an unprecedented increase in gun crime and lawlessness, causing law-abiding citizens in cities across the country to live in fear.
Biden’s foreign policy blunders include the disastrous troop withdrawal he ordered from Afghanistan, his inability to deter Russia’s Vladimir Putin from invading Ukraine, the alienation of the leaders of some of America’s most important allies in the Middle East, and his weak responses to continued acts of aggression and defiance by Iran and China.
FALSE BIDEN WHITE HOUSE CLAIMS
White House spokesman Andrew Bates paints a very different view of Biden’s performance. “President Biden inherited the deepest crises in generations, and he turned them around to deliver unprecedented job growth, the biggest infrastructure investments in 70 years, Medicare’s new power to negotiate lower drug costs, and the biggest manufacturing resurgence in modern history,” Bates claimed the same day that the Biden re-election campaign was launched.
Yet, in poll after poll over the last two years, Americans have expressed their consistent disapproval of Biden’s policies as well as the direction in which he has been steering the country. As a result, Biden has based his re-election campaign on fear, by warning voters that his Republican predecessor as president, Donald Trump, who will most likely be his 2024 election opponent, poses a dire threat to American democracy and their personal freedoms.
“The question we are facing is whether in the years ahead we have more freedom or less freedom, more rights or fewer,” Biden said in his 3-minute-long campaign launch video. “I know what I want the answer to be. This is not a time to be complacent. That’s why I’m running for reelection.”
BIDEN IS A WORSE PRESIDENT THAN JIMMY CARTER WAS
Republicans are comparing Biden’s presidency to that of former president Jimmy Carter, who was soundly defeated by Ronald Reagan in the 1980 presidential election. The turning point of that campaign came during their only presidential debate, when Reagan turned to the national television audience and asked if they felt that they were better off than they were four years earlier, before Carter took office. The answer was obviously no. Under Carter, the American economy was mired in stagflation, and American prestige abroad had reach a new low, in part because of the Americans who had been trapped for more than a year by Iranian militants who had surrounded the besieged U.S. Embassy in Tehran.
Biden’s Republican opponent in the 2024 election would be well advised to ask American voters the same question that Reagan did, and probably could expect them to deliver the same answer, rejecting Biden’s first term performance as a failure.
The major difference between Carter then and Biden now is that at least Carter was honest with the American people about the problems the country was facing on his watch. Biden, on the other hand, has consistently refused to accept responsibility for the many problems that his policies have created. Instead, he keeps trying to blame them all on somebody else.
BIDEN’S LIST OF VILLAINS
At the top of Biden’s list of villains are Donald Trump and his “MAGA” Republican followers, followed by Vladimir Putin, and greedy American corporate executives who Biden accuses of price gouging American consumers and evading their responsibility to pay their “fair share” of federal taxes.
Biden and his Democrat supporters are also boasting about his legislative victories over congressional Republicans in passing legislation approving lavish spending in the name of Covid relief, climate change, increases in welfare payments, and other items high on the progressive/liberal Democrat wish list. In fact, the liberal spending packages that Biden and the Democrats did manage to get passed by Congress over the past two years were drastically scaled down versions of his original proposals. The “finish the job” agenda that he has announced for his second term consists primarily of trying to pass those elements of his original proposals that Congress rejected the first time around. Other than that unfinished business, Biden has so far promised voters very little that is new or of substance to justify his bid for a second term.
Democrats believe that Biden’s path to reelection likely runs through the same narrow set of swing states where he narrowly defeated Trump in the 2020 election, including Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona, Nevada, New Hampshire, Georgia and Pennsylvania. Democrats also expect Biden to pick up votes from women who oppose the majority ruling of Trump-appointed conservative Supreme Court justices who overturned the controversial Roe v. Wade decision last summer.
DEMOCRATS NEED TO WIN BACK THEIR OLD VOTERS
On the other hand, to win in 2024, Biden will need to win back the support of a significant number of traditional Democrat working class voters without college degrees who felt abandoned by the party and switched to vote for Trump and Republican candidates in the elections since 2016. The Democrats have also been losing support in recent elections among blacks and Hispanics, whose vote they have, for too long, taken for granted, as well as the many Democrat voters with traditional values who live in rural areas.
Biden was fortunate in 2020 because the Covid pandemic restrictions enabled him to avoid the usual rigors of a traditional nationwide election campaign. He made very few public personal appearances and campaign trips, while receiving kid-gloves treatment from the overwhelmingly anti-Trump mainstream media reporters.
Almost all of his 2020 statements were carefully scripted by his campaign staff, who effectively shielded him from the few tough questions he received from reporters, and reduced those appearances in which the notoriously gaffe-prone Biden would be expected to speak off the cuff to a bare minimum. As a result, Biden was able to hide out for most the 2020 campaign in the basement of his Delaware home, while his supporters in the mainstream media covered up for his weaknesses and focused their attacks almost exclusively on President Trump.
FORCING BIDEN OUT ONTO THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL IN 2024
One of the main tactics used by Biden’s 2024 Republican opponent is likely to be a serious effort to call the president out onto the campaign trail, making it impossible for Biden to get away with running the same kind of passive and fully scripted campaign he had in 2020. Republicans believe that forcing Biden to travel and campaign more actively will fully expose his mental and physical frailties due to his advancing age to the voters, and maximize the likelihood that he will commit a verbal gaffe on the campaign trail serious enough to damage the credibility of his candidacy, as often happened during campaigns earlier in Biden’s long political career.
The word that best describes Biden’s long anticipated formal announcement of his re-election candidacy is anticlimactic. The slickly produced launch video, filled with woke liberal images and distorted accusations against GOP policies and objectives, portrayed Biden as the savior of American democracy and a fighter protecting individual freedoms, while Republicans have long argued that just the opposite is true.
WHY BIDEN’S CAMPAIGN LAUNCH WAITED UNTIL NOW
The launch of the campaign was delayed by Biden’s political strategists to shield him from the added rigors of conducting a national campaign for as long possible, while they set up his national campaign staff and lined up meetings for Biden with big Democrat campaign donors around the country. They also waited for a time when Biden would not be under media scrutiny and criticism over policy failures, such as the Chinese surveillance balloon fiasco, and the surfacing of further evidence that Biden’s son and other family members engaged in lucrative influence peddling schemes with foreign agents during his years as vice president.
As the 2024 campaign unfolds in the weeks and months ahead, we can expect Biden’s staff to keep him on a short leash. They will pick and choose his fully scripted public appearances and campaign stops very carefully, and take every precaution to protect their vulnerable candidate against a serious self-inflicted political wound.
Barring such a catastrophe, Biden will face no serious opposition for the Democrat nomination. He will be allowed to hide out in the White House Rose Garden during the primary season while his friends in the mainstream media focus their attention on the question of whether there is any national Republican candidate capable of mounting a credible challenge to Donald Trump’s bid for the GOP nomination.
Once that question is settled, the 2024 presidential campaign will begin in earnest.