Saturday, December 11, 2021

Ted Rall: Say You Ain't Running Again, Joe

 Democrats need to stop playing cute about the president's reelection plans. 

    Asked in March whether he's going to run in 2024, President Joe Biden's answer was, shall we say, less than unqualified: "The answer is yes. My plan is to run for reelection. That's my expectation." He added: "I'm a great respecter of fate. I've never been able to plan three and a half years ahead for certain."

    Eight months and 10 approval points later, White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters: "He is (running). That's his intention." 

    Weasel words like "expectation" and "intention" signal that Biden is sticking to the "alternative strategy" that Politico revealed in December 2019: "quietly indicating that he will almost certainly not run for a second term while declining to make a promise that he and his advisers fear could turn him into a lame duck and sap him of his political capital." 

    According to aides, Biden expected to be a "transitional" figure due to his age. The Politico piece quoted an unidentified adviser: "He's going into this thinking, 'I want to find a running mate I can turn things over to after four years but if that's not possible or doesn't happen then I'll run for reelection.' But he's not going to publicly make a one term pledge."

    With an approval rating of 28%, Vice President Kamala Harris is not that running mate. She is one of the least popular vice presidents in the history of polling. But running again is unrealistic for the oldest president in history. He would be 82 years old when he runs again and 86 when he completes his second term. 

    An 86-year-old president today would be the third-oldest head of state on earth.

And Biden isn't the sharpest 79-year-old. He is visibly infirm, gets easily confused and can't be trusted to hold a traditional press conference involving an unscripted back-and-forth with members of the press corps. 

    Whether he knows it or not, Biden will almost certainly not run for reelection. Political insiders know it. ("One Democrat involved in campaigns said they couldn't think of a single person they had spoken to in the last month who considers the possibility of Biden running again to be a real one," The Washington Post reported recently.) 

    Voters know it, too: 54% of Americans, including 45% of Democrats, told an August Quinnipiac poll they don't believe Biden will be a candidate in 2024.

    Democrats should deep-six this absurd game of "Who are you going to believe? Me or your lying eyes?" and admit the obvious truth. A man in Biden's mental and physical condition at age 79 will not rally. He won't get stronger by age 82, when he will be required to hopscotch the nation for a grueling series of campaign appearances and presidential debates while simultaneously heading the federal government.

    Credibility is the most valuable coin of the realm in politics. Anyone with a scintilla of common sense knows that Democrats are lying about Biden's current fitness for office, as well as his plans for reelection. There are lies and then there are lies that insult your intelligence; former President Donald Trump's ridiculous claim that Mexico would pay for his border wall stood apart from his other untruths. 

    It would be hard to overstate the brand damage caused by political messaging that doesn't pass the smell test. "What (Biden) is saying publicly is what he firmly believes. There's no difference," former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell told The Washington Post. "He will not run if he feels he can't do the job physically or emotionally." Biden once had a word for this kind of playing-both-sides statement: malarkey.

    "The message," notes the Post, "is aimed in part at tamping down the assumption among many Democrats that Biden may not seek reelection given his age and waning popularity, while also effectively freezing the field for Vice President Harris and other potential presidential hopefuls." 

    This strategy is misconceived. Harris is hobbled by her unpopularity. How can she intimidate potential primary challengers, much less clear the field? How can you freeze the field for Harris and someone else at the same time?

    So the real question is about Biden. If he runs, the Democratic National Committee will back him. Democratic candidates and donors are understandably reluctant to committing time and money toward 2024 -- something they need to begin now -- if there's a strong possibility that Biden will run. More candidates, running longer campaigns, improve the likelihood that the eventual nominee will emerge well-funded, seasoned and tough enough to face Trump or another Republican.

    There are, of course, costs and risks associated with exposing a sitting president as a lame duck. First and foremost would be Biden's ability to push through major legislative initiatives, which is why he should delay his admission that he plans to be a one-termer until after the passage of whatever is left of his Build Back Better social-spending bill next year. BBB is the last major law Biden will ever have the chance to sign; he'll be a de facto lame duck anyway.

    Congressional Democrats won't like going into the midterm elections without a strong president, but they're going to get shellacked no matter what. They can recover their losses in 2024 on the coattails of a presidential nominee made stronger by a vigorous primary battle and Biden's willingness to step aside. 

    In any case, voters might give Democrats credit for being honest about the physical and mental health of the president, for being mature enough to prepare for who will follow Biden and for treating them like adults.

    Ted Rall (Twitter: @tedrall), the political cartoonist, columnist and graphic novelist, is the author of a new graphic novel about a journalist gone bad, "The Stringer." Order one today. You can support Ted's hard-hitting political cartoons and columns and see his work first by sponsoring his work on Patreon.



Anonymous said...

Referring to the last paragraph.

I will never give the democrats credit for anything other than their continued efforts towards completely converting this country to a crime-infested, social safety net shithole.

Show me any part of our country the democrats have improved.

I'll wait.

Anonymous said...

Why do people continue to vote against their best interest??? Just nuts especially here in the Sip.

Anonymous said...

@9:57pm Great question. Answer: Because most Americans - especially in the last 35 years - are historically and financially illiterate. Television is their God, and cell phone is their opium.

China's purge of worldwide useful idiots has only just begun.

Anonymous said...

To be honest I am voting democrat because I want to accelerate the collapse. I wont go into details but I am well prepared for it. I don’t need restaurants and retail shops. I want to watch the ferals eat the bugmen.

Anonymous said...

Pres. Joe Xiden 2024! Woo hoo! What more could go wrong, right?

Anonymous said...

Why do people continue to vote against their best interest?

Their best interests as defined by you?

Anonymous said...

See in the news today NYC is going to allow illegal ( oh excuse me...undocumented aliens ) to vote in local elections.

Dim-O-Krats, anything they can do to cheat and destroy once prosperous cities and turn them into carbon copies of Chicago, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Baltimore, New Orleans, Jackson.

You think it's going to stop with local elections? Then I have some swampland that is dry and never flooded!

Anonymous said...

Doesn’t end well for anyone either way. It’s over. I can no longer make ends meet on a household income around 100 grand. For 20 years I managed and I no longer can. 100 million just like me.

Anonymous said...

And a 100 million poised to start busting skulls .

Anonymous said...

It's too early for the democrats to reveal to the world their losing lineup of socialist space-cadets who will scare the hell out of any sensible voter for president in the next election. If they can't counter a Donald Trump bogey-man they know that massive rejection is staring them in the face. Their only hope is that Trump will make an early announcement and give them a fighting chance. Until then they just mark time by pretending Biden can stay awake for another run.

Anonymous said...

Mississippi is a welfare state, where do you think the money comes from ?

Anonymous said...

Biden isn't running again. HRC has begun contacting donors, which she wouldn't be doing if Biden were running.

Anonymous said...

Why do people continue to vote against their best interest?

Their best interests as defined by you?

Yes, most would define best interests as being able to provide basic necessities for one's family. Unfortunately, there are millions of working class folks who are having to choose between grocery and gas thanks to voters such as yourself. So much for all of that garbage about the Democrat party caring for the poor among us.

Anonymous said...

Suck it up buttercups, no one told you to max out your credit cards and live above your means, this bout with inflation will pass, I really hardly notice it, besides its going to be good for the working man as wages are increased.

Anonymous said...

We're all gonna die from Omicron. At least Saint Fauci, the DNC Dr. Mengele, is leaning that way.

Anonymous said...

Both Biden and Trump are far too old to run again.

Even if their approval rates were 90+%, anyone voting for either is just being stupid.

I say this as someone who is one of them's age. You start losing more than a few abilities and if you are unable to face that, I assure you ,your spouse and children aren't.

Anonymous said...

Oh my the hardships of running in a presidential election! Why can’t Joe just hide in his basement like he did last time? So how you liking the communists you’ve put into office jackaunues? It only took democrats 9 months to destroy an economy a dipshit could have led back. But nope let’s see if the Marxist have a plan. Well here it is. Empty shelves, sky high gas prices, a worthless dollar and criminals running citizens into the sewer. But everything’s ok. It’s all good. Nothing to see here. Who ever voted these idiots to lead the nation shouldn’t be allowed to vote for a decade. Your not smart enough too.

Anonymous said...

So we really want someone who try to overthrow the government as president ..even junior new better

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS.

Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS