Thursday, March 23, 2023

Biden’s optimism clashes with rising political challenges

WASHINGTON ( Associated Press) — Democrats are set to take over the House after mid-November elections. He will hold on to at least four seats in the Senate while expanding his majority and overcoming internal discontent, which has helped stifle his agenda.

As the challenges facing President Joe Biden intensify, his predictions of a bright political future for the Democratic Party are becoming bolder. Assessments, given in speeches, fundraisers and conversations with friends and colleagues, seem to be at odds with a country he acknowledged was “really, really down” last week. Burdened by a pandemic, gas prices rise and rising inflation,

Biden’s optimistic outlook is in line with the spirit of optimism that has come about during his nearly five-decade career and was central to his 2020 presidential campaign, which he said was designed to restore the “spirit of America”. . In a long Oval Office interview with The Associated Press On Thursday, Biden said part of his job as president is to be “confident.”

While the president often tries to emphasize the positive, there is a risk at this time that Biden contributes to the dissonance between Washington and people across the country who are facing real and growing economic pain.

Few political advisers close to Biden are as optimistic about the party’s prospects as president. In interviews with nearly a half-dozen people in and around the White House, there is a widespread sense that Democrats will lose control of Congress, and that many of the party’s leading candidates will lose out in a down-ballot race and contest for governor. An election Biden can do little to help himself.

The seeming separation between Biden’s vision and political reality has worried some in the party The White House has not fully understood how bad this election year could be for Democrats.

Will Marshall, president and founder of the Progressive Policy Institute, said, “I don’t expect a president to go out and say, ‘You know what,’ we’re going to lose the next election.” With the White House policy team. Instead of what could serve Biden well, Marshall said, “There will be a calm feeling of, ‘Look, we’re probably in for a tough night in November, and our strategy should be to remind the nation what’s at stake. Is.”

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The White House is hardly ignoring the problem.

Jane O’Malley Dillon, Biden’s 2020 campaign manager who now serves as one of his deputy chiefs of staff, runs the political team from the West Wing along with longtime Texas-based Democratic political adviser Amy Ruiz.

O’Malley Dillon coordinates strategy between the White House, the Democratic National Committee, and an array of outside party groups. Cedric Richmond, a former Louisiana congressman who co-chaired Biden’s 2020 campaign and was one of his closest White House advisers, left for a job with the DNC in April.

“We understand that, if you can’t win, you can’t rule,” Richmond said in an interview. “We are treating it with a sense of urgency.”

Veteran strategist Anita Dunn is returning to the White House. Biden turned to him in February 2020 during a notably less political moment, giving him sweeping control of his then-cash-laden presidential campaign, as it appeared to be on the verge of collapse after a disastrous fourth-place finish in the Iowa caucuses .

But while White House officials hoped last year that voters might be convinced of Biden’s achievements and reverse their dismal outlook on national direction, aides now acknowledge that such an uphill battle is now worth fighting. Not there. Instead, he implored the president to be more open about his frustrations—particularly on inflation—to show voters that he shares his concerns, and to address these issues with Republicans and Republicans. To cast their policies as obstacles.

Publicly, Biden has brushed off some of the concerns about the fate of his party this fall, choosing instead to steadfastly positivity.

“I think there are at least four seats that we can take in the Senate,” the president said at a recent gathering of donors in Maryland., “And we’re going to keep the House.”

Biden meant Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, with potential long shots in North Carolina or Florida possibly representing No. Allies say the president is trying to set his base on fire with such predictions. But when asked if it was possible that Democrats could hold on to the four seats in the Senate, a laugh erupted.

The party’s chances of retaining control of the House may be bleak.

Biden has traveled more since last fall, promoting a $1 trillion public works package that became law in November, which includes competitive field visits in Minnesota, Virginia, Wisconsin, Michigan and New Hampshire. During Democratic Rep. Cindy Axne’s visit to the Iowa swing district, the president declared, “My name is Joe Biden. I work for Congress Mahila Xne.

Bernie Sanders, the 80-year-old Vermont senator who was to be the final challenger in 2020, has decided that Biden should not seek re-election. It has revived questions about whether the 79-year-old Biden may choose not to run – speculation that remains despite the White House’s political campaign gearing up for a truce between and beyond.

The more immediate question of Biden’s midterm appeal could be even more complicated. He campaigned for Democrat Terry McAuliffe in Virginia last November, after easily winning the state in 2020. McAuliffe lost by 2 percentage points.A potentially bad omen for the 16 governorships Democrats are defending this fall.

“We know there are going to be national headwinds, there always are,” Stacey AbramsThe Democratic nominee for governor in Georgia recently said. But he insisted he would be happy to campaign with Biden or top members of his administration.

But Democrat Beto O’Rourke“I’m not interested in any national politician — anyone outside Texas — coming to this state to help decide the outcome of this race,” he told reporters, running for governor in Texas.

Biden’s overall approval rating hits a new low up 39% last month. Even in his own party, only 33% of respondents said the country was moving in the right direction, up from 49% in April. The presidential approval rating among Democrats stood at 73%, falling sharply from last year.

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