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Prof. ST Hsieh

Director, US-China Energy Industry Forum

626-376-7460

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December 17, 2023

It is very unfortunate that the two currently leading contenders for the next US Presidency both are labeled as “Threat to the US Democracy. The election is about 11 months away, time is short, and voters are anxious: we really do not want the Biden-Trump rematch.

“Donald Trump is running for office because it is his best chance to stay out of prison.” The Democratic has labeled Trump as a “Threat to the US Democracy.” But Trump is backed into the legal corner, he will not bow out of the race. After all, Trump leads Biden in most of the public opinion polls.

On the other hand, Biden has been called as a “Threat to the US Democracy” by his fellow democratic members. Their concern is legitimate, because Trump would beat Biden in 2024 and then the US, and the world, will have to suffer the consequences of Trump II.

It is very significant to realize that the polls also show that almost any democratic candidate other than Biden will overcome Trump. The challenge is that Biden is a Democratic and the sitting President, who also confirmed that he is actively running for reelection. There is only one Democratic who is running against Biden…If the Democratic Party goes thru a contested primary, it will also hand Trump the Presidency next year.

On the other hand, Biden will be honored as the “Defender of the US Democracy” if he renounces his reelection bid now. If he gets out of the way, the Congress Impeachment Hearing will not be any news headlines and he can focus on completing his political career with honor. However, if he loses to Trump in 2024, “failure” will be his legacy.

A season of speculation: Impeachment, campaigns and Biden. Oh my!

Brian Karem Opinion

Sun, December 17, 2023 at 9:42 AM PST·

It’s that time of the year.

In New Hampshire, the temperature is hovering around the freezing mark. The halls are decked with boughs of holly. The lights have been hung with care.

And, of course, it’s because the presidential candidates will be trudging through the underbrush engaged in their usual political folly.

Among them is Dean Phillips, who launched his long-shot bid for the Democratic nomination by saying that he agreed with President Joe Biden, had no plans to undermine him, “demean” or “diminish him”, but wanted to be a younger, mainstream voice that could carry the party into a generational change.

But the holiday season has brought about some changes, and it is not just a case of spiking somebody’s eggnog. CNN reported this week that Phillips, “On his largely self-funded swing last week through New Hampshire,” began raising doubts about Biden’s physical capacity and began calling the president “a threat to democracy,” in a series of speeches and attacks that “right-wing media and Donald Trump all feed on.”

Phillips says he has earnestly been shocked by what he says is Biden’s “deluded” threat to democracy by running at the risk of losing. Phillips also apparently said how much he now believes the president is not up to campaigning, while also criticizing “the Democratic establishment he was proud to be a part of,” for working against the people.  

Meanwhile former White House Correspondents Association President Tamara Keith at NPR wrote that Phillips said, “Voters want choices, especially in a year like this where the risk of losing to Donald Trump is a huge concern to many of us and I think the future of our country.” 

And, in an interview with NPR, Phillips went so far as to say that he thinks Biden should drop out if — by May or June — polls show him trailing Trump.

“I don’t know why you would run if you are the one who is going to lose, and ruin your whole legacy against the most dangerous man in the world,” Phillips said.

At the same time, other members of the Democratic Party have questioned if Biden still has a “fire in his belly” after two statements the president made last week concerning his re-election bid. He said the only reason he was running was because Trump was running, while also noting that there were probably “50 other” Democrats who could defeat Trump.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in D.C. politics the Republicans in the House voted this week to open an impeachment inquiry into Biden, mostly based on the business dealings of Hunter Biden. The Republican leadership in the House candidly admit they have nothing to go on, but an election year is coming and Donald Trump needs to raise money on the accusation that Biden and his son are terminally corrupt. 

In addition, the president isn’t even on the ballot in New Hampshire. That’s because the Democratic National Committee ordered a shake up of the order of  primaries in 2024. Biden backed the move to have the South Carolina primary first in order to better empower Black and other minority voters deemed “crucial to the party’s base.” New Hampshire balked at that and Biden responded by walking away from New Hampshire  ( although more than 100 Biden supporters want to engage in a write-in campaign.)

This, of course, has led to speculation about Biden “historically snubbing” tradition and further concerns that Biden doesn’t have the energy to conduct a campaign for re-election, due to age, health, perhaps arrogance or a combination of all three. “Lions, and Tigers and Bears, oh my!” One senior Biden official laughed when I asked about the upshot. “The President is committed to doing what’s best for the country.”

Phillips seems intent on embarrassing Biden into pulling out of the race, and opening it up for other, younger candidates. He is among those who contends Biden is not physically capable of a robust campaign and CNN reports that, “With a good poll for Biden these days being one in which he is over 40 percent, Phillips sees himself as like the boy in “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” who makes the rest angry by being the only one brave enough to point out problems anyone can see.”

For the rest of us, caution should prevail. Reading tea leaves at this point in a race that is only just beginning in earnest is a bit like trying to swim through political quicksand.

Dr. Biden’s Los Angeles trip is interesting because the sense of urgency on that issue is unusual from a president in his first term – who usually worries more about getting re-elected than taking care of policy. It has sparked some speculation that Biden’s urgency is because he likely won’t end up running again.

Then again, it could mean none of those things. It’s just as likely to mean nothing. The president, so far, has been adamant about staying in the race, and even though The First Lady avoided the question, what that means is merely idle speculation until she speaks on the subject anew.

Yes. It’s that most wonderful time of the year.

Speculation is wild while the weather is mild.

And the national mood is tense with voters sitting on the fence.

The facts are clear, however. Donald Trump is running for office because it is his best chance to stay out of prison. He gave up defending himself in his New York civil trial for fraud.

The facts also show that Biden continues to poll poorly – particularly in swing states. He has accomplished great things in his time as president, and the First Lady and Secretary Becerra both spoke within the last week about his efforts which have come with great alacrity.

Soon, if he is to stay in the race, Biden must show that type of energy in what is sure to be a historic and grueling campaign

America needs and demands it.

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