Jump to content
ClubAdventist is back!

Candidates for President in 2024


Recommended Posts

  • Members
"I am running"
ย 
A grouped bar chart that shows what various demographics of registered voters think about Joe Biden is too old to be an effective president. Younger, White/Hispanic and men agree he is too old to be effective.
Data: New Yorkย Times/Siena Poll;ย Chart: Rahul Mukherjee/Axios

President Biden defied calls to drop out of the race today, despite growing anxieties within his party and among voters.

  • "I am running. I am the leader of the Democratic Party. No one is pushing me out," Biden said on a conference call with campaign staff.

Yes, but: Majorities of every demographic group, including people planning to vote for Biden, say he's too old to be effective, according to a New York Times/Siena College poll released this afternoon.

  • Former President Trump now leads Biden by 6 percentage points in that poll, a 3-point gain since the debate.
  • A new Wall Street Journal poll also shows a 6-point lead for Trump, with 80% saying Biden is too old.

๐Ÿ—ฃ๏ธ Democrats in Congress increasingly feel the same way.

  • A "very broad swath of the House Democratic caucus representing diverse ideology, geography and backgrounds ... believes that a change in candidacy is necessary," one House Democrat told Axios' Andrew Solender.

๐ŸŽค What's next: Biden acknowledged to a key ally that he may not be able to stay in the race if he cannot turn things around soon, NYT reported.

  • The president and his allies are pinning their hopes on a Friday interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos and upcoming campaign stops.

"I'm in this race to the end, and we're going to win," Biden said on the call. "Just as we beat Donald Trump in 2020, we're going to beat him again in 2024."

phkrause

Obstinacy is a barrier to all improvement. - ChL 60
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

๐Ÿ’ฅ Dem revolt grows, Biden digs in

๐ŸฅŠ President Biden faces a growing revolt among frustrated congressional Democrats who say he should abandon his re-election bid โ€”ย but he spent today signaling he was digging in for a fight.

  • "I am running. I am the leader of the Democratic Party. No one is pushing me out," Biden told his campaign staffers on a call in which he was joined by Vice President Kamala Harris.
  • ๐Ÿ“ž The call โ€” along with a similar one Chief of Staff Jeff Zients held for those at the White House โ€” was aimed at boosting morale among Biden staffers, who were frustrated and angered by top Biden aides' slow, dismissive response to concerns about his debate performance last week.
  • Biden also met with several Democratic governors this evening.

โ›ˆ๏ธ But trouble for Biden continues to brew among Democrats on Capitol Hill.

  • โšก๏ธ A growing number of House Democrats want the 81-year-old president to step aside, fearing that the longer he's in the race, the worse it'll be for the party's congressional candidates โ€” and the better it'll be for Donald Trump.

๐Ÿ‘€ Several described to Axios significant movement away from Biden just today, with one saying that "over the last few hours, I am starting to hear from [Democratic] delegates that they really love Joe but want him to step aside."

  • Another House Democrat said Biden should "step down and help lead a transition of candidacy," and that a "very large majority of the caucus shares this sentiment."
  • A third lawmaker said House Democrats have been "inundated" by nervous constituents: "So many people are telling us he can't win, he's got to withdraw."

As Biden tries to shore up support from congressional leaders and members, House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) is hearing from members who say Biden needs to go.

  • One House Democrat told Axios that Jeffries has had "a lot of communication" with his members to "gauge feelings and sentiment and ... figure out where the consensus really is."
  • The lawmaker added that a "very broad swath of the House Democratic caucus representing diverse ideology, geography and backgrounds ... believes that a change in candidacy is necessary."
  • Biden and Jeffries spoke by phone late yesterday, a source familiar with the matter told Axios.

๐Ÿ‘‚ What we're hearing: A group of newer House Democrats, most first elected in 2018 and many representing swing districts, told Jeffries they can't risk their reputations by supporting Biden, several sources familiar with the conversation told Axios.

  • The "consensus" was that lawmakers are "resigned to the inevitability" that Democrats need a new candidate and have come around to Harris as the likely replacement, one source said.
  • ๐Ÿ“„ A draft letter calling for Biden to withdraw is circulating among lawmakers, according to two House Democrats, with one saying it is "all anyone is talking about." The letter was first reported by Bloomberg.

๐Ÿ˜’ Several Democrats continue to express annoyance at how Biden's team has responded to their concerns about his age and acuity.

  • Rep. Scott Peters (D-Calif.) told Axios that Biden's campaign has been "arrogant" by blasting Democratic doubters as "bedwetters" and "Davos Dems." He added Biden's team "needs to answer some questions that are serious, and I don't think they will because this is not moving in the right direction."

๐Ÿ‘‰ One House Democrat cautioned that not all Democratic lawmakers think Biden should step down.

  • Members of the Congressional Black Caucus are urging colleagues to back Biden, the lawmaker said.
  • Publicly, Jeffries, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and other senior Democrats such as Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.), the former House majority whip, have affirmed their support for Biden.

The bottom line: "Hakeem is the key," said one House Democrat. "When you start seeing signals from him, I think the whole herd will follow quickly."

Read more here and here

phkrause

Obstinacy is a barrier to all improvement. - ChL 60
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members
๐ŸŽค Inside Biden's media evasion
ย 
A bar chart that compares the number of interviews and press conferences participated in by U.S. Presidents as of June 30th of their fourth year in office. Biden held 164, Trump 468, Obama 570, G.W. Bush 248, Clinton 310, H.W. Bush 376, and Reagan 262.
ย 

๐ŸŽค Biden has engaged in fewer press conferences and media interviews than any of the last seven presidents at this point in their terms, according to an analysis by presidential scholar Martha Kumar.

  • He's sitting for a rare interview with ABC News on Friday amid growing concerns about his age and acuity โ€” and accusations that his inner circle has taken pains to hide the president's true condition from public view.
  • Biden's media engagement particularly contrasts with that of Trump, who despite demonizing the press often was willing to talk โ€” and talk.

๐Ÿงฎ Kumar has tracked press conferences, media interviews and informal question-and-answer sessions between presidents and small groups of reporters.

  • Biden has participated in just 36 press conferences so far โ€” including solo and with other government or foreign leaders. Among the seven most recent presidents, only Ronald Reagan had fewer, at 25.
  • Biden has given fewer media interviews than any other president since at least Reagan, with just 125. George W. Bush had the second-fewest at this point in his presidency, with 166.
  • โ˜Ž๏ธ The interview category includes various forms of direct conversations with reporters, including phone calls and off-the-record meals.

Yes, but: Biden has been more prolific with less formal Q&As with select, small "pools" of reporters, engaging in this way more than any other recent president except Trump.

  • Kumar counts 588 such sessions for Biden to Trump's 664. Barack Obama had just 103 examples of this kind of press engagement.

"Joe Biden has always stood up for the critical role of the free press in our democracy, and looks forward to his next press conference next week," White House spokesperson Andrew Bates said.

Read more

phkrause

Obstinacy is a barrier to all improvement. - ChL 60
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members
Harris' epic edge
ย 
Photo illustration of Kamala Harris
ย 

Photo Illustration: Natalie Peeples/Axios. Photo: Al Drago, Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

ย 

If President Biden steps aside, Vice President Harris would be almost impossible to beat for the nomination, thanks to endorsements, money, optics and 2028 politics, top officials tell Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei for a Behind the Curtain column.

  • Why it matters: All Harris needs is Biden's backing. If she gets it, the Obamas and Clintons likely would follow, making any challenge an affront to the sitting president and two former presidents.

๐Ÿ–ผ๏ธ The big picture: If she gets Biden's endorsement, the only way a top-tier Democrat could challenge her would be to risk their future by saying "not your turn" to the first woman vice president, first Black American vice president and first South Asian vice president.

  • Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), who chaired the House Jan. 6 committee, told Axios' Hans Nichols that Harris is "incredibly strong ... You can't say Biden has done a good job without saying she's done a good job." For her to be pushed aside from consideration, he said, "would be the kiss of death for the party."

Of course, all this may take a while. Biden stunned lots of powerful Democrats yesterday by digging in ahead of his interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos (now being shown as a prime-time special at 8 p.m. ET Friday).

  • After publication of a new poll showing him losing ground to former President Trump, and breaking-news stories suggesting he might quit, the 81-year-old president joined Harris on a campaign all-staff call. He insisted: "No one's pushing me out ... I'm not leaving."

๐Ÿค” The intrigue: Biden and his closest advisers have long felt Trump would beat Harris. They question her political skills and likability beyond the liberal bases. But polls show her running no worse than Biden in a hypothetical match-up with Trump.

  • And in some cases, better: A post-debate CNN poll found Harris in a statistical tie with Trump and slightly stronger than Biden because of broader support fromย women (50% of female voters back Harris over Trump vs. 44% for Biden) and independents (43% Harris vs. 34% Biden).
  • Biden's private worries wouldn't necessarily keep him from endorsing her publicly. It's called politics. Biden would push to pair her with a moderate Democratic governor like Pennsylvania's Josh Shapiro (51), Kentucky's Andy Beshear (age 46), North Carolina's Roy Cooper (67) or Illinois' J.B. Pritzker (59).

๐Ÿ’ก How it works: We gamed out potential scenarios with some of the nation's most experienced Democratic operatives. Most feel strongly that for both political and practical reasons, Harris looks all but unbeatable.

  • If Biden "got there" on deciding to throw in the towel, top Democrats expect he would announce he was endorsing Harris โ€” his running mate in 2020, and partner in governing for the past three years. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said during her briefing yesterday that one of the reasons Biden picked her back in 2020 "is because she is, indeed, the future of the party."
  • One reason to go that route is to avoid the mayhem of a wide-open convention in Chicago beginning Aug. 19. That would take Democrats' focus off Trump while they scrambled, knifed and preened.
  • Harris as nominee, or perhaps president, would become part of Biden's legacy, which matters a lot to him โ€” a proud, stubborn man who's been in public life for 50+ years.

Then there's the practicality: If you're eyeing the 2028 nomination, you're thinking about the base. Do you really want to torpedo Harris' chance to become the first woman president of color?

  • What are your real chances of defeating Harris and her formidable apparatus (White House, DNC, Biden-Harris campaign) when you're less well-known nationally than she is โ€” then beating the Trump machine, with its huge head start, in the 75 days between the Democratic convention and Election Day?

Column continues below.

ย 

Talk of a "mini-primary"
ย 
Today's New York Post cover.
ย 

Today's N.Y. Post cover.

ย 

Let's say President Biden didn't endorse, or Democratic leaders insisted on a process, Jim and Mike write.

  • At the highest levels of the party, there's talk of a series of, say, five regional debates before the convention. The candidates would debate live before the Democratic delegates, gathered in cities throughout the country (e.g., New York, Baltimore, Atlanta, Chicago, Phoenix and L.A.).

It'd all be televised. Then when the convention opened in Chicago on Aug. 19, delegates would have seen the field in action. There are a few problems with this, including determining who gets to debate. And you'd be trying to do something really complicated, in basically no time. "We can't organize a two-car parade at the moment," said one veteran of presidential campaigns who's knee-deep in possible Plan Bs.

  • What if Biden gets out too late for that, or the debates never come together? Then you could have an old-school frenzy in Chicago of candidates racing among delegation breakfasts to make their case.

๐Ÿ“บ Talk of a "mini-primary": Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), a Biden campaign co-chair, said in response to a question from Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC that he'd support Vice President Harris if Biden dropped out, although he wants the ticket to continue to be Biden-Harris. "This party should not, in any way, do any thing to work around Ms. Harris," he said. "We should do everything we can to bolster her."

  • On CNN yesterday, Clyburn said you "can actually fashion the process that's already in place to make it a mini-primary, and I would support that. ... I think that Kamala Harris would acquit herself very well in that kind of a process. But then it would be fair to everybody." A Clyburn aide later clarified that he was just explaining the existing process.

๐Ÿ”Ž Between the lines: Some party elders tell us the drama in all these scenarios would electrify an exhausted, disconsolate party, and engage a nation that otherwise would be tuned out for the summer.

  • Top Democrats tell us that after a possibly contentious public fight, they'd end with a ticket featuring two faces much younger than Trump (78), probably a man and a woman, getting massive free public attention โ€” then a surge of donations.
mail?url=https%3A%2F%2Fimages.axios.com%
Today's N.Y. Times and Washington Post lead stories.

Although Biden claims he's 100% in, some of his close friends still think he'll make what they consider the obvious decision and bow out. On Sunday, we outlined what Biden allies see as a graceful way for him to walk off the stage instead of being shoved: Step aside on his terms after triumphantly declaring his term a success. He'd get a prime-time convention role to pass the baton.

  • Tom Friedman, Biden's favorite New York Times columnist, cleverly celebrated George Washington twice in his second piece calling for Biden to step aside. This is what several Democrats will tell Biden if they're allowed near him: You can be a great man, a historic figure, if you do what the founding president did and put country over ambition. Then trust your party and then the American people to do the right thing.

๐Ÿงฎ The math is simple for a new ticket to win: Both parties agree the winner will be decided by a few hundred thousand voters in seven states โ€” Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Georgia, Arizona and Nevada.

  • Trump enjoys a small lead in most. So the new ticket would merely need to keep Biden's vote, plus pick up a few undecided voters or current Trump-leaning "double haters" โ€” voters who dislike both, but will hold their nose and pick one. Do this, Democrats win.
  • Given the amount of convention and post-convention free media โ€” the world would be transfixed by this spectacle โ€” the new ticket would simply need enough money to flood those seven states for 10-ish weeks. That's a lifetime in politics.

The bottom line: Replacing Biden for the Democratic nomination in the coming weeks would be messy and wildly unpredictable โ€” but highly doable.

  • ย Go deeper: "DNC rules provide a path if Biden were to step aside" (NBC).

phkrause

Obstinacy is a barrier to all improvement. - ChL 60
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

Trump's Kamala Harris plan

Former President Trump strongly prefers running against President Biden than another Democrat, particularly after reviewing the latest polling. But he's preparing a brutal assault on Vice President Kamala Harris if she's the nominee, advisers tell Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen for a Behind the Curtain column.

  • Why it matters: Trump's attacks on her would surprise few. He'd argue Harris is too liberal, too hostile to business and secure borders, and too inexperienced, weak and phony to be president. But some of his advisers are quite concerned that a fresh, youthful, non-Biden ticket presents a bigger threat than Trump assumes.

President Biden insisted in an unscripted remark, after a supporter at a Fourth of July event on the White House South Lawn yelled that they needed him: "You got me, man! I'm not going anywhere."

  • But among political players in both parties, coast to coast, the holiday was consumed by backstage conversations about contingencies if Biden dropped out.

What would scare Trump most is if Democrats were to build a new ticket from scratch, topped by a moderate Democrat from a swing state. This seems unlikely for reasons we outlined Thursday in our column, "Harris' epic edge."

  • Trump advisers read the same polls you do: They know lots of voters want someone younger, sensible, experienced. They know all that matters is persuadable voters in seven swing states. They know these swing voters mostly consider themselves independent.

๐Ÿค” The intrigue: If Democrats picked a moderate Midwestern male as Harris' running mate, the Harris-topped ticket would be more formidable, Republicans tell us.

  • The Trump team's biggest concern, and some early polling flicks at why, is that Harris would help turn out more women, who historically vote in greater numbers than men. Harris โ€” armed with Democrats' abortion message, which worked well in off-year elections โ€” could leverage the nation's gender divide.

Another GOP worry: Harris would put in play two things working in Trump's advantage right now โ€” vitality and energy. Trump knows he seemed exponentially quicker and more energetic than Biden on the debate stage, and that many Democrats are unenthused about this ticket more broadly.

  • Harris changes this. At 59 (turning 6-0 two weeks before the election), she's two decades younger. A new ticket could yank Democrats out of their post-debate funk.

Trump's advisers worry he has no filter, and recognize that attacking a Black American, South Asian American woman could backfire among swing voters, where they think they're making inroads.

  • So there'd be a big risk for him if the ABC News debate goes ahead on Sept. 10.

๐Ÿ”ฌ Between the lines: Trump also could take a timing hit. He'll announce his VP (probably male) in coming days, then accept the GOP nomination in Milwaukee on July 18 โ€” 13 days from now. Many voters will be on vacation, and views of him are fully baked.

  • Then a month later, Democrats would have a shot at redefining the race at their convention in Chicago โ€” and, given the newness of it all, likely attract a bigger audience.

Column continues below.

ย 

๐Ÿ—ณ๏ธ 3 ways Harris would hit Trump

Former President Trump yesterday gave Harris a nickname โ€” always a sign he takes an opponent seriously, Jim and Mike write.

  • "Laffin' Kamala Harris," he said on his Truth Social platform, referring to the right's spliced clips of her giddier moments. (A Trump campaign statement the day before had called her "Cackling Copilot Kamala Harris.")
  • The Trump campaign's Jason Miller told us Harris "owns all of the Biden incompetence and failure, plus she adds radical ideology. Biden kowtows to California liberals. She actually is one."
  • A CNN poll released Tuesday found independents back Harris, 43%-40% over Trump, and moderates prefer her, 51-39%.

๐Ÿ”Ž Behind the scenes: Trump advisers contend Harris would do worse than Biden with blue-collar workers across the "blue wall" of Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania โ€” states the Democratic nominee absolutely has to win.

  • One Republican operative is so convinced of that, he said mischievously that if he were a Biden campaign official trying to save the president's candidacy, he'd use a super PAC or other outside group to leak swing-state polling data about Harris.

Campaign strategists tell us that if Harris became the nominee, Republicans would keep pushing her on how Biden is fit to remain in office if not fit to run.

  • Harris also makes a convenient face of the border crisis, one of Trump's top two issues, along with the economy ("inflation and invasion," as some Trump insiders say). Biden announced in March 2021 that Harris would lead his administration's efforts on the southern border: "When she speaks, she speaks for me. Doesn't have to check with me. She knows what she's doing, and I hope we can move this along."
  • The Biden-Harris campaign told us in response: "Vice President Harris is proud to be President Biden's running mate. We know Donald Trump is prone to unhinged rants against prosecutors who hold him accountable, but the Vice President will keep making the case against his support of abortion bans, violent insurrections, and more tax cuts for billionaires."

๐ŸฅŠ The other side: Harris supporters tell us she could reset the race in ways that benefit Democrats. At the top of the list:

  1. She immediately ensures the fall of Roe is a main focus of the race.
  2. With a younger nominee, Democrats would try to make the age/fitness issue the GOP's problem.
  3. Harris โ€” who was elected San Francisco district attorney, and was California attorney general โ€” would allow Dems to frame the race as a former prosecutor vs. a convicted felon.

๐Ÿ“บ Of course, all of this is for naught if Biden nails his interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos in Wisconsin (to be shown as a prime-time special Friday at 8 p.m. ET) and fights on. But the pressure to bow out is only intensifying.

  • ย Go deeper: "Major Democratic Donors Devise Plans to Pressure Biden to Step Aside" (N.Y. Times โ€” gift link).

phkrause

Obstinacy is a barrier to all improvement. - ChL 60
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

Biden's huge interview

President Biden's interview today with ABC News' George Stephanopoulos is supposed to be the first big step toward climbing out of the hole Biden dug for himself during the debate.

  • Biden vowed this afternoon at a rally in Madison, Wisconsin: "I'm staying in the race. ... I am running and going to win again."
  • But the interview (airing 8 p.m. ET) might not move the needle all that much, top Democrats tell Axios.

๐ŸŽค One House Democrat told Axios' Andrew Solender the interview will likely change "zero" minds in Congress: "The deciding factor is that the public ... now believes he is not capable. And for that reason alone, he needs to step down."

  • "I think the ship has sailed," said another House Democrat.

๐Ÿ’ก Reality check: The debate was widely viewed. The reaction was overwhelming. And it's had a long time to sink in before Biden's team put together the upcoming events designed to change public perceptions about his age.

  • A brief interview โ€” no matter how many times ABC plans to replay it โ€” can only go so far.
mail?url=https%3A%2F%2Fimages.axios.com%
Screenshot: CNN

๐Ÿ‘€ "There were 40 million people that watched the debate, so it'll take more than a rally and an interview to prove that he can make the case that Trump is unfit to be president," Rep. Greg Landsman (D-Ohio) told Axios.

  • "Nobody thinks that having a decent interview is the end of the problem," said another House Democrat. "He would need to suddenly materialize as the Biden of 20 years ago, and that's not going to happen."

How to watch ... Go deeper.

phkrause

Obstinacy is a barrier to all improvement. - ChL 60
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

Biden dismisses age questions in interview as he tries to salvage reelection effort

MADISON, Wis. (AP) โ€” President Joe Biden, fighting to save his endangered reelection effort, used a highly anticipated TV interview to repeatedly reject taking an independent medical evaluation that would show voters he is up for serving another term in office while blaming his disastrous debate performance on a โ€œbad episodeโ€ and saying there were โ€œno indications of any serious condition.โ€

https://apnews.com/article/president-joe-biden-campaign-wisconsin-abc-news-e4657f86f5e82b10a5fefb526bc49b08?

phkrause

Obstinacy is a barrier to all improvement. - ChL 60
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

Biden assails Project 2025, a plan to transform government, and Trumpโ€™s claim to be unaware of it

MIAMI (AP) โ€” Donald Trump has distanced himself from Project 2025, a massive proposed overhaul of the federal government drafted by longtime allies and former officials in his administration, days after the head of the think tank responsible for the program suggested there would be a second American Revolution.

https://apnews.com/article/trump-project-2025-biden-9d372469033d23e1e3aef5cf0470a2e6?

phkrause

Obstinacy is a barrier to all improvement. - ChL 60
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

Biden's credibility crisis

President Biden has lost more than broad Democratic support since his bad debate. He has bled credibility โ€” with the media, lawmakers, top officials and even his own paid staff, Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen write in a Behind the Curtain column.

  • Why it matters: It's not clear if โ€” and how โ€” Biden recovers it, top Democrats tell us.

Some top Democrats told us Biden made matters worse Friday with his ABC interview, where he denied bad poll numbers and widespread Democratic panic.

  • "All the pollsters I talk to tell me it's a tossup," Biden told George Stephanopoulos.
  • Asked about Democratic congressional leaders, Biden said: "They all said I should stay in the race ... No one said โ€” none of the people said I should leave."

๐Ÿ’ป Behind the scenes: Axios' Alex Thompson, the most deeply sourced reporter on the Biden beat, has chronicled, day after day, the number of longtime staff and top Democratic officials who feel deeply angry and misled. These are the president's fans, many on his payroll.

  • Lawmakers and top Democrats feel duped by Biden โ€ฆ his press office โ€ฆ his campaign co-chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg โ€ฆ his top aides. They all promised the president was sharper than ever.

The media might be Biden's biggest problem of all. It is a fair conservative critique that many reporters ignored obvious signs of cognitive decline. Yes, there are exceptions: Axios, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.

๐Ÿ–ผ๏ธ The big picture: Ask yourself: What turn of events would keep Democrats, media and voters from watching every public appearance for hints of decline? How could reporters ever trust Biden aides after they tried to shame reporters who dared point out the obvious changes? How do they reassure lawmakers who now see Biden's age and White House denialism as their problem?

  • A top Democrat and Biden backer, asked how the president gets credibility back, said: "Get out of the race."
  • "No one is going to take anything at face value, that's for sure," New York Times chief White House correspondent Peter Baker told us.

Some of Biden's own staff is replaying in their heads the past few years, wondering if Biden's decline was purposely hidden, Alex reports. These staffers wondered why people in roles that typically brought access were kept away. They assumed Biden was a proud, private man, more comfortable with family.

  • Post-debate, they see things differently. Some feel this was a big, orchestrated effort to conceal the episodic moments of concern. In hindsight, they say it's clear Biden needed help recalling people or events, and getting sufficient rest to handle big moments.

Column continues below.

ย 

So many early signs

There were so many early signs, Jim and Mike write.

  • Biden rarely did tough interviews โ€” much, much fewer than his predecessors. It was almost always friendly questions on friendly terrain. Presidential scholar Martha Kumar has data showing Biden has given about one-third as many formal press conferences and interviews as former President Trump at this point in their first term โ€” and the fewest formal news conferences of any president since Ronald Reagan.
  • Biden routinely mangled words, forgot mid-thought what he was saying, and once gave a shout-out to a dead person. When Thompson or other reporters pushed on this, White House press staff denied things that were self-evident. Then the reporters were torched by Biden-friendly tweeters on X.

The denials โ€” including the favorite line that Biden works so hard he exhausts the youngsters โ€” strained credibility then, and look ludicrous in retrospect. The report by special counsel Robert Hur (who called Biden "a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory"), and the release of the transcript of his interview with Biden, was a great example of pervasive denialism. Thompson honed in more on Biden's memory lapses than others in the mainstream media in a story headlined, "Biden had repeated mental lapses during special counsel interview: transcript."

  • Then the debate happened. The common refrain that it was one bad night strikes most outside of the Biden bubble as inconceivable. In truth, some people close to Biden were worried about him during debate prep. He was tired and had a failing voice โ€” hardly on his game. Some in the room knew it could be bad โ€” but not this bad.

๐Ÿ‘‚ What we're hearing: It's the wild post-debate excuses that have unnerved Democrats the most. First, it was a cold. Then, much ado about nothing. Then, Ron Klain's fault. Then, the entire debate prep team. Then, one bad, overhyped night. Then, jet lag โ€” 11 days after traveling. Then, mere evidence he needs to go to bed earlier.

  • Now, Biden supporters are blaming the media for the feeding frenzy. This might be the hardest thing to control. Hell has no fury like a press corps deceived. Reporters feel duped โ€” and some probably embarrassed โ€”and are scrambling to unearth new evidence of decline.

๐Ÿ•ถ๏ธ Olivia Nuzzi, New York Magazine's Washington correspondent, offered a candid explanation for what she called a "conspiracy of silence to protect Joe Biden." She said a growing number of Democrats, starting a few months ago, confided to her off the record about an alarming decline in Biden's mind and appearance:

  • "They needed to talk about it (though not on the record). They needed to know that they were not alone and not crazy. Things were bad, and they knew things were bad, and they knew others must also know things were bad, and yet they would need to pretend, outwardly, that things were fine. The president was fine. The election would be fine. They would be fine."
  • It wasn't until the debate that they felt comfortable letting her go public with their (still anonymous) concerns: "Up close, the president does not look quite plausible. It's not that he's old. We all know what old looks like. ... The president was something stranger, something not of this earth."

What they're saying: White House senior deputy press secretary Andrew Bates said Biden "tells the truth, honors his commitments, and stands back up when he gets knocked down."

"President Biden leads the most transparent White House in history," Bates continued, "having restarted the daily press briefings and taken unprecedented action to release policy documents on the issues affecting Americans every day. He has proven himself by fulfilling groundbreaking promises to the American people, including defeating Big Pharma so Medicare could negotiate lower drug prices, making the biggest climate investments in history, confirming the first Black woman to the Supreme Court, and rebuilding the country. He has done over 47 interviews this year alone and had more gaggles with the White House press corps than almost any modern president. He has also proudly fought for the rights of journalists in the world, rather than slander them as 'enemies of the people.' And he insists that his team deals in facts. President Biden has restored honesty, integrity, respect, and compassion to the Oval Office."

The bottom line: Nervous Democrats and skeptical reporters will pick apart every answer in every public setting and dig deep into past meetings. It's called their job. If Biden stays in, it's his new reality.

phkrause

Obstinacy is a barrier to all improvement. - ChL 60
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

๐Ÿ“บ Stephanopoulos takeaways

Top quotes from President Biden's 22-minute interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos yesterday in Madison, Wis.:

  1. If he's had specific cognitive tests or an examination by a neurological specialist: "No. No one said I had to. No one said. They said I'm good."
  2. If he'd be willing to undergo an independent medical evaluation that included neurological and cognitive tests, and release the results: "Look. I have a cognitive test every single day. Every day I have that test. Everything I do. You know, not only am I campaigning, but I'm running the world. ... ounds like hyperbole, but we are the essential nation of the world."
  3. Whether he's convinced himself that only he can defeat Donald Trump: "I convinced myself of two things. I'm the most qualified person to beat him, and I know how to get things done."
  4. If he'd stand down if he were convinced he can't defeat Trump: "If the Lord Almighty comes down and tells me that, I might do that. ... If the Lord Almighty came down and said, 'Joe, get outa the race,' I'd get outta the race. The Lord Almighty's not comin' down." (Watch the clip.)
  5. If he stays in and Trump is elected, how will he feel? "'I'll feel as long as I gave it my all and I did the goodest job as I know I can do, that's what this is about." (Watch the clip.)

Full transcript ... More takeaways.

ย 

๐Ÿ›๏ธ "He's toast": Interview flops with Hill Dems
ย 
Screenshot of tweet
ย 

Via X

ย 

President Biden's interview did little to tamp down mounting concerns from Democratic members of Congress about his ability to defeat former President Trump.

  1. "We'll certainly amp up the public pressure as needed," a House Democrat told Axios' Andrew Solender.
  2. A House Democrat said their colleagues feel Biden's interview was "not impressive" and that "he's toast" in November.
  3. Said a third: "The interview hardly inspires confidence. It changes nothing."
  4. A fourth House Democrat said they were "shocked" by Biden's "refusal to recognize reality" in polling.

๐Ÿงฎ By the numbers: Four House Democrats have publicly called for Biden to step down from the ticket, with lawmakers saying they expect more to follow soon:

  • Rep. Mike Quigley of Illinois joined Rep. Seth Moulton (Mass.), Rep. Lloyd Doggett (Texas) and Rep. Raรบl Grijalva (Ariz.).
  • Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey said in a carefully worded statement that she urges Biden "to listen to the American people and carefully evaluate whether he remains our best hope to defeat Donald Trump."

Keep reading.

phkrause

Obstinacy is a barrier to all improvement. - ChL 60
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

Unbendable Biden vs. breaking-point Dems

NEW ORLEANS โ€” Vice President Harris focused on rousing voters, mentioning President Biden only once, during a half-hour Q&A at the 30th Essence Festival of Culture, Axios New Orleans' Chelsea Brasted reports.

  • Why it matters: Essence Fest is an enormous cultural crossroads for Black women, and Harris has been a regular visitor for years. This time, the spotlight was brighter, since President Biden's debate performance raised her as the top alternative for the Democratic nomination.

In a "Chief to Chief" conversation, Essence Ventures CEO Caroline Wanga gave Harris a chance to reintroduce herself.

  • That included a reminder of her work as a prosecutor, which she presented as a foil to former President Trump's status as a convicted felon, and her work in the Biden administration to protest the overturning of Roe.
  • It also included plans for the next term โ€” keeping medical debt from being used to calculate credit scores, raising the federal minimum wage, and addressing the cost of child care.

Harris stopped short of asking for support for Biden by name.

  • "This is probably the most significant election of our lifetime. We have said it every four years, but this here one is it," Harris said. "In 122 days, we each have the power to decide what kind of country we want to live in."

Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio) said during the previous panel that Harris is "a sister who came here to be with us today" โ€” and added that after the election, "we're gonna have a sister to still be in the White House fighting for us and making a difference."

  • Harris walked onstage to Beyonce singing: "I'mma keep runnin' 'cause a winner don't quit on themselves."

phkrause

Obstinacy is a barrier to all improvement. - ChL 60
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

phkrause

Obstinacy is a barrier to all improvement. - ChL 60
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members
๐Ÿจ Scoop: Inside Biden's event planning
ย 
Separate images showing path to a podium for a speech by President Biden.
ย 

Documents prepared by White House staff to aid President Biden at an event. They were sent to other staff as a template for how to prepare for events. Screenshots: Obtained by Axios

ย 

For his events, President Biden's staffers prepare a short document with large print and photos that include his precise path to a podium, according to an event template the White House sends to staffers.

  • Since the June 27 debate, some Democrats who've attended and helped set up Biden events have wondered whether his team's focus on minute details were to obscure the 81-year-old president's limitations โ€” rather than just a reflection of a meticulous staff.
  • ๐Ÿ’ฐ "I staffed a simple fundraiser at a private residence, but they treated it like it was a NATO summit with his movements," according to a person who staffed a Biden event in the past 18 months.

๐Ÿ“ƒ Before a presidential event, the White House sends event staffers a document to emulate when preparing their own materials for the president.

  • One template โ€” a copy of which was obtained by Axios โ€” is short and simple, with one large picture of the event space on each page, accompanied by large text saying "View from podium" and "View from audience."
  • In the five-page document, two pages have separate photos underneath "Walk to podium."

๐Ÿ‘€ The staffer who helped with the fundraiser told Axios: "It surprised me that a seasoned political pro like the president would need detailed verbal and visual instructions on how to enter and exit a room."

  • A White House official told Axios: "If individuals are not accustomed to seeing advance teams work, that would be a common reaction, whoever the principal is."
  • Two former aides who worked with Biden during his vice presidency said that at that time his preparation documents were different, and more often relied on site diagrams.

Reality check: Organizing presidential events โ€” often called "advance work" โ€” is intensive and detail-focused for every commander in chief.

  • Presidential movements are planned down to every footstep in ways that the movements of a vice president often are not.
  • Advance documents also have evolved since Biden was vice president, including the increased use of smartphone photographs.
  • White House spokesperson Andrew Bates told Axios that "high levels of detail and precision are critical to presidential advance work โ€” regardless of who is president โ€” and these are basic approaches that are used by any modern advance team, including the vice president's office and agencies."

๐Ÿ”Ž Many of Biden's seemingly ordinary practices are receiving fresh scrutiny after his debate performance, when he sometimes couldn't string together sentences and often had his mouth agape.

  • Presidents frequently use Teleprompters, but Biden's use of them for even small events such as fundraisers has sparked worries among Democrats that his debate performance was not a one-off.

The event template's focus on the walk to a podium is notable, given recent attacks by Biden's political opponents.

  • Republicans have tried to highlight videos in which Biden sometimes appears unsure of where to walk on- and offstage as a way to suggest he isn't mentally fit for office.

Read more.

ย 

โœˆ๏ธ Biden's light(er) re-election travel schedule
ย 
Axios Visuals: 2024-06-26-election-presidents-travel
Data:ย Brendan J. Doherty, U.S. Naval Academy; Note: Trips to Maryland, D.C. and Virginia were not counted as travel, nor were trips to a president's home city unless they attended an election event during the trip. Home cities are Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida; Crawford, Texas; Wilmington, Del.; and Honolulu. Chart: Tory Lysik/Axios Visuals

๐Ÿ›ซ Biden hasn't flown across the country as much as the last two presidents who used the trappings of the office โ€” including Air Force One โ€” to motivate supporters in battleground states and win re-election, according to a review by Axios.

  • Biden is facing escalating questions from fellow Democrats on whether he has the stamina and acuity to continue in office, after a debate performance that focused attention on the limitations of the nation's oldest-ever president.

๐Ÿ“ His flight logs from the first six months of 2024 reveal a president with about three-quarters of former President Obama's travel during his re-election year in 2012, according to data compiled by Brendan Doherty, a U.S. Naval Academy professor and author of "The Rise of the President's Permanent Campaign."

  • Biden is outpacing former President Trump's travel in 2020, but the latter was essentially grounded by the COVID-19 pandemic 2ยฝ months into that year.
  • โš–๏ธ Biden has visited more swing states than Trump this year, as Trump spent considerable time in court.

๐ŸŽค By the numbers: Biden held 90 domestic events outside the D.C. area through June 30.

  • Trump did 50 events during the same period four years ago, holding 25 events in the first two months of 2020, before nonessential travel was discouraged.
  • Obama held 120 events in the first six months of 2012.
  • Former President George W. Bush also put Air Force One to use, headlining 102 events during the first six months of his re-election campaign in 2004.
  • The numbers include official White House events, political rallies and private fundraisers. Not included: day trips to Virginia and Maryland suburbs of D.C. or visits to a president's second home.

๐Ÿƒโ€โ™‚๏ธ After his miserable debate night on June 27, Biden hit the road, holding seven events in four states over the next two days.

  • This month he's held events in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, and he plans to visit Michigan on Friday after the NATO summit in D.C.

๐Ÿ—ฃ๏ธ What they're saying: "Trump is barely campaigning, and every day whether he's golfing or getting in fights with himself online, he's forced to defend his toxic, losing Project 2025 agenda," said Kevin Munoz, a Biden campaign spokesperson.

  • "There are a lot of days between now and Election Day, and the hard work of earning every single vote is far from over," he added.

๐Ÿ”ญ Zoom out: Running for re-election as an incumbent comes with certain tactical advantages โ€” including one most presidents try to exploit: the blue and white Boeing 747 known as Air Force One.

  • Heading into the 2022 midterms, Biden wasn't the frequent flyer that his two predecessor were, using the jet far less than either Trump or Obama in their first midterms, Axios has reported.

๐Ÿ”ฌ Zoom in: Most of Biden's events in the first half of this year have been on the East Coast. That includes more than 13 appearances in Pennsylvania, a swing state crucial to his re-election.

  • In the first half of 2012, Obama held 16 events in Florida, a state he needed to win โ€” and did.

Read more.

phkrause

Obstinacy is a barrier to all improvement. - ChL 60
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

Trump's dream regime

Republicans long fantasized about a very different government: one run by a strong president indifferent to media pressure, empowered by a Republican Congress, backed by a conservative Supreme Court and lower court system, and free of administrative state handcuffs and hostile federal employees.

Why it matters: This dream โ€” a true decades-long, unfolding nightmare for Democrats โ€” is closer to reality than at any point in our lifetimes.

  • If you're a Republican, you probably love this. If you're a Democrat, you probably loathe it. Either way, readers should be clear-eyed about the totality of sweeping change in governing power.

๐Ÿ–ผ๏ธ The big picture: We're not arguing former President Trump will win, or that Republicans will hold control of the House, or flip the Senate. But all are plausible.

  • If Trump wins and congressional Republicans run the table, the other components for the most powerful White House in history are set firmly in place, and increasingly in law.

So let's dig into each component of the Republican fantasy:

  1. A strong president indifferent to pressure. Well, that's Trump. He has long held that his power in office is virtually unchecked. The Supreme Court just added another layer of protection. The Justices ruled inย Trump v. U.S.ย that presidents enjoy immunity from criminal prosecution for actions within their core constitutional duties, and presumptive immunity for other official acts.ย It'll take years to sort out the elasticity of immunity โ€” but it's wide.
  2. A compliant, Republican-controlled Congress.ย It's a coin toss who wins the House and Senate this year โ€” much like it has been throughout this era of a 50-50 America. The Senate looks promising for the GOP, thanks to a favorable map that has Democrats playing defense in deep-red West Virginia, Montana and Ohio, plus five swing states. The House is harder, mainly because there are lots more Republicans in Biden-won districts than vice versa.
  3. A conservative Supreme Court. A 6-3 majority is significant, as the most recent decisions showed. It was the six Republican-appointed justices who expanded presidential power. The three Democrats warned of a looming monarchy.
  4. A weakened administrative state. The Court, in a series of rulings but most notably the reversal of the Chevron decision, handed Republicans a massive triumph in a 40-year war to weaken independent agencies. It basically ruled that individual bureaucrats and independent agencies can no longer set the rules for business regulation.
  5. Purge hostile federal employees. Right now, a lot of the nitty-gritty of governing is handled by full-time civil servants who aren't political appointees and often operate outside the full control of the president. But Trump has threatened to fire tens of thousands of these civil servants and replace them with pre-vetted loyalists.

Column continues below.

ย 

๐Ÿ”Ž Part 2: Biggest long-term win

Former President Trump last week tried to distance himself from the Heritage Foundation's Project 2025, which is recruiting loyalists to help carry out radical plans to transform the U.S. government, Jim and Mike write.

  • He claimed to "know nothing about Project 2025." Truth is, Project 2025 was largely written by his allies and encapsulates a lot of what he hopes to do โ€” and how he might do it, longtime Trump officials tell us.

Between the lines: We've written extensively about Trump's plans to stretch the power of the presidency on everything from punishing critics to using the U.S. military for domestic action.

  • But the biggest long-term victory for the conservative agenda (although not necessarily presidential power) is the Supreme Court's end to independent agencies or officials dictating everything from securities laws to toxin levels in food or water.
  • It's not hyperbole to say this Supreme Court did more to weaken agencies and federal bureaucrats in a few days than previous courts did in decades.

๐ŸฅŠ Reality check: Yuval Levin of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) โ€” a leading thinker on the right who worked in President George W. Bush's White House and contributes to National Review โ€” told us that if Republicans win it all in November, "the left in America will find itself in a weaker position at the national level than at any time in the past century or so."

  • "Yet it's far from clear that the right will be in any place to meaningfully capitalize on that fact, or that it's likely to persist and bring an end to the back and forth of the partisan seesaw that has characterized the 21st century," he added. "Since the beginning of this century, both parties have interpreted each of their narrow and ephemeral election wins as ushering in a sustainable new era they will dominate. They have been wrong to think so every time ... An election between two 80-year-olds feels more like an ending than a beginning."

Democratic brakes: Ultimately, it's the president who decides how to use the power of government โ€” whether to stretch or contain it.

  • A big reason many Democrats are in a full panic is they worry a weakened President Biden could make this Republican fantasy come true by costing them the presidency, the Senate and the House โ€” and any chance of changing the courts.

phkrause

Obstinacy is a barrier to all improvement. - ChL 60
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

๐Ÿ’ง Biden's brutal week

The White House is bracing for a brutal โ€” and potentially decisive โ€” week, with signs of more congressional defectors, donor threats to stop writing checks and a stream of revelations about the 81-year-old president's limitations, Axios' Hans Nichols writes.

  • Why it matters: For President Biden, it's likely going to get worse before it gets better.

Biden's best opportunity to prove his Democratic doubters wrong probably won't come until his NATO press conference on Thursday.

  • On a call with House Minority Leader Jeffries yesterday, four senior House Democrats said they hoped Biden will end his campaign: Reps. Jerry Nadler (N.Y.), Joe Morelle (N.Y.), Adam Smith (Wash.) and Mark Takano (Calif.). They're the ranking members of the Judiciary, House Administration, Armed Services and Veterans Affairs committees, respectively.

๐Ÿ›๏ธ The intrigue: Biden might have bought some time after Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), decided not to hold a planned meeting with other Democrats to discuss Biden this evening. Instead, they'll hold the conversation during tomorrow's regular caucus lunch.

๐ŸฅŠ Biden's bracketing: The White House announced plans for Biden to travel to Texas and Nevada next week during the Republican convention, which opens in Milwaukee a week from today. He'll highlight what's right about America, including civil rights and unity.

phkrause

Obstinacy is a barrier to all improvement. - ChL 60
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

Presidential race

ย 

President Joe Biden remains adamant about staying in the 2024 race despite swelling calls within his party to step down after last month's dismal debate performance. Several House Democratic ranking members told House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries on Sunday that Biden needs to step down from the race, according to sources familiar with the conversation. Biden held a pair of campaign events in the swing state of Pennsylvania over the weekend to reassure skeptical voters about the viability of his reelection bid, telling reporters "I'm up for the job." Meanwhile, former President Donald Trump is gearing up to announce his running mate before kicking off a Republican convention in Milwaukee next week where he will officially become the party's presidential nominee for the third time in eight years.

phkrause

Obstinacy is a barrier to all improvement. - ChL 60
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

Biden gets support from key lawmakers as he tells Democrats he wonโ€™t step aside after debate

WASHINGTON (AP) โ€” President Joe Biden stood firm Monday against calls for him to drop his reelection candidacy and called for an end to the intraparty drama that has torn apart Democrats since his dismal debate performance last month, as key lawmakers expressed support for him to remain in the 2024 presidential race.

https://apnews.com/article/biden-campaign-house-democrats-senate-16c222f825558db01609605b3ad9742a?

Biden dares "elites"

President Biden today espoused a Trumpian dichotomy: Party "elites" want him out โ€” but ordinary voters stand behind him.

  • The problem: Polls suggest that's simply not true. If anything, swing voters and many committed Democrats were questioning his fitness long before party bigwigs.

๐Ÿ’จ What he's saying: "I'm getting so frustrated by the [party] elites," Biden said in a phone interview on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

  • "If any of these guys don't think I should run, run against me! Announce for president, challenge me at the convention," Biden said.
  • Referring to his easy renomination and cheering crowds at a couple of recent events, Biden said: "I wanted to make sure I was right โ€” that the average voter out there still wanted Joe Biden. And I'm confident they do."

๐Ÿ“‰ Reality check: Polls before and after the debate tell a different story, Axios' April Rubin writes.

  • A CBS News poll found 46% of Democrats (up from 36% in February) and 72% of registered voters (up from 63% in February) think Biden shouldn't run for president.
  • Concerns about Biden's age spiked after the debate, but they're not new. An ABC poll in February found 86% of Americans thought Biden was too old to serve another four years.

๐Ÿ”Ž Between the lines: Party elites actually helped clear the path for Biden's virtually uncontested renomination, prioritizing a united front behind the president over any simmering concerns about his sharpness.

  • Only now are donors, pundits and elected officials getting publicly skittish.
  • And only now is the walking definition of the Democratic elite โ€” 48 total years in the Senate and White House โ€” starting to rage against them.

phkrause

Obstinacy is a barrier to all improvement. - ChL 60
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

๐ŸฅŠ With Dems on edge, Biden fights back

๐Ÿ’ฅ President Biden came out firing today against the rising number of congressional Democrats calling for him to drop his bid for re-election, blasting his critics and challenging them to take him on at the party's August convention.

  • โšก๏ธ Biden's counterstrike โ€” a letter to many Hill Democrats, a fiery call-in interview on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" and a call with roughly 400 donors (see below) โ€” kicked off a week that many Democrats see as crucial to the viability of his campaign.

For Biden, the really hard part begins tomorrow, when House and Senate Democrats hold separate gatherings in which lawmakers will share their views โ€” and in some cases, challenge Biden to prove his viability.

๐Ÿ˜’ The president's call for support follows a week in which a growing number of Democratic lawmakers urged him to drop out of the race โ€” the fallout from his disastrous debate against former President Trump that fueled questions about his health and mental acuity.

  • "The question of how to move forward has been well-aired for over a week now. And it's time for it to end," the 81-year-old president wrote in today's letter.
  • "We have one job. And that is to beat Donald Trump. ... It is time to come together, move forward as a unified party, and defeat Donald Trump."
  • Biden also called out "elites" in the Democratic Party, saying they're among those who want him bumped off the party's ticket.
  • ๐Ÿ“‰ Actually, post-debate polls indicate 60% of voters think he should be replaced.

Biden's public relations tour de force was accompanied by statements of support from several lawmakers, including some members of the Congressional Black Caucus, which planned to meet with the president in a Zoom tonight.

  • The vibe from Biden: Get on board, now.

๐Ÿ‘Ž Not everyone was feeling it.

  • Even as Biden seemed to be solidifying some support in Congress, Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.), the ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, became the latest Democrat to go public with a call for Biden to drop his re-election bid.
  • One House Democrat told Axios' Andrew Solender that Biden's PR blitz was "largely posturing and pulling heartstrings," adding: "The problem is the hard reality of this situation and he just seems completely insulated from that reality."

๐Ÿฉบ Questions about Biden's health also aren't going away.

  • White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre faced a barrage of questions over reports that a specialist in Parkinson's disease had visited the White House eight times during the past year.
  • During a heated exchange with reporters, Jean-Pierre said Biden isn't being treated for Parkinson's and isn't taking medication for the disease.

Read more here and here

ย 

๐Ÿ’ฐ Biden's pitch to donors: I'm the one

Biden's push to quiet his Democratic critics included a simple and direct message for the doubting donors who've vowed to stop giving until he steps aside: He's in this race to win it.

๐Ÿ“ž In a midday call with donors, the president forcefully repeated an argument that animated his candidacy in 2020.

  • He's the best person to beat Trump, he said, according to three participants on the call.
  • ๐ŸŽค "We're done talking about the debate," he said, adding it was time to move on and keep the focus on Trump.
  • Asked how he planned to handle Trump in their next showdown, Biden said, "Attack." He also promised to call out Trump's "lies" in real time.

Donors typically operate behind the scenes and don't make public pronouncements about the candidates they support. But they do vote with their wallets โ€” and lately, a few have been vocal about Biden's troubles.

๐Ÿ’ต By the numbers: Every Democratic donor who walks away represents a potential loss of more than $1 million, according to Democratic fundraisers.

  • The federal limit to all Biden committees is $929,600, according to an invitation to a donor retreat last year obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times. There are no limits for super PAC donations.
  • ๐ŸŽฌ Netflix co-founder and executive chairman Reed Hastings, who has called on Biden to step aside, gave about $1.5 million for Biden's 2020 election. For 2024, he's kicked in just $100,000.
  • Then there's former Paypal CEO Bill Harris, who gave $620,000 to the Biden Victory Fund in 2020, but thinks the prospect of Biden stepping aside is "inevitable." He doesn't appear to have given in 2024.
  • Harris created a super PAC, Democrats for the Next Generation, this month that's pledged $2 million to fund debates for possible candidates if Biden drops out.

Read more

phkrause

Obstinacy is a barrier to all improvement. - ChL 60
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

phkrause

Obstinacy is a barrier to all improvement. - ChL 60
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

Trump's new 2024 plan

Former President Trump is adjusting his agenda, the GOP platform, his vice-presidential plans โ€” even his debate style โ€” to win over more than a half-dozen persuadable voter groups in seven states, advisers tell Mike and Jim for a Behind the Curtain column.

  • Why it matters: Starting with the debate, every Trump move โ€” from personally editing the Republican platform, to laying low while President Biden's debate debacle sucked up attention โ€” has been designed to nudge double-haters and truly undecided voters.

๐Ÿ—บ๏ธ The Trump campaign sees a clearer map emerging, with these swing states being hardest to easiest to win, in this order: Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, Georgia, North Carolina, Nevada and Arizona. (You could flip the first two, but the campaign puts Pennsylvania first because it's the biggest swing state, and because Biden desperately needs it.)

  • Job 1 for the V.P. nominee, besides raising money, will be to park in Pennsylvania to try to deny Biden the biggest of his Blue Wall states. The Rust Belt appeal of Sen. J.D. Vance (R-Ohio) helped rocket him to one of the finalist slots to be Trump's running mate.
  • The Trump-orchestrated platform adopted this week by the Republican National Committee targets very specific groups in these states โ€” most notably Rust Belt, working-class, white voters ... plus security-focused moms who are skeptical of Trump's style but care about the border and crime ... Hispanic, working-class men ... and Nevada bartenders angered by high taxes on tips.

๐Ÿ”Ž Behind the scenes: Trump wants and assumes Biden is his opponent. He tells friends Biden's debate performance and age are gifts from the political gods. No longer is he seen as the old, selfish guy in it for his own vainglory and personal power, friends joke.

  • After debate prep with senior adviser Jason Miller and Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), Trump dropped the retribution threats and Jan. 6 celebrations (two things he has undeniably and consistently supported). Advisers have told him that both turn off swing voters. Some Trump allies find Gaetz creepy, but said he's shockingly good at channeling Biden in debate prep.
  • Trump rolled the RNC on abortion (the platform doesn't call for a nationwide ban, for the first time in 40 years) and same-sex marriage (no longer a reference to "traditional marriage" between "one man and one woman") to win over voters he knows are wary. Trump sources tell us they tried to thread a needle of broadening the party's appeal without offending the evangelical voters who propelled Trump into office.

Column continues below.

ย 

๐Ÿ“บ Part 2: Prime-time surprises

The timing of Trump's effort to distance himself from the Heritage Foundation's Project 2025, with 922 pages of hard-right policy prescriptions, was no coincidence, Mike and Jim write.

  • Trump personally wanted to trash it just before approving the RNC platform.
  • Project 2025 was drafted in part by former Trump advisers, and captures a lot of his thinking. But he complained that Heritage was trying to build credibility and clout off his name. Controversial parts of the plan could overshadow his more popular ideas, he warned.
  • Trump wants all 20 pillars on the platform's cheat seat to either electrify his base or entice the micro-groups of persuadable voters his campaign is focused on. Trump โ€” sometimes with a Sharpie or felt pen, sometimes over the phone with policy and speechwriting aide Vince Haley โ€” personally edited every line of the 16-page platform, including commas and adjectives. Hence the Trumpian all-caps and Trump language.

๐ŸŽค What we're watching: Trump wants the platform to set the stage for the Republican National Convention, which opens Monday in Milwaukee. Reality TV star Amber Rose will have a slot. Early plans had 50 Cent among prime-time surprises, to portray Trump as connected to popular culture (think mixed martial arts).

  • Trump always wants choreographed celebrity โ€” the more surprising, the better. But it's unclear whether he got the biggest possible gets.
  • The mission, which is reflected in the convention's four nightly themes ("make America wealthy/safe/strong/great once again"): Show Trump as more than white MAGA.

๐Ÿ‘“ Between the lines: Trump didn't get the post-debate polling bounce some advisers hoped for. Yes, his numbers inched up nationally. But he's still neck-and-neck with Biden, despite overwhelming Democratic fears about his age.

  • Trump knows he needs to win over more men, especially Black and Hispanic voters, without scaring off more women.
  • But Trump's advisers don't see moderation as the only way to win over persuadables. The new platform has immigration as the No. 1 and 2 issues, and proudly trumpets "the largest mass deportation in history." It's the one issue that plays well with almost every micro-group on the internal list.

The bottom line: Trump sees hypermasculine appeal as an edge. As a Trump adviser put it to us: "Trump sees Biden as a physical manifestation of Democratic policies."

phkrause

Obstinacy is a barrier to all improvement. - ChL 60
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

๐Ÿ—ณ๏ธ Biden's incredible shrinking path

President Biden appears, for now, to have stalled the Democratic coup triggered by his disastrous debate performance โ€” but at a potentially massive cost, Axios' Zachary Basu writes.

  • Why it matters: If Biden remains the nominee and loses to former President Trump in November, as many Democrats privately and publicly believe he will, the failed rebellion will haunt the party for years.

๐Ÿ‘€ Cook Political Report moved six states toward Trump in its Electoral College ratings yesterday, leaving only the Blue Wall states of Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin as toss-ups. Arizona, Nevada and Georgia moved from toss-up to "Lean R." (Ask James Carville if anyone has texted him that tweet yet.)

  • Publisher and editor-in-chief Amy Walter cited Biden's decline in national and private battleground polls shared by both Democratic and GOP sources.

๐Ÿ–ผ๏ธ The big picture: Heading into the debate, Biden was already a historically unpopular incumbent with a narrow path to winning 270 electoral votes.

  • It was the Biden campaign that requested the debate in June โ€” the earliest in U.S. history โ€” in a strategic bid to reset the race and draw national attention to Trump's flaws.
  • The gamble backfired in spectacular fashion, redirecting scrutiny to Biden's biggest vulnerability: his age.

๐Ÿ”ฌ Zoom in: Two weeks into the post-debate meltdown, Democrats have found themselves in arguably the worst of all scenarios.

  • Biden, with an approval rating hovering around 37%, is weaker and more politically vulnerable than ever. But he insists he's not going anywhere.
  • The Democratic Party is fractured and demoralized. Its leaders have closed ranks around Biden, but the enthusiasm is gone. Many Democrats fear Biden could cost them enormously down-ballot.
  • Dissenters โ€” even Democratic celebrities like the "Pod Save America" crew of former Obama aides โ€” have been tarnished as "Trump enablers" for questioning whether Biden should continue.

The other side: Biden's team argues that the president's position will strengthen once the election is presented as a binary choice.

๐Ÿ”ฎ What's next: Biden's solo press conference after the NATO summit tomorrow will present the first huge test of whether Democratic leaders were right to plow โ€” however reluctantly โ€” full-steam ahead.

ย 

Biden bosses: "Worry less"
ย 
Illustration of a person with their head down on an abstract desk, exhausted, holding up a thumbs up with a red spiral pattern focusing in on them.
ย 

Illustration: Aรฏda Amer/Axios

ย 

President Biden's campaign staff, battling low morale and disillusionment, held its second all-hands conference call in less than a week with Democratic National Committee staffers on Monday, Axios' Alex Thompson writes.

  • "I plead with you: Worry less, do the work," California Gov. Gavin Newsom โ€” brought on to give a pep talk โ€” told the staffers, according to a video of his remarks obtained by Axios.

In her own motivational speech, campaign chair Jen O'Malley Dillon told staffers that the 81-year-old president had been personally looking over the stats of what campaign workers are doing in key states and urged them to keep at it:

  • "We have to bypass the narrative out there."

Keep reading.

phkrause

Obstinacy is a barrier to all improvement. - ChL 60
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

2024 race

ย 

Senate and House Democrats met Tuesday to discuss President Biden's 2024 campaign amid a chorus of voices calling on him to quit the race. After the House meeting, several Democrats refused to say whether they supported keeping Biden as the nominee, a sign of the lingering divide over his electoral viability. Sen. Michael Bennet became the first Democratic senator to publicly say he doesn't believe Biden is capable of winning reelection, telling CNN he fears former President Donald Trump could "maybe win it by a landslide." Meanwhile, Trump is building suspense around who will be his running mate ahead of the Republican National Convention next week. Trump's search for a running mate has focused on three names: North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Ohio Sen. J.D. Vance.

phkrause

Obstinacy is a barrier to all improvement. - ChL 60
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

Presidential battle could play role in control of state capitols in several swing states

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) โ€” Two swing districts in a swing county may very well decide which party controls the House in the swing state of Pennsylvania, one of several where pivotal legislative battles are playing out in the shadow of the presidential campaign.

https://apnews.com/article/election-2024-state-legislatures-3ca47e37a87fe5647d1b80f8e5e295f3?

phkrause

Obstinacy is a barrier to all improvement. - ChL 60
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

Trump casting call

Ahead of an any-day-now announcement, former President Trump dished to Fox News host Brian Kilmeade on the triumvirate of VP hopefuls.

  1. On worries about the near-total abortion ban North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum signed in 2023, Trump said: "You know, I think Doug is great, but it is a strong ban."
  2. Sen. Marco Rubio's Florida residency would make it "complicated" for the ticket due to constitutional issues, the former president said.
  3. He also said he likes Sen. J.D. Vance's beard and thinks it makes him look like a "young Abraham Lincoln."

P.S. Trump's warm-up act for his primetime acceptance speech at next week's RNC will be Ultimate Fighting Championship CEO Dana White.

phkrause

Obstinacy is a barrier to all improvement. - ChL 60
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

phkrause

Obstinacy is a barrier to all improvement. - ChL 60
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


If you find some value to this community, please help out with a few dollars per month.



×
×
  • Create New...