Joe Biden Running for Reelection – For Real or More Malarkey?
A Commentary By Brain C. Joondeph
On April 25, barely two weeks ago, President Joe Biden announced that he is running for reelection in 2024, promising to “finish the job.” What exactly does he want to finish?
America is rapidly imploding on many fronts – financial and economic, cultural, safety, and our place in the world. Does finishing the job mean erasing every achievement of former President Donald Trump? Or does he mean completing former President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign promise, "We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America"?
Biden’s cognitive decline is obvious to all but the most hyper-partisan observers. He would be 82 years old if reelected, the oldest American president in history. Unlike select red wines and cheeses, Biden is not getting better with age.
Instead he struggles to deliver prepared remarks, even with cue cards and preselected reporters asking prescreened questions. Or shaking hands with thin air or imaginary friends. Or forgetting the names of his cabinet members and other politicians.
By comparison, recall Trump holding press gaggles on almost a daily basis, answering spontaneous questions on a wide range of topics, confidently and competently. Does anyone believe that Biden, only three years older than Trump, could face a flock of hostile reporters hurling gotcha questions at him for 20 minutes before flying off on Marine One?
Aside from impressions, what do the numbers say?
Rasmussen Reports publishes a daily approval index for the current president. On May 3, Biden’s total approval was 28% compared to total disapproval of 43%, a 15-point spread, not in his favor. Unlike most polls which survey simply registered voters or else whoever answers the pollster’s phone call, Rasmussen Reports surveys likely voters, the opinions that ultimately matter on election day.
How do Biden and Trump compare on a head-to-head approval match-up, significant because at this point at least they are the two most likely candidates? On May 3, Rasmussen Reports’ presidential tracking poll of likely US voters noted that Trump’s total approval was 50% compared to Biden’s at 46%.
What about in a head to head matchup? “The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that, if the 2024 presidential election were between Biden and former President Donald Trump, 47% of Likely U.S. voters would vote for Trump, while 40% would vote for Biden.”
Granted polls are a snapshot in time that can change rapidly, with an election a year and a half away, but they do provide a sense of what voters think now. Are conditions likely to improve or worsen during the remaining term of the incumbent president seeking reelection based on his record?
The federal funds interest rate rose another 0.25% this week, topping 5%, the highest in 16 years. This will trickle down to consumers as higher mortgage, car, and credit card interest payments, pouring cold water on an already cooling economy.
Attack drones flew to Moscow, attempting to assassinate Russian President Vladimir Putin, edging us closer to a hot World War III. Russia and Ukraine deny the attack, leaving us to recall which country most likely blew up the Nord Stream pipeline and who might be behind the drone attack.
Southern border towns are overwhelmed with illegal migrants. Overall a majority of voters (56%) believe America is heading in the wrong direction, according to an April 27 Rasmussen Reports poll
Where does the hypothetical Trump-Biden match up stand now? Will Trump and Biden be the eventual nominees of their parties?
A recent CBS News/YouGov survey noted that among Republican primary voters, 58% plan on voting for Trump compared to 22% for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, almost a three-fold difference. The few remaining contenders are in the low to mid-single digits.
On the Democrat side, Biden has no serious challengers. The Real Clear Politics average has Biden at 66% compared to newcomer Robert F. Kennedy Jr. at 20%, and New-Agey Marianne Williamson at nine percent (9%). Kennedy only announced his candidacy two weeks ago and already is favored by a fifth of Democrats.
Wild cards include Trump’s yet-to-be-announced running mate. A Trump-DeSantis ticket would beat a Biden-Harris ticket by eight points according to a Rasmussen Reports poll of likely voters. There are many reasons why this might be a Republican dream ticket as I outlined last year. And this margin may be enough to overcome expected Democrat vote rigging and cheating.
If RFK Jr. runs as an independent, he could siphon enough Democrat votes to easily elect Trump. Even the Democrat primary is not a sure-thing win for Biden. Three recent polls show that approximately two-thirds of Americans believe Biden should not run for reelection.
How about a wild card on steroids, namely Trump and Kennedy teaming up together on a ticket, a truly bipartisan combination? Talk about name recognition and celebrity. The name Trump speaks for itself. And Kennedy is heir to Camelot, the most famous Democrat family, revered by millions of old-school traditional Democrats.
Then there is Michelle Obama, a real dark horse candidate. Filmmaker Joel Gilbert makes a compelling case for this scenario in his recent book and film. Mrs. Obama hits the triple crown of intersectionality – black, female, and first of both in the White House.
Biden has more recent troubles as several Republican members of Congress have a whistleblower claiming that the FBI has evidence of Biden in a “bribery scheme with a foreign national.” The walls may be closing in on Biden, contrary to corporate media’s endless cacophony of the walls closing in Trump for the past 7 years.
Will Biden actually run or is he a place-holder for a late entry of Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, or some other last-ditch Democrat effort to distract from the dismal record and alleged crimes of Joe Biden?
What tricks does Donald Trump have up his sleeve for his third presidential run? He is a smart guy who hates to lose, and it would be foolish to listen to the media and count him out as was the case in 2016.
Forget watching anything on Hulu or Netflix. The best show for the next 18 months will be the 2024 election!
Brian C Joondeph, MD, is a physician and writer.
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