William Katz:  Urgent Agenda

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THE INDICTMENT:   You can almost feel the unease in the Democratic Party, and almost hear the beginning of a mini-revolt.  Increasingly Democrats are realizing that Joe Biden may be leading them to a disaster.  His poll numbers are awful, almost as bad as those of his vice president, Kamala Harris.  Surveys show that the public isn't buying his economic program, and they've got the reason in the price of food.  And even CNN can't save the president from the whiff of scandal around him and his family.   

We sense that more and more Democrats would like Biden to step aside, and the nomination for president become an open contest, with Kamala given no special privileges.  

One can say "wishful thinking," but the wish is growing and is showing up in political polls.

Why is Biden in such trouble?  Doug Schoen, one of the brightest men in politics, a Democrat, and a former adviser to the Clinton administration, has written the most stinging indictment of Biden yet.  Displaying no hatred, he also holds nothing back.  I suspect many influential Democrats will be reading this.  From the Messenger: 

The Democratic Party generally — and President Biden specifically — have a profound problem: At home and abroad, seemingly everyone is mad at the American president, with severe consequences for American influence around the world.

Domestically, despite cooling inflation, just 30% of Americans say they agree with Democrats’ economic policy, while 42% prefer the Republicans’ approach. With the economy consistently ranking as the most important issue for voters, Americans’ pessimism — coupled with Biden’s consistently low approval ratings on the economy — figures to be a considerable problem as he seeks a second term.

Moreover, Hispanic voters — a critical Democratic constituency — are angry at the perceived leftward shift of today’s Democratic Party. Compared to 2018, the 2022 midterms saw a 10-point jump in Hispanic support for the GOP, according to exit polls and Edison research. In fact, the research shows that Hispanic support for Democrats in 2022 was the lowest it has been since the 1990s.

To that end, support for Biden among Hispanics has dropped more than among any other race or ethnicity, according to a FiveThirtyEight analysis, and nearly two-thirds (64%) of Hispanic voters say that Biden has accomplished “little or nothing” as president.

Internationally, Biden’s campaign promises to restore American leadership as a more traditional statesman than his predecessor have fallen flat, as it seems almost every international constituency is upset with the American president.

While Biden has led a robust and determined Western response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, including sending historic levels of military and humanitarian aid, Ukrainians are — rightfully — angry that Biden declared them “not ready” for NATO, despite arguably having done more for European security than any other country in blunting and eroding the Russian military.

Further, the White House has consistently slow-walked the delivery of weapons systems that Ukraine desperately needs, often refusing for months before ultimately relenting, wasting valuable time as Ukrainians valiantly fight for their survival.

Additionally, our Asian allies are angry that Biden has been weak in standing up to China’s growing militancy, and China itself is angry over restrictions on access to vital technology. Importantly, while the administration’s policy of preventing China’s technological rise is sound, sending high-level diplomats such as Secretary of State Tony Blinken or Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to our most formidable geopolitical adversary sends our allies in the region — especially Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Australia — the wrong message.

COMMENT:  That's not exactly a letter of recommendation.  Please read the whole thing.  If Biden runs, he can only win if the Republicans lose – in other words, run a weak candidate or a mediocre campaign.  It's hard to think of Biden actually "winning" anything.  When is the last time you heard "We want Biden" at a political rally.

We remind ourselves that the election is still a year and four months away.   We cannot predict, we can only speculate.  But I would not be shocked if neither Joe Biden nor Donald Trump were at the heads of their ticket.

July 16, 2023