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Buyer’s remorse sets in for Democrats

President Biden’s own party does not want him to run again

President Joe Biden in the Oval Office of the White House Associated Press/Photo by Susan Walsh

Buyer’s remorse sets in for Democrats
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Christians believe we are all made in God’s image and likeness. We all have inherent worth. But that belief does not conflict with acknowledging that age brings limits. After four years of insisting age is no barrier to success, Democrats are suddenly realizing that the Joe Biden of 2022 is not the Joe Biden of 2016, and the Joe Biden of 2022 is generating a sense of buyer’s remorse.

For the past several years, Democrats and their friends in the press have attacked conservatives any time we have pointed out President Biden’s numerous missteps, flubs, and other behaviors that suggest a man too old for his job. Biden’s aides have spun his flubs as a lifelong stuttering problem. They have accused those who point out his other behaviors of being a part of the right-wing attack machine. But now, even Democrats and the mainstream media are acknowledging it. Biden has hit the limits of age and the presidency.

Ronald Reagan left the White House younger than when Biden took office. Outside of progressive fan fiction, there is no evidence Reagan struggled with Alzheimer’s disease while in office. But it is indisputable that the grind of his final two years in the White House forced Nancy Reagan to intervene and slow his schedule down. Biden has tried to charge hard, but it is obvious—even within his own party—that charging hard has run him into a wall.

Peter Baker in The New York Times reports that Biden’s staff rearranged his schedule to delay a trip to the Middle East after his European journey last month. Biden needed to rest. “He often shuffles when he walks, and aides worry he will trip on a wire,” Baker wrote. “He stumbles over words during public events, and they hold their breath to see if he makes it to the end without a gaffe. … His speeches can be flat and listless. He sometimes loses his train of thought, has trouble summoning names or appears momentarily confused.” That’s both a sad and crushing statement.

For several years, few in the media would mention these things. Consider the late-night comedians. Their jokes about Biden are tempered with raw partisanship against the GOP. The television network comedies that once worked in roasts against Republican administrations have pretended Biden does not exist. Saturday Night Live only gently laughs at him. The cultural commentary of the elite opinion-makers has been positively positive about Biden. That might change now.

The latest New York Times polling shows Biden with just a 33 percent job approval rating. More importantly, 64 percent of Democrats do not want him to seek a second term. Just a few weeks ago, the president insisted he would run again and has been frustrated that members of his own party still think he will not or that they do not want him to.

Biden has tried to charge hard, but it is obvious—even within his own party—that charging hard has run him into a wall.

Biden has lost control of the message and his party. A series of leaks have started drifting out of the White House. Politico reports that progressives in the administration are upset with the president’s focus on inflation. CNN reports the White House is filled with dysfunction. Notably, neither publication mentions White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain. Instead, both articles blame Biden. The frustration is boiling over.

No Democrat has yet come forward to challenge Biden publicly. From the left to the far left, CNN notes that Democrats are for now taking a stand-by-your-man attitude. It’s not likely to last.

Drill down a little deeper and things are more complex. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg has reactivated his super PAC. California Gov. Gavin Newsom, while publicly demanding everyone stay loyal to Biden, is running ads in Florida and blasting national Democrats for not being militant enough in defense of abortion on demand. New polling shows Democrats prefer Newsom to Vice President Kamala Harris in 2024.

Democrats are ready to leave Biden behind. He had one job: Beat Trump. He did that. But in so doing, he now presides over the worst American economy since Jimmy Carter. Americans are fretful about the future, with less than 20 percent claiming we are headed in the right direction.

Biden has never been an ideological stalwart. He’s been a progressive pragmatist who navigated the U.S. Senate for slightly less than 50 years by patting and scratching backs. He has never been good at decisiveness.

Now, age has set in and, with it, more stumbling and indecision. Scripture says to pray for our leaders. President Biden needs those prayers. He is an older man presiding over a worsening economy. He is out of ideas and dithering. His own party is turning against him. He is the president for all Americans, whether we like him or not. But age presents a ceiling for growth and potential. We should pray for our president. We should also be realistic: A man of 80 cannot keep up the pace of even a man of 70. The country is ready to move on and Joe Biden is now seen by his own party as a liability. We are talking about the president of the United States, after all, and the stakes could not be higher.

Erick Erickson

Erick Erickson is a lawyer by training, has been a political campaign manager and consultant, helped start one of the premiere grassroots conservative websites in the world, served as a political contributor for CNN and Fox News, and hosts the Erick Erickson Show broadcast nationwide.

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