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Candidacy against Trump in danger: US President Joe Biden counts his days

Joe Biden at the military awards ceremony in the White House on Wednesday.

Is the president finished? Joe Biden is trying to save his candidacy with everything he can. Almost every move he makes is being closely watched. The US Democrats are in crisis mode, and the polls are alarming.

US President Biden tries to save his candidacy

No, it’s not over yet. US President Joe Biden is using all his experience to fight against a premature end to his renewed candidacy and thus also to his political career. Instead, the 81-year-old is trying this week to prove that he will not be at the end of his strength after his first term. Most Democratic politicians are currently behind him. But the edges of his voter base are crumbling. His own party’s support in Congress is becoming shaky. And polls show great doubts among voters.

Biden is at a possible turning point that could also herald a generational change in US politics. The majority of Americans are against both Biden and his opponent Donald Trump in the White House, but the political reality currently looks different. Still, because even media that were sympathetic to the Democrat until last week’s television debate are now openly calling on the president to make room for another candidate.

Doubters, warners and critics have been attacking Biden for days, but he is showing a fighting spirit; it is practically the only thing he has left. On Thursday, the president admitted in a radio interview that he had had “a bad evening” during the TV debate last week. “I messed up,” he said of his shockingly weak performance against Trump. But they have to get back up again. “We will win this election,” he assured. Biden is counting his days and is trying to hold out so that the panic in the party subsides.

Meetings with donors, phone calls, election campaign

The program for the past seven days looked accordingly. The day after the debate, Biden gave an energetic campaign speech – with a teleprompter – in North Carolina. On Saturday, he met with supporters at a fundraiser and joked: “Don’t compare me to the Almighty, compare me to the alternative. Then it won’t be such a difficult choice.” After a free Sunday, in a statement on Monday, he sharply criticized the Supreme Court’s ruling, which had guaranteed the Republican and other presidents extensive immunity from prosecution.

On Tuesday, he spoke again about the TV debate at a fundraising event, blaming the extensive international travel of the past few weeks. “I didn’t listen to my staff, came back and almost fell asleep on the stage.” Several major Democratic donors have already spoken out in favor of Biden stepping aside; for example, one of the Netflix co-founders called for a “powerful leader” of the Democrats who would beat Trump. According to the New York Times, others are only saying it behind closed doors so as not to help Trump.

The Republican apparently thinks Biden is already finished. “He’s dropping out of the race,” he says in a leaked video from a golf course in which the ex-president sits on a golf cart and gives someone money. “I dropped him out of the – and that means we have Kamala (Harris),” he boasts after Trump’s interlocutors assured him that he was “fantastic” at the TV debate. The president is “a broken pile of sh*t,” he says in a conversational tone, and Harris is “so bad” and “pathetic.” Referring to Biden, Trump then asks: “Can you imagine how he deals with Putin? And the Chinese president, a tough guy.”

According to the New York Times, Biden himself believes that the coming days will be crucial to whether he can save his candidacy. On Wednesday, he first met with his vice president, Kamala Harris, a possible replacement candidate, Biden assured in a conference call with his campaign team: “I’m in this race until the end. Nobody is pushing me out.” Biden also spoke on the phone with other party leaders, including the Democratic Party leader in the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Doubtful Democrats in Congress, doubtful voters

His press secretary fended off question after question from journalists that day about his condition or a possible withdrawal from the candidacy, which sometimes took on absurd aspects. Those present discussed for minutes how a cold works, because Biden had blamed a cold for his hoarseness during the TV debate. At the end of the working day on Wednesday, he sought the support of more than 20 Democratic governors at an emergency meeting in the White House. They are on his side. So far, at least.

Meanwhile, two Democratic representatives in Congress have called on the president not to run again and expressed some other doubts. Usually, the parliamentary group leaders would call on their members to support the president or exert pressure, but given the situation, that is probably no longer possible; the appearance has increased voters’ doubts about Biden too much. The pressure on politicians is now coming from below. 80 percent of Americans think Biden is too old for another term in office.

In order to limit the potential damage to MPs and senators, the party leaders have now issued carte blanche. Everyone can and should do what they think is best for their constituency or state. Because the polls in the country are looking bad. Since the TV debate, Biden has lost ground to Trump on average, in some surveys even dramatically. The president is almost 3 percent behind the Republican, in several individual surveys up to 6 percent. The numbers could get even worse if the public discussions about Biden’s condition continue.

He is trying everything to contain them and has tightened his program again. On Friday, after the Independence Day celebrations on July 4th, Biden will travel to the contested state of Wisconsin to campaign, a key to the election in November. He will also give a television interview that is to be broadcast on the same day. And on Sunday he is scheduled to appear at the teachers’ union, the largest employee representative body in the USA with around 3 million members. The president cannot flee from his age; but apparently wants to demonstrate that things are not as bad for him as they seemed a week ago.

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