Biden Announces That He’s Going Nowhere

[Office of United States Senator Joe Biden (D - Delaware), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons]

Joe Biden made the announcement that everyone has been waiting for.

He’s not quitting.

The Washington Post offered details about the story the Bidens are telling themselves.

President Biden and his allies increasingly have a message for Democrats upset by his performance in last week’s debate and wondering if he should withdraw from the campaign: Joe Biden is man who bounces back from traumatic personal setbacks, and the debate is just one more opportunity for him to show resilience.

“Joe Biden is a person. Take away his title, he is someone who has dealt with tragedy,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Tuesday. “He is someone who has confronted that head on. He is someone who knows how to get back up once you’ve been knocked down.”

This effort to cast the debate as a “bad day” and the president as a “comeback kid” reflects an increasingly evident disconnect between Biden’s inner circle and many in the Democratic Party. A growing number of Democrats view Biden’s performance, when he sometimes struggled to complete his sentences, as reflecting a serious problem for the party, not an episode in his history of overcoming adversity.

Overcoming adversity has long been at the heart of Biden’s identity. His Senate career began with the death of his wife and daughter in a 1972 car accident, and his son Beau died in 2015. Biden lost his first two bids for the presidency, was pushed aside in 2016, and began the 2020 primaries with brutal losses in Iowa and New Hampshire.

The announcement comes as a growing number of liberal publications and some Democratic elected officials have asked Biden to leave the race.

“There’s a large and increasing group of House Democrats concerned about the president’s candidacy, representing a broad swath of the caucus,” another House Democratic lawmaker told CNN on condition of anonymity to speak candidly. “We are deeply concerned about his trajectory and his ability to win. We want to give him space to make a decision [to step aside], but we will be increasingly vocal about our concerns if he doesn’t.”

CNN also spoke to “more than two dozen current and former Democratic officials, as well as donors and longtime Biden allies, all of whom spoke on condition of anonymity to avoid alienating Biden. Many of these people say they have already made up their minds that the president should quit his campaign, a decision some of them think he needs to announce this week.”

The Biden detractors have a point. Moments before making the campaign announcement, The New York Times released a poll showing that Biden faces a monumental task if he wants to even get back to a competitive race with Donald Trump.

“Donald J. Trump’s lead in the 2024 presidential race has widened after President Biden’s fumbling debate performance last week, as concerns that Mr. Biden is too old to govern effectively rose to new heights among Democrats and independent voters, a new poll from The New York Times and Siena College showed.

Mr. Trump now leads Mr. Biden 49 percent to 43 percent among likely voters nationally, a three-point swing toward the Republican from just a week earlier, before the debate. It is the largest lead Mr. Trump has recorded in a Times/Siena poll since 2015. Mr. Trump leads by even more among registered voters, 49 percent to 41 percent.

Doubts about Mr. Biden’s age and acuity are widespread and growing. A majority of every demographic, geographic and ideological group in the poll — including Black voters and those who said they will still be voting for him — believe Mr. Biden, 81, is too old to be effective.

Overall, 74 percent of voters view him as too old for the job, up five percentage points since the debate. Concerns about Mr. Biden’s age have spiked eight percentage points among Democrats in the week since the debate, to 59 percent. The share of independent voters who said they felt that way rose to 79 percent, nearly matching the Republican view of the president.”

At a fundraiser in Virginia earlier in the week, Biden blamed his poor debate no the amount of foreign travel he had done two weeks prior to the meltdown.

“I decided to travel around the world a couple of times,” Biden said, according to ABC News, referring to recent trips abroad, including his visit to France for the 80th anniversary of D-Day where G7 Leaders expressed concern for his cognitive state.

“I didn’t listen to my staff,” he continued, adding he “came back and nearly fell asleep on stage.”

Biden said Tuesday he was sorry for his debate performance but stressed that winning the election was “critical.”

“It’s not an excuse but an explanation,” he continued, adding that the DNC and Biden campaign have raised millions of dollars since debate night.

The president intends to get his campaign back on the tracks by speaking to an old Democratic standby.

“President Joe Biden will give an interview to ABC’s George Stephanopoulos later this week, his first since the president’s much-criticized performance during last week’s debate,” reported The Associate Press.

Portions of the interview will air on ABC’s ‘World News Tonight’ on Friday, with the extended interview first airing on the network’s ‘This Week’ Sunday morning program, the network said Tuesday.

There has been private discussion among Biden’s campaign about what it can do to counteract last Thursday’s debate, where the raspy-voiced president gave some convoluted and incomplete answers. It has given rise to some questions about whether the 81-year-old president should continue his campaign.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre also announced on Tuesday that Biden plans to finally hold a press conference next week during the NATO summit.

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