Sat. Apr 13th, 2024

Behind the scenes, Biden has grown angry and anxious about re-election effort

By 37ci3 Mar17,2024



WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden was worried.

In a private meeting at the White House in January, the president’s allies told him that his poll numbers in Michigan and Georgia had just dropped because of his handling of the war between Israel and Hamas.

Both are battlegrounds he narrowly won four years ago, and he can’t afford to back down if he wants to beat Donald Trump again. The deputy who was familiar with the meeting said that he started shouting and cursing.

According to the MP, he believed he was doing the right thing despite the political failure.

Asked about the episode, White House spokesman Andrew Bates said: “President Biden makes national security decisions based solely on the national security needs of the country — no other factor.”

For months, Democrats have watched the 2024 campaign unfold with heightened excitement as the incumbent jockeys for ground against his defeated predecessor. Frustrations in the party have come to a head, with Biden sometimes second-guessing travel decisions and communications strategies that have left many voters in the dark about his record, according to interviews with nearly 20 lawmakers, current and former administration officials and Biden allies.

The starting gun for the general election campaign was fired last week as Biden finalized his Democratic nomination. However, he is still looking for ways to impress voters that he deserves a second term, thanks to policy achievements that have eluded past presidents.

History shows that his recovery will be difficult. Biden’s That’s a 38% approval rating According to the Gallup poll, the calendar stage is lower than the last three presidents to lose re-election: Trump (48%), George HW Bush (39%) and Jimmy Carter (43%).

Biden has long believed he doesn’t get enough credit for an economy that has created 15 million new jobs. A person familiar with the speech preparation told his speakers before the State of the Union address to tone down some of the high-flown rhetoric and clearly explain what they’re doing to reach distracted voters.

During internal discussions, he will press aides on which parts of his memo to emphasize in different states, said a second person familiar with the matter.

A third person familiar with the internal discussions said the 81-year-old president, surrounded by protective aides eager to minimize the chance of the flu, protested the restrictions, which he saw as contrary to his natural instincts as a retail politician.

He has felt cocooned at times and wants to get out more, meet with voters face-to-face and take the fight directly to Trump, said a third and fourth person familiar with the issue, who spoke with the condition, as did others. anonymity to discuss campaign strategy and the president’s personal views.

There are signs that some within his party are losing patience with him.

“Biden stood up in front of the whole world and said, ‘I’m ready.’ I am the man who can take down Donald Trump,” said Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash. “So he better do it. We don’t have time to worry about whether people are telling the truth or whether the survey numbers are where they should be. “I want focused energy, not defensive rage.”

It can be defeated spectacularly

Biden has sometimes directed his anger at his close-knit senior staff. Given his success in passing successive bills and improving the economy, Biden is frustrated that his message is not reaching a broader electorate, sources said.

Eight months before the election, Biden’s campaign team remains confident in its chances.

Memory A December tweet by campaign manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez indicated that Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris had always planned to “improve” their campaign travel earlier this year — something that’s happening now.

Since his State of the Union address, Biden has visited Wisconsin, Michigan, Georgia, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania. He will head to Nevada and Arizona earlier this week.

“The president and his advisers were looking forward to having him there more often and, as is the norm for former officials seeking re-election, planned for it to take place early in the election year.” the second said a person familiar with the matter.

Biden’s aides see Trump as a very beatable and deeply flawed opponent. Campaign chairwoman Jen O’Malley Dillon said on a recent campaign call with reporters that Trump appears to have little interest in wooing voters outside of his most loyal base.

“We know he lost in 2020,” he said. “To win, he needs to expand his voter base to find new people to stand with him. And that’s not something he’s really focused on.”

‘He got a little angry with himself’

At times, Biden has received conflicting proposals. Some counselors told her she needed to walk faster because she was worried her gait gave the impression she was too old. Still, the White House is worried enough about his fall that he boarded Air Force One via a shorter staircase. the belly of the planeabandoning the iconic image of the president swinging from the main gate high above the tarmac.

“He’s probably a little bit angry with himself for not being tougher with the staff,” said a person familiar with the internal discussions.

Privately, Biden is questioning whether to trust his gut instincts about incoming leadership from advisers with political vested interests, the person added.

“This guy has had decades of success in Congress and became vice president and president,” said a fifth person who previously worked in the Biden administration. “If you try to change people, you are wrong. Let the president go out there and do his job.”

“Communication Failure”

The consensus among Democratic officials is that Biden needs an army of surrogates to spread the word that his record has improved American life in concrete ways. It cannot carry the message alone.

Atlanta’s Democratic mayor, Andre Dickens, said Trump’s noise has attracted attention, but Biden’s record has actually made city streets safer. He cited spending laws that allow his city to pay police officers retention bonuses and underwrite youth programs that help prevent crime.

“Coming after a brash guy like Trump, who tells you every day what he hates and what he likes, Biden … is soft and quiet and gets the job done,” Dickens said.

Informing voters “is the job of the mayor and county leaders who benefit from the policies of the Biden administration,” he said.

Simplicity may be Biden’s most promising approach, according to some of his allies. Chalk up his record as part of an American renaissance — a success story that puts money in people’s pockets, they suggested.

Mary Landrieu is a former Democratic senator from Louisiana and a Biden supporter. Asked about Biden’s failure to take credit for legislation to revive American high-tech manufacturing and upgrade the nation’s roads and bridges, he said: “I think it’s actually a little bit of a lack of communication on the part of the White House.”

Nearly $4 billion in clean energy projects are underway in Louisiana as part of Biden’s bill, the Inflation Reduction Act, which doesn’t reflect the measure’s true intent.

“There’s a real story to tell,” Landrieu said. “It’s a winning message and it’s about jobs, prosperity and evolution. If that message can be delivered, I think the American people will respond.”



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