Less than Biden great with Dems
For American voters, the less they see Joe Biden, the more they like him.
The Democratic nominee spent much of the 2020 presidential race in his Delaware basement and still got elected. A similar phenomenon seems to be taking place now.
With inflation skyrocketing and his administration proving to be the gang that can’t shoot straight, the president came down with COVID on July 21 and was isolated. He briefly appeared in public after testing negative the following week, then relapsed and has since been in self-isolation at the White House.
Nevertheless, he is enjoying one of the most successful periods of his presidency. Go figure.
Friday’s monster jobs report – the economy added 528,000 jobs in July – came on the heels of two moderate Democratic senators, Joe Manchin of West Virginia (right) and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona (on the left far right), suddenly agreeing to support a revised version of the Inflation Reduction Act.
It doesn’t matter that it doesn’t reduce inflation or that it’s just a repackaged, slimmed-down version of the Bernie Sanders-inspired Build Back Better bill. Or that the White House was not involved in the final negotiations.
The important thing is that the Democrats have united their narrow margins to get something in Congress that allows them to pretend they are addressing voters’ concerns. In one of his rare on-camera appearances, Biden announced that a US strike had taken out 9/11 plotter Ayman al-Zawahiri in Afghanistan.
chain of victories
There is more. A bipartisan consensus has backed legislation to spend $280 billion to bolster semiconductor manufacturing and research to give America an edge over China.
More importantly in the short term, gasoline prices have fallen almost daily this summer. On Friday, the regular national average price was $4.11, down from $5.02 on June 14, according to AAA.com.
It is no coincidence that the polls also change. A Rasmussen survey last week found the president had an approval rating of 43%, the highest for him since the third week of June.
Although the polling average for the past two weeks on Real Clear Politics still has Biden underwater by 17 points, even that marks an improvement.
These developments are upending expectations about what will happen mid-term. The long-standing hypothesis of a red wave is growing increasingly uncertain as the generic Congressional ballot is now virtually even and Democrats are buoyed by the possibility that they could retain one or both chambers and win presidential races. ‘state keys.
In short, the power struggle has reached a surprising and intriguing inflection point. But crucial questions remain: what to do with Biden? And can the Dems hide it until Election Day?
Remember that not too long ago he and his aides decided the answer to his popularity issues was to get him more out of Washington, with Biden saying he realized he had not been elected to be the 101st senator. He promised to hit the road and remind voters why they elected him.
On paper it was a great idea, but in reality it failed. Inflation and crime were skyrocketing and Biden had no answers, only excuses. Remember how he kept trying to sell the social media-ready #PutinPriceHike?
Any political staffers who thought the public would fall for this scam should have been fired.
Worse still, the suggestion that the president was out of touch with his time was reinforced by cognitive shortcomings and his frail, hesitant appearance. He was not a good messenger for his own message that the economy was strong.
As his polls continued to tumble, Biden became a political liability, and Democratic candidates running in close elections suddenly had “scheduling conflicts” when the president arrived in their turf. Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams and Ohio senate candidate Tim Ryan were among those who avoided the president like the plague.
Now that Biden actually has something akin to the plague, he has a good excuse to hide in the White House and stay away from candidates in important races. But sooner or later he will have to reappear and at least seem to lead his party in the elections.
Yet there is another mid-course wrinkle that could be even more decisive. This is the Donald Trump factor and it appears in two distinct ways.
First, Trump has had great success backing GOP primary candidates, but things look less rosy in the general election races. Candidates in three key Senate races who won the primaries with Trump’s endorsement are now trailing their Democratic opponents.
According to weighted poll results compiled by FiveThirtyEight, Ryan leads JD Vance by four points in Ohio, John Fetterman leads Mehmet Oz by 11 points in Pennsylvania and incumbent Raphael Warnock leads Herschel Walker by three points in Georgia.
With three months to go until Election Day, none of these leads are insurmountable, but Trump’s role looks like a double-edged sword in these and other races.
“Trump indictment” effect
Second, Trump’s impact could actually grow if, as seems increasingly likely, the Justice Department decides to indict him for his role in events before and after Jan. 6. A criminal indictment against a former president would be historic and, at the end of the campaign stretch, would add another layer to the nation’s deep polarization.
This move could backfire on the Dems, but because the pressure on Attorney General Merrick Garland to indict Trump is enormous, I guess Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer see a criminal charge as a way to set fire to their base, or they would have stopped the TV show trial by now.
Of course, putting Trump back in the spotlight could make Biden an afterthought again. As always, the media can be counted on to play this game because they win double bingo: beating Trump is good for business while keeping the Democrats in power is their goal.
Adams versus cowardly advice
A midnight flare from City Hall shows Mayor Adams has lost patience with the hardline City Council. It was time.
After voting for a city budget that included $38 billion for education that reflected $215 million in cuts based on declining student numbers, some council members said they were shocked, shocked! by what they voted for. Adams held firm, parents and some council members sued, and on Friday a judge shamefully ordered an overhaul.
The fight and the decision did not sit well with Adams. The board “refuses to stand by its vote and instead repeatedly issues misleading and irresponsible statements,” he said in the late-night statement. “The board knew what they were voting for and knew it was the right decision.”
The uproar shows how irresponsible politicians are married to unsustainable spending. The mayor defends mental health, but unfortunately he is alone.
And if the mooching fails, you can still find a job.