Prof. ST Hsieh
Director, US-China Energy Industry Forum
January 17, 2024
It is almost a certainty that Donald Trump will be the GOP presidential nominee for the 2024 general election. But he is also working hard on the road to promote himself, no matter what his motivation or political agenda is.
President Biden has announced his reelection bid last year. However, we do not see him as a serious or active candidate. His team changed the democratic party primary rule early on so that Biden did not have to participate at some primaries. Because Biden is the incumbent President so far there is no serious challenger at all.
But Biden is behind Trump in many public opinion polls. As Trump charging forward, not only Biden’s supporters need to get real, more importantly it is Biden must get out of the comfortable White House and campaign as a real presidential candidate on the road. His campaign team may have the best PR strategy and tons of money for best messaging programs, Biden must engage directly with potential voters. Even dispatching his wife for fund raising event won’t change people’s perception that he is 81 years old.
Aside from Biden’s age, he has to defend his records as his public approval rating is at a historical low. As such, his plea for reelection is asking people to vote for him again so that “he can finish the job.” Why should anyone vote for Biden so that he can continue his unpopular policy for another four years?
The world after Biden became the President of the US has getting more dangerous with two wars going on at the same time, what is Biden’s plan for the next four years: would it be two more additional wars?
Most of the energy for reelecting Biden has been focused on if Trump is reelected, the US democracy will end. Even VP Harris is ‘scared as heck’ of Trump return! But that is negative campaign: Trump is terrible does not justify that anyone should vote for Biden again at all.
We do need a choice other than Biden or Trump: God Bless America!
Biden’s supporters need to get real about Trump, and fast
CNN, January 17, 2024
Former President Donald Trump has been the most likely Republican presidential nominee for some time, and his massive win in Monday’s Iowa caucuses puts him even more firmly in the lead. Despite Trump’s consistent leads in the polls, Democratic pollster Terrance Woodbury of HIT Strategies told me, “There are some Democratic voters that have not accepted the inevitability of Trump’s nomination.” Astead Herndon heard the same thing from a focus group participant on “The Run-Up,” his outstanding podcast that asked “Are Black Voters Leaving Democrats Behind?” Their concerns include the belief that the American legal system will disqualify him.
Trump’s 30-point victory in Iowa and entrance polls that revealed most Republicans there would still support him even if convicted (he has denied any wrongdoing), should be the jolt Democrats need to sober up about this year’s political contest. It is time to do everything in their power to ensure President Joe Biden wins reelection.
To be fair, the Republican nomination fight is not over. The candidates now head to New Hampshire for the January 23 primary. A recent CNN/University of New Hampshire poll showed former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley only single digits behind Trump, with realistic chances for an outright victory in the Granite State.
If Haley pulls a rabbit out of the hat and wins in New Hampshire, all eyes will turn to the South Carolina primary a month later. She will likely fare much worse in her home state, and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who’s pledged to keep charging ahead after eking out a second-place showing in Iowa, sees South Carolina as stronger ground for him. But unless DeSantis or Haley start winning soon and consolidating the vote, the Republican contest could effectively be over by Super Tuesday on March 5, with Trump rolling over the competition to the nomination.
That outcome may surprise some Democratic voters, but it won’t be a news flash to the Biden campaign. According to a campaign official I spoke to, they have been preparing for Biden to face Trump from the moment he announced his bid for reelection.
The Biden campaign began advertising early. In recent weeks, his campaign team has hired staff to start building out the campaign at headquarters and in key states such as South Carolina. And just this week, the Biden campaign reported raising a notable $97 million in the fourth fundraising quarter last year for the reelection effort. That cash will be used to hire additional field team members, keep television ads on the air and build a robust digital program.
Now it’s time for Democratic voters to adopt a greater sense of urgency, too. It’s not as if the case against Trump isn’t crystal clear: He has threatened to be a dictator — at least on the first day. He said he plans seek “retribution” against his enemies in a second term. Even Haley, his former UN ambassador, has said on the stump that “chaos follows him.” In contrast, Biden offers a steady hand and commitment to democratic norms.
But Biden faces hurdles, too. After the horrific October 7 Hamas attack on Israel, the president’s support for the subsequent war in Gaza, which has reportedly claimed some 23,000 lives, has hurt his standing with many young voters, whose support was key to his 2020 victory. In addition, his support appears to be flagging with some men of color, another important demographic for Biden. And of course, there is his age.
The campaign can’t make Biden younger, but the team is getting creative in how it addressed his fitness. Last week, he went to Allentown, Pennsylvania, to visit three small businesses. Instead of the typical stump speech delivered in front of a pre-set backdrop, Biden mostly shook hands and talked up his economic record with a few businesspeople and customers. The pictures and video showed an engaged president, at ease, and highlighted his ability to connect. On Monday, he did a similar event, volunteering at a Philadelphia food bank on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
A White House aide told me to expect more events like that, with more compelling images of an engaged leader. That’s welcome news, and the campaign must do more to inspire lagging Democrats. For instance, voters are still waiting to hear the president’s second term agenda.
But the Biden campaign seems to be making the needed adjustments ahead of an apparent rematch with Trump. After Monday night’s results in Iowa, Democratic voters need to adjust to that likely reality as well.
Jamal Simmons is a longtime Democratic political and communications advisor. He was most recently communications director for Vice President Kamala Harris at the White House and is currently a CNN political commentator.
Wed, January 17, 2024 at 4:36 PM PST