Thu. Feb 29th, 2024

Prof. ST Hsieh

Director, US-China Energy Industry Forum


[email protected]

January 24, 2024

While Donal Trump all but clinched the GOP nomination and ready for the final push, it is no surprise that Biden’s campaign has so far fallen flat, that his age — 81 — is a concern and that the party is losing votes over high prices and the war in Gaza. Not only his allies but a majority of the voters “believe Biden is an underdog right now.”

Biden is shaking up his campaign team by “sending his closest aides from the West wing to beef up his campaign,” is quite bothersome. Because it is obvious that Biden considers his reelection bid is far more important than getting the job done well as the President of the US. That is a bad call!

In fact, the crucial reason why more people are supporting Trump than Biden now is because the people feel US under Biden is worse off than under Trump. If Biden, with his best team, has done a real good job, or a better job than Trump did in his first term, Biden should cruise to be reelected on November 5, 2024. Frankly, Trump’s first term was chaotic and unproductive. It is amazing that more voters favor Trump over Biden now.

Campaign is important but it is really window dressing, it will not change the fact that one has no record to run on. A well-greased campaign worked for Biden in 2020 because he was asking for a new job and Trump already had a bad record. But now both Biden and Trump are running like incumbents, campaign will not matter that much.

The bleakest future for Biden and the US is that after he moved his most trusted aids to campaign for him, but the chances are that he would most likely be defeated by Trump.

Biden should focus his full energy on his primary job as the President of the US but renouncing his reelection bid asap. Of course, Biden can also support anyone who can easily beat Trump.

God Bless America!

Biden’s Allies Privately Warned Campaign Ahead of Staff Shakeup

Josh Wingrove

Wed, January 24, 2024 at 1:59 PM PST

(Bloomberg) — President Joe Biden’s recent campaign shakeup came after growing concerns from allies and private warnings to his inner circle about his weaknesses in a matchup against Donald Trump.

Biden this week dispatched two of his closest aides from the West Wing to Wilmington, Delaware, to beef up his campaign, a move that came as Trump all but clinched the GOP nomination.

Democratic lawmakers, speaking on condition of anonymity, said in interviews that Biden’s campaign has so far fallen flat, that his age — 81 — is a concern and that the party is losing votes over high prices and the war in Gaza. They believe Biden is an underdog right now.

While Trump is the opponent many Biden backers believe he would fare best against, those lawmakers and some party officials say they are nonetheless anxious about the president’s chances as a drumbeat of polling shows the Republican in the lead.

The behind-the-scenes alarm underscores concerns about Biden’s path to a second term and makes for a contrast to public shows of solidarity. Biden’s campaign on Wednesday said the New Hampshire results lock in a Biden-Trump rematch and that the campaign would ramp up now that its opponent is clear.

“We’re going to run like we’re behind,” said Cedric Richmond, a former congressman and Biden aide. “Do we think we’re going to win? Absolutely, because there’s too much on the line not to.”

Mixed Messages

Biden’s campaign has hit several bumps in the road since last year. The candidate’s selection of Julie Chavez Rodriguez as campaign manager made clear that a substantial amount of authority would rest in the White House with his foremost political aides, like Anita Dunn and Jen O’Malley Dillon, who ran the 2020 bid. Democrats have complained that the split structure risked mixed messages, officials said, while Biden allies said the campaign was always going to be ramped up around now.

Still, this week’s move of O’Malley Dillon and another top adviser, Mike Donilon, to the campaign offered an example of an apparent disconnect: Biden’s campaign took pains to insist that Chavez Rodriguez was still campaign manager, but Biden’s own statement said O’Malley Dillon would be “guiding our campaign to victory again in 2024” and made no mention of Chavez Rodriguez.

The campaign, meanwhile, has continued to preach patience while they’re stockpiling cash and their polling shows that voters aren’t yet tuned in to the election.

“We invite everyone concerned about the existential threat that Donald Trump and MAGA Republicans pose to our freedom and democracy to channel their energy toward organizing, donating, and talking to their friends about the stakes of this election,” Biden spokesman Kevin Munoz said in a statement.

Jim Messina, who ran Barack Obama’s 2012 reelection, privately cautioned Biden aides earlier in the cycle to watch their spending. Obama’s campaign spent freely and hired aggressively at this stage, and later had to implement a hiring freeze as donations underwhelmed, he said, according to officials familiar with the conversations. Biden’s team obliged, ending the quarter with a record $117 million war chest.

“This campaign is now laser-focused on presenting that direct choice to the American people,” campaign spokesman Michael Tyler said Wednesday, saying they’re staffing up in battleground states and preparing to go after Trump on issues like abortion and democratic values. “It’s all hands on deck now.”

In an interview, Messina — a surrogate for the Biden campaign — urged calm. “The campaign is doing it right and being smart about how and when to scale up to November,” he said. “The fact is, incumbent presidents start out with a handicap — they own the economy, they own all of their decisions.”

Guarded Warnings

Still, concerns are swirling in the party that in some way echo the public pronouncements of Biden’s long-shot primary challenger, Minnesota Representative Dean Phillips.

“We’ve got to wake up from this delusion that Joe Biden is an electable candidate,” Phillips told Bloomberg Television this week. “We all know what’s going on in Washington. I think I’m just saying the quiet part out loud.”

While Biden allies have dismissed Phillips as essentially a traitor and an amateur — and his New Hampshire defeat was an emphatic rebuke — some have delivered guarded warnings or hints publicly.

For instance, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer said Biden should take a more forceful stand in favor of abortion rights.

Her state is among the most critical battlegrounds and a crucible of Biden’s risks. It has a large Muslim-American population that makes it particularly exposed to voters upset about US aid for Israel during its operations in Gaza: In a Biden speech Tuesday, hecklers repeatedly interrupted him with calls for a ceasefire.

Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in a recent CNN interview, said the campaign needed to scale up its visibility. In a joint appearance with Biden in battleground Pennsylvania, Senator Bob Casey zeroed in on grocery costs as a key issue, almost egging on the president to do the same. And in battleground Wisconsin, Governor Tony Evers and Representative Mark Pocan told the Associated Press that Biden should visit more frequently. Biden will appear in the state Thursday.

Other allies brushed aside the grumbling.

“My recommendation to people who have concerns is: Anyone in politics can state the problem. Be part of the solution,” said Ro Khanna, a California congressman and Biden campaign advisory board member. “I have had great conversations with Anita Dunn, who I think really understands what needs to be done and is brilliant and is very, very open to feedback.”

The president’s campaign also got a major boost Wednesday when he secured a long sought-after endorsement of the powerful United Auto Workers union, whose president unleashed a pointed critique of Trump.

Democrats also cheered a recent poll showing Biden with a wide lead over Trump in Pennsylvania, the state where he clinched his win in 2020. “The President has shown through his words and actions that his administration is delivering results for everyday Americans,” Representative Dwight Evans, a Pennsylvania Democrat, said in a statement.

Biden’s campaign, meanwhile, says the case for a polling rebound is clear: Consumer sentiment is improving, the economy remains strong, and Trump’s arrival as the nominee will crystallize the choice. Trump remains deeply polarizing, and early-state results show him hemorrhaging support among the independent or unaffiliated voters who could decide the election.

“I would much rather have Biden’s cards than Trump’s cards,” Messina said.

After Trump’s NH win, Biden gets the opponent he wants

Jonathan Lemire POLITICO

Updated Wed, January 24, 2024 at 11:29 AM PST

MANCHESTER, New Hampshire — The general election has all but begun — and it’s the race President Joe Biden’s team wanted.

Former President Donald Trump’s victory in the New Hampshire primary Tuesday dealt a blow to the hopes of his strongest challenger and strengthened Trump’s hold on his party’s nomination. Biden’s reelection team took Trump’s win over Nikki Haley as the starting gun for what will now be the longest and most grueling general election campaign in modern American political history.

Those aides believe that Trump poses a far greater threat to the nation’s democracy than any of his Republican rivals would. But they also feel the most confident about their chances in that looming matchup. A wide swath of his own party doesn’t want Biden to seek a second term.

Assuming Trump clears that hurdle, Biden aides and allies believe a faceoff with Trump will help negate the incumbent’s biggest weakness — his age — and motivate both swing voters and reluctant Democrats to turn out against Trump.

Trump has long been fuel for Biden, who repeatedly said he ran for president in 2020 because he was horrified by the danger Trump posed to the nation.

Biden, also, largely stands unchallenged. Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minn.), who mounted a long-shot bid against Biden, lost in New Hampshire, where he had centered his campaign and where the president left himself off the ballot.

In a sense, the race essentially becomes one incumbent versus another. And with both Trump and Biden becoming the party’s presumptive nominee so early, neither side is likely to rush into a breakneck campaign even as each turns its broadsides on the other.

In a series of speeches this month, Biden has signaled both democracy and abortion rights will be among the cornerstones of his campaign. On Tuesday, during his first campaign rally of 2024, Biden focused his remarks on abortion rights, an issue that has energized Democrats and persuaded moderates.

Late Tuesday night, after Trump’s victory had been called by numerous media outlets, Biden effectively declared the general election had begun.

“It is now clear that Donald Trump will be the Republican nominee. And my message to the country is the stakes could not be higher,” he said in a statement. “Our democracy. Our personal freedoms — from the right to choose to the right to vote. Our economy — which has seen the strongest recovery in the world since COVID. All are at stake.”

“Trump is headed straight into a general election matchup where he’ll face the only person to have ever beaten him at the ballot box: Joe Biden,” said Biden campaign manager Julie Chávez Rodríguez in a statement Tuesday night.

“Everyone knows this election is going to be really close. That said, I like to play poker and I would simply much rather have Biden’s cards than Trump’s,” said Jim Messina, who served as former President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign manager and is close to Biden’s team.

But Biden has myriad vulnerabilities, too. Polls show Americans have not given him credit for the nation’s economic recovery and continue to be angry about inflation. His age remains an issue. A congressional deal on the southern border remains elusive and migrants continue to overwhelm many cities. And Biden’s full-throated backing of Israel in its assault on Hamas in Gaza has turned off some in his own party.

A Democratic pollster, granted anonymity to discuss the issue candidly, rattled off a list of Biden-related challenges, including his softness with young voters and the “malaise of incumbency, as there’s always more energy to take something than to preserve something.”

But, the person continued, those challenges are surmountable, especially as consumer confidence ticks up: “The president’s numbers are not good, but you see a path to fixing them. I’d rather have our problem than theirs.”

But while the president will need to take a positive case to win back those voters, his advisers believe that Trump’s name on the ballot will be enough of an incentive for some to turn out to simply vote against him.

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