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Republicans are underestimating him constantly. The Midterm elections in 2022 were supposed to deliver the GOP a “red tsunami” of overwhelming congressional and gubernatorial wins. That never materialized, and Biden was given credit for leading his party to a better-than-expected showing.
What happens next? Is Joe Biden on the comeback trail?
His Last Speech Was Delivered Well
Biden was projected to struggle through his State of the Union address, but he received passing grades.
His advanced age, missteps, and foibles on the stump are believed to be enough to disqualify him from running.
Instead, he is expected to announce his official re-election campaign any day.
The Negative Indicators Are Flashing Red
Biden has approval numbers in the low 40s. Americans do not give him much credit for rescuing the economy after the Covid-19 pandemic. Seventy-one percent of voters feel the country is on the wrong track. Inflation has cooled but is still stubbornly high and people still feel pain at the gas pump. The situation at the Southern Border is atrocious.
All of this should be enough to sink a presidency, but not for Biden, at least not yet.
So, what is his secret? The first aspect of his personality is that he doesn’t quit. Despite poll after poll revealing that the president should not run again, he ignores the naysayers and continues business as usual. His press secretary struggles with the easiest of questions and fails to put forth a successful narrative.
Biden doesn’t seem to mind. His chief of staff quit. There was no panic, and Biden simply picked someone else. His aides hold their breath every time the president talks. If he makes a gaffe, Biden just ignores it and stumbles on.
He Can Sometimes Shine at Critical Junctures
Second, Biden can sometimes deliver a speech fairly well when his back is against the wall. The State of the Union was a test that the president needed an ‘A’ on, and he delivered a ‘B’ or ‘B+.’ This was enough to impress the media, and it kept them from speculating that his presidency was dead.
Republicans Are Looking Childish
During that address, he was also able to face down some rude Republicans who pestered, heckled, and interrupted his speech. The president took the high road, smiled and cracked on in rhetoric that was relaxed and down to earth.
It made him appear likable, while the Republicans looked like childish haters.
Joe Biden Still Has the Political Chops
Yair Rosenberg of the Atlantic believes that the GOP is struggling to write Biden’s obituary, and this is showing the country that Biden could win again against whoever the Republicans trot out as their nominee.
Thus, the State of the Union was a good predictor of success for the president, according to Rosenberg.
“Not known for the eloquence of his oratory, the president instead spoke conversationally to Congress and the cameras. Folksy rather than formal, and straightforward rather than stentorian, the president exceeded expectations,” Rosenberg wrote.
He Is Not Polling that Badly
Biden still runs solidly, if not spectacularly, against Donald Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in hypothetical polls, but he has much work to do. The American people do not feel good about where they are in life. Many are struggling to pay bills and are using their credit cards to get by.
Yes, unemployment is historically low, and Biden has created a significant amount of jobs, but the president is still not seen as an effective leader.
Attacks Are Not Sticking
These disadvantages are something Republicans can attack. However, the Party of Lincoln has so far not been able to land the knockout blow against Biden. They play perhaps too many angles against the president. Will Hunter Biden’s laptop still resonate with voters who are hurting economically? Does an investigation into the deadly withdrawal from Afghanistan convince voters to choose a Republican candidate for president? Does Big Tech censorship inspire people to vote for the GOP?
All of these questions must be answered in the affirmative if Biden is to lose in 2024. Meanwhile, he crawls along at a turtle’s pace while Republican attacks bounce off his shell. Biden may not be perfect, but he could best what the GOP offers, and we could find him in the White House for a second term.
Author Expertise and Experience
Serving as 19FortyFive’s Defense and National Security Editor, Dr. Brent M. Eastwood is the author of Humans, Machines, and Data: Future Trends in Warfare. He is an Emerging Threats expert and former U.S. Army Infantry officer. You can follow him on Twitter @BMEastwood. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science and Foreign Policy/ International Relations.