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Saturday, July 13, 2024

Democrats struggle with Biden debate performance

Joe Biden is not the first incumbent president to have a bad night at a debate. They came back and won re-election.
President Joe Biden speaks at post-debate campaign rally on June 28, 2024 in Raleigh, NM. Allison Joyce/Getty Images

Before last Thursday, Democrats believed 81-year-old President Joe Biden could, and should, win re-election over conviced felon Donald Trump, but a bewildering perormance seemed, to some, confirmed worries that he may be too old and too fable for the job.

“I” think the president should step aside and let the convention pick a new candidate,” says former Democratic Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa in a note to other Democrats.”

In an interview reported by The Washington Post, Harkin added: “He has a great legacy, and now it’s time to pass the torch.”

The Post reports:

Publicly, President Biden’s allies have spent the past several days aggressively downplaying his missteps in Thursday’s debate by assailing the “bedwetting brigade” of anxious Democrats, trumpeting a record influx of campaign donations and noting the long list of incumbents who stumbled during their first debates.

Privately, they have worked the phones to reassure nervous donors, pleaded with concerned lawmakers to keep their powder dry and huddled with colleagues to commiserate — while steeling themselves for a battle that could determine not only whether Biden wins the election in November, but whether he will be on the ballot at all.

The push to save Biden’s candidacy, which continued Sunday at a Camp David retreat with the president’s family encouraging him to stay in the race, appears to have at least temporarily stemmed the flood of public doubt and bought him some time.Still, the effort by the president’s aides, supporters and family members to contain the damage after hestruggled to make a coherent case against Republican rival Donald Trump during the debate has been tumultuous and frenzied. It has also become a casestudy of a campaign thrust into crisis.

In private conversations, the president has expressed complete commitment to staying in the race, according to people briefed on those conversations, who, like others in this article, were granted anonymity to discuss private deliberations. But he has asked aides and allies about what they’re hearing in the aftermath of his performance. He has also expressed concern about the fallout and dismay over some of the commentary that calls on him to drop out of the race, the people said.

But as of Sunday evening, no prominent Democrat in office had called for Biden to drop out of the race, something the president’s allies have pointed to as they work to contain a groundswell of trepidation about his electoral chances.

Several people familiar with the situation described the president and those around him as even-keeled and unshaken amid the turbulence, pointing to a long history of political and personal trauma that Biden has endured during his 81 years.

“You have a bad night. Bad nights end,” one person said. “We’re still here. Let’s go.

Other incumbents have had bad debates and came back to win re-election, including Bill Clinnton and Ronald Reagan.Neither, however, had to face sociial media anlysis that can alter public perception.

Amomg Trump’s die hard Republican base, felony convictions, lies, hate and attacks mean nothing when it comes to their willingness to overlook his many faults and genuflect before his bullying stance.

“Trump has only debate mode,” reports Time. As Phillip Elliott writes:

Like most bullies, Donald Trump is a deeply insecure man. You can see it at moments of tremendous consequence and those where the stakes are clear only in his own mind. It’s apparent whenever anyone dares to challenge him with questions he cannot simply spin away with his razzle-dazzle showmanship. And when he feels backed into a corner, there’s a good chance he will lash out with every ounce of viciousness held in reserve, counting on the shock to overtake substance. It’s how, either during past debates or soon after less-than-stellar ones, Trump spoke openly about Hillary Clinton’s bathroom rituals, moderator Megyn Kelly’s reproductive system, and even the size of his own genitalia.

Because if everyone else is diminished in perceived standing, that only stands to build up the foul-mouthed Trump by comparison. Trump doesn’t have to win any part of the arguments if everyone else has already lost them just by participating.

PBS adds: on “Frontline:

From a very young age, Donald Trump was taught there were only two kinds of people in this world: winners — or “killers” — and losers.

It was a lesson imparted by his father, Fred, a stern and demanding real estate developer. Donald was determined to end up a “killer.”

“I strongly suspect that he had a relationship with his father that accounts for a lot of what he became,” Tony Schwartz, who co-authored The Art of the Deal with Trump, tells FRONTLINE. “And his father was a very brutal guy. He was a tough, hard-driving guy who had very, very little emotional intelligence, to use today’s terms.”

Fred Trump decided to send Donald at age 13 to military school, where the lessons in how to dominate would reach another level.

“He talks about it as almost this, you know, rite of passage,” says Trump biographer Timothy O’Brien, author of TrumpNation. “He said to me that when he arrived at the military academy, for the first time in his life, someone slapped him in the face when he got out of line.”

Like other aspects of Trump’s fanatical persona, the bully stance is fake, but his cult-like base is any more scared.

“If the Democrats are a coalition of interest groups, Republicans are now a coalition of crazies and cowards.: says Paul Krugman of The New York Times. “And it’s hard to say which Republicans present the greater danger.”

MAGA, which †rumpies tout is “Make America Great Again” should, insteead, stand for Malicious Anarchists Generating Assholes.” They serve, without questions or morality, the grestest asshole in the history of presidents of the Unite States Donald John Trump.

Copyright © 2024 Capitol Hill Blue

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