President Biden has made two significant mis-steps over the past 48 hours, in my view. Saying publicly that if Trump weren’t running, he probably wouldn’t be running, either, was a strategic miscalculation.
Don’t misunderstand. Keeping Donald Trump from getting even another sniff of the White House is necessary to preserve our country. “No hyperbole,” as Uncle Joe would say. But Biden’s comment was unsettling. It makes voters wonder about his own candidacy for and commitment to a second term. It advances the perception that he really doesn’t want to do this and is in fact in a state of physical decline and mental fatigue, and would love to just put this burden down if he felt he in good conscience could. While that may be in some ways laudable, it does not reflect the dynamic desire necessary to move the country forward between now and January 20, 2029. Even voters who have a generally positive view of Biden may stop and reconsider.
That was Biden Bobble #1. Number 2 gave the GOP’s “Team Crazy” a walk-in Pick-6. Biden is doing everything he can to preserve U.S. and Western Ally support for Ukraine. Again, that is vital to America’s interests. This is every bit as much about U.S. security as it is for Ukrainian survival. So far, so good.
But Biden shocked some folks—me included—when he announced on Wednesday that he now is willing to link support for Ukraine to what even he now refers to as “the crisis” at the U.S.-Mexico border. Biden himself used the word “broken” to describe current the situation and says the U.S. needs a new “border policy.”
Not a tweak. Not an adjustment.
A “new border policy.”
And he’s right. Meaning that at least on this issue, some of even his most strident opponents are right. But if Biden has been aware of that, why hasn’t he already been devising and implementing a new plan? And why has he been vocally defensive about the current plan?
This offer to bargain on two totally and properly unrelated issues is intellectually vacuous and politically unwise, given that his opponents will now smell “fear” and will turn up their racist demagoguery to Warp Speed.
I’m no shrink. I don’t even play one on this website.
But are you—as I am—starting to wonder how much Biden really wants this job?