VOTERS SAY NO TO BIDEN, BUT JOE IS INTENT ON FINISHING THE (AWFUL) JOB
One of Donald Trump’s gifts is that he drives his enemies so crazy that they do really weird things. The latest evidence came yesterday morning (4/25) when Joe Biden released a three-minute video announcing he is seeking re-election.
The world’s a mess, America is spiraling downward at a rapid rate and Biden would be older than dirt at the end of a second term, but he wants to “finish the job.”
Finish the job?? Apparently not satisfied with merely damaging America, he aims to destroy it.
The fact that the president made the announcement via a recording reflects White House concerns about his stumbling and bumbling cognitive defects.
He can’t hold a press conference, submit to a tough interview or speak without a teleprompter, so fire up the video with a voice-over that can be rehearsed and repeated until he gets it right.
The leader of the free world is a captive of his own decline.
But as every incompetent politician knows, you don’t have to fool all the people all the time, just half of those who vote.
Biden’s been using Trump’s candidacy as a rationale for his own, arguing that he alone can defeat him, and cites 2020 as proof.
Naturally, then, his tiresome references about “MAGA extremists” and a “battle for the soul of the nation” were featured in the announcement recording as fear-mongering reminders that the other side remains a danger to motherhood, apple pie and … transgender rights.
Arguing that only he can beat Trump is hardly convincing because, as Wall Street is required to say, past performance is no guarantee of future results.
And a lot has changed since 2020, most importantly that Biden now has a terrible record of his own to defend. Biden also had the COVID-era advantage of being able to spend most of the last campaign in his basement, an option not likely to be available again.
Forced to meet and greet and speak coherently while barnstorming in swing states, his endurance will be tested and closely watched.
Yet the Trump-killer claim is always front and center because, if you strip it away, it’s next to impossible to make any other credible case for four more years.
Start with the fact that even most of Biden’s fellow Democrats believe it’s time for him to say goodbye. Yesterday – the day of his announcement, NBC reported polling showing 70% of Americans don’t want Biden to run again – even a majority of 51% of Democrats don’t want him.
Polls show respondents cited his age as a liability and were “focused on his coughing, his gait, his gaffes and the possibility that the world’s most stressful job would be better suited for someone younger.”
Those are awfully damning findings, and they are not outliers. While it’s true that most Dems will come home for any nominee, especially if Trump is the GOP opponent, a good argument can be made that, for the good of the country, Biden should retire gracefully and pass the torch.
Recall that in 2020, he called himself a “transition” candidate, a phrase widely interpreted as meaning he would step aside for a new generation after one term.
Mark that down as another false note. No doubt he [and especially Jill] likes the perks and power, and Biden can be forgiven if he concludes, along with the rest of the world, that Vice President Kamala Harris can’t pick up the torch. Nor is there any other obvious successor in the party.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom signaled his availability, but the response and reviews were underwhelming. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is running as a primary opponent and his name guarantees him attention, but he’s not likely to be a serious threat to Biden getting the nomination. Then again, RFK2 is just getting started and he’s pretty good. Keep an eye on him.
Still, I believe there is another, hidden reason why the president is compelled to run again. He’s got to play defense against the GOP investigations into his family’s corrupt business schemes and there’s no better place to do that than in the White House.
It has armed guards and a fence around it and comes with press secretaries and cabinet members paid to answer questions and take the flak. You can always have someone say you’re too busy, even when you’re taking a nap or just eating ice cream.
Biden needs all that protection because, apart from his frail health, the GOP probers already are hitting pay dirt on several fronts. Bank records they subpoenaed show at least nine members of his family getting money from the multimillion-dollar deal with a Chinese energy conglomerate.
This is the same deal in which Joe was identified as the “big guy” slated to get a secret 10% cut.
Did the president get the money? If he did, the GOP will find it. And then we’ll know for certain why he’s been so soft with China.
Moreover, the emergence of an IRS whistleblower who claims that Hunter Biden is getting preferential treatment from the IRS and the Department of Justice and that Attorney General Merrick Garland lied to Congress about the case adds new degrees of legitimacy to the probe and thus peril to the president.
Then there’s the role of Secretary of State Tony Blinken, who as a Biden campaign aide in 2020 helped inspire the letter signed by 51 former intelligence officials suggesting that the first NY Post scoops on Hunter Biden’s laptop were a form of Russian disinformation. The letter was the actual disinformation and the fruit of a Deep State conspiracy and was dutifully magnified by a lapdog media.
We also know now that Blinken met with Hunter Biden when the then-vice president’s son was on the board of Burisma, the corrupt Ukrainian energy company. If Blinken is summoned by House Republicans and put under oath, he could deliver a mother lode of problems for the first family.
I believe those developments, whatever Joe Biden’s preference, left him no option except to run again. They may even have dictated the timing of his announcement.
Each passing day that he didn’t announce would have led to questions about whether he was going to. And that would generate talk that he was afraid to face voters again.
Not running also would have made him an instant lame duck and it would be open season on him and his family. Even congressional Dems wouldn’t have the same gusto for defending him, and the party would be concentrated on 2024 instead of defending something the Bidens did four, five or six years ago.
So running is his best defense, letting him keep control of the party and the ability to reward and punish individual members of Congress. There are lots of ways for a president seeking re-election to convey a demand for support, such as, “Do you want that damaged bridge in your district repaired or not?”
Merely by announcing, then, Biden buys time, keeps everybody on the left in line, including the Dem-friendly media outlets. They’re not likely to pursue the family corruption angle with any vigor if they believe it would lead to the election of Trump.
Of course, the former president’s path back to the Oval Office is not a smooth one, either. Although the partisan indictment by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg is too clever by half, it’s just the start of a legal gauntlet Trump faces.
Nonetheless, the 76-year-old Trump is now stronger in the GOP than he was three months ago and there is a growing belief he will win the nomination. Several polls show him getting near 70% GOP voter support, with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis a distant second.
That means, for now, a Biden-Trump rematch looks likely. Depending on your point of view, it’s going to be either a monumental clash of titans or a rerun of the retreads.
Michael Goodwin is a Fox News analyst and New York Post contributor.