Mon. Jul 15th, 2024

Some Democrats say Biden’s debate performance wasn’t an anomaly

By 37ci3 Jul4,2024



WASHINGTON — Following his State of the Union address in March, he President Joe Biden it seemed that at 81, he had put to rest lingering fears that he was no longer fit for work.

He spoke forcefully and joked with Republican lawmakers who scoffed at his message. But the Democratic lawmaker who shook hands with Biden in the House that night was worried about his appearance.

The congressman said in a recent interview that Biden appeared “weak and weak.”

Biden’s poor showing in last week’s debate with Donald Trump threatens to stop his campaign only four months before the election. Hoping to salvage his bid for another term, he is asking voters to weigh the 90-minute failure against his record 3½ years in office.

Still last week’s concept The debate was an anomaly, unrelated to the impressions of some Democratic lawmakers who saw it closely. and walks away, doubting his ability to hold office.

The discussion was not a one-off, but revealed the same troubling traits — the memory lapses, the incoherence, the blank look — that officials said they had noticed during Biden’s tenure at the company.

“The country saw it [at the debate] All of us who have had personal contact with him have known for the last 2½ years,” said one senator, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss Biden’s health.

A large, well-funded team of aides surrounds Biden and has worked to protect him from the embarrassments that would befall an aging president. He often rides on Air Force One shorter staircase leading to the belly of the aircraft to minimize the risk of falling. No other president since Ronald Reagan did less interviewsIt is a forum that needs questions in the flexible field without the benefit of a script.

Controversy took off the protective clothing. Now, Biden faces a crisis in which he must quickly demonstrate that he can perform at the level the presidency demands. This week, his close ally, Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., confirmed in a phone call with Biden that he “needs to do some things to regain the trust of the American people,” Coons said in an interview.

Both men also discussed ways to overcome the consequences of the dispute. One of the problems Biden acknowledged, Coons said, was that he was willing to bring up facts and figures that didn’t really matter in a meeting with Trump.

“Donald Trump is a very different opponent,” Coons said. “Donald Trump stood there and let loose a flood of angry invective that Joe Biden could still hear, even though the microphones were off.”

Coons, who once worked as a senatorial intern for Biden, said he is confident in his cognitive abilities. In a phone call with Biden, he said the president was “sharp, engaged and energetic.”

“I never had a moment that made me question his mental acuity,” Coons said.

Others see a lower number. A third Democratic lawmaker said that in recent months Biden When the two were together, he looked “extremely tired.” In other jobs this year, Biden has appeared “far from optimal.” While the debate was Biden’s “worst,” the lawmaker said, “it was not an aberration.”

About 40 Democratic lawmakers have been texting each other since the debate, and none of them believe Biden should stay in the race, the House member said.

In response, a spokesman for the Biden campaign cited various members of Congress vouching for Biden’s acrimony.

Biden’s former Senate aide, D-Va. Rep. Gerry Connolly said: “I will tell you that I have not experienced what I saw last week in my meetings with Joe Biden as president.” dispute

“The minute he sees him, he knows me by name,” Connolly continued. “He’ll bring up mutual friends and colleagues who worked with us during that time by name, and he’s genuinely interested in how they’re doing.”

“I’ve certainly seen my former boss get old, sure, but not mentally degenerate,” Connolly said.

People age in different ways, and the presidency tends to act as an aging accelerator. In 1990, a year after leaving office, Reagan testified at the trial of a former White House official. He was 79 at the time, two years younger than Biden is now.

Reagan could not recall the name of the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He used “I don’t remember” or some equivalent word at least 124 times. Los Angeles Times account from his testimony.

There are many instances where Biden has demonstrated impressive command of his faculties, aides said.

As he prepared a major speech in France last month for the 80th anniversary of D-Day, Biden took pains to ensure the text did justice to the Army Rangers. A senior White House official who climbed rocks in the face of German machine gun fire said.

An early draft had soldiers thinking about preserving democracy while climbing rope ladders on Omaha Beach.

That didn’t sound right to Biden, the official said. After reviewing the draft at a Paris hotel, Biden asked an aide whether the future of democracy was something combat soldiers would really discuss while dodging enemy fire.

No, it’s not, the assistant replied.

Biden insisted that the reference be scrapped in favor of something more original.

His speech at Pointe du Hoc was instead spoken between two soldiers, one of whom said, “I’m not sure I can do it,” and the other replied, “You’ve got to stop.

It is not clear whether Biden can stand. He’s betting big on a scheduled interview with ABC News on Friday, seeing it as a chance to clear up widespread doubts that have emerged since the debate.

“One of his main challenges is to show people that this is a moment,” Coons said. “It was a bad night of debate for a number of reasons – not some hidden situation. And we talked about what he needs to do to increase public trust.”

Still, the interview comes eight days after Biden appeared on stage with Trump — plenty of time for his lackluster performance to be perceived.

Even if the interview goes well, it may not be enough to save his candidacy.

“There is great love for this man and his family. And there is great confusion among us that he and those around him, probably the people who love him, are allowing him to take his historical heritage and throw it in the trash,” said the third Democratic lawmaker.

“If he loses to Trump after this debate, it will be on his tombstone instead of his accomplishments. This is a completely legacy moment,” the deputy added.



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