President Joe Biden and the runup to the 2024 election

For what it’s worth, the Electoral College has shifted by a very tiny margin towards the Republicans in 2024, compared to 2020, due to Census redistricting.

Safe red or red-leaning states: Texas gained 2, Montana gained 1, Florida gained 1, and North Carolina gained 1. Ohio and West Virginia each lost 1. Net gain of 3 electoral votes.

Safe blue or blue-leaning states: California, Illinois and New York each lost 1, Oregon gained 1, Colorado gained 1. Net loss of 1 electoral vote.

Swing states: Michigan and Pennsylvania each lost 1.

Oh, Joe…

Yeah, he’s always been a gaffe machine. It’s been the biggest knock on him as campaigner since back in the Obama days and before. It just hits worse now in this current media firestorm.

Hits… and hurts.

Biden clearly meant that he was proud to serve alongside the first black president and first black-woman vice president. But the problem is that, due to his old-age reputation - fairly or unfairly, he is now going to be unable to get the same slack that would be given to another politician. Anyone, no matter how old or young, can slip up and say dumb things, but with Biden they’re all going to get labeled “senile symptoms.”

Did you read your cite? Biden likely jumbled the sentence because he’d earlier spoken about being the first vice president to serve under a Black president.

I did. I am actually in the habit of reading the things I post here. Why he jumbled it is not as important, post-debate, as the fact that he did jumble it.

Biden spoke with a strong voice today. Why didn’t he just cancel the debate?

I’ve thought about his a lot.

He should have, and I said so the night of the debate. It was instantly obvious he was ill and not up to snuff.

I think the reasons he didn’t cancel are these:

He was coming off his strong SotU performance and believed he could power through this 90-minute challenge, despite being sick and jet-lagged. He probably overruled his handlers on this concern.

He considers Trump a buffoon and truly believed he’d be able to make him look foolish with actual facts.

He wasn’t prepared for the pace of the debate or the staggering amount of misinformation that came at him from Trump. I blame his handlers for not foreseeing that Trump was far better prepared to look robust in a situation where there would be no real-time fact checking.

Biden’s speech issues are always aggravated by stress. That’s nothing new, but he shouldn’t have been put into a situation that didn’t allow for him to take a moment to collect his thoughts and speak in a measured way. That’s his style. To put him in a “lightning round” of bullshit coming from Trump was massively ill-considered, both by his handlers and by Biden himself.

Biden took full responsibility for his failure to debate effectively, but it’s still just one debate. Yes, he’s older now than he was 4 years ago. His step has slowed. He loses words, as we all do as we age. That doesn’t make him unfit.

Unless or until I see something official and definitive about a serious health decline, I choose to believe him. He’s a good leader. If he felt the country would be better served by another candidate who was polling better than he is, I think he’d step aside in a heartbeat.

I wish he had canceled, too. It’s the first serious misstep I’ve seen him make.

Frankly, even when Biden was at the top of his game he had a grossly inflated sense of his own abilities.

Source: Biden Presidential Campaign, 1988.

I would believe him if I hadn’t had so much experience of octogenarians and nonagenarians overestimating their capacities. It’s not that I disbelieve him: just that I can’t draw a conclusion either way without better evidence than we’ve had, or are likely to get.

Anyway, I’ve had my two weeks of worry and panic: I feel better for venting. I’m still worried, about him and about the election, but it’s completely out of my hands so all I can do is vote and encourage others to do so.

I respect this perspective and have some personal experience of it myself. But (real) presidents don’t govern alone, ever. They rely on their administrations. Biden picks good advisers and has done a remarkable job in his 3 1/2 years. His experience matters.

I don’t believe he will finish his next term. I think he just wants to secure the next 4 years for Democrats and no one is polling better. I have my appendages crossed for him to make it to January 20, 2025, and will ask for nothing more.

What I fear most of all is the chaos the Republicans will attempt to create post-election. They are going to challenge everything. We’d better hope the courts continue to hold. And I don’t have any faith in this SCOTUS. This is coming no matter who the Dems run.

Democrats know this going in. Last time, I think they kinda-sorta expected it, but not to the extent that it actually occurred. Seriously, looking for bamboo fibers in ballot papers to prove they came from China? But now that they know, they can prepare. Perhaps not for all contingencies (oh, those wacky Trumpists), but for a good number of them.

Getting back to Biden, I agree with your remarks above. That debate was a disaster for him, but only partly because of Trump’s rapid-fire BS that Biden didn’t have enough time to rebut. The other part was that Biden is just not good at improvising. I’m sure he can in a one-on-one, or perhaps one-on-a-small-group, but not necessarily to a national audience.

But let’s look at the SOTU, which occurred in the past, but I was reminded of it today when I watched him address the NATO summit. Sure, he undoubtedly had a script that was displayed on teleprompters, but he was confident and assured of himself. He was the Biden we saw and heard at the SOTU, in other words.

And that’s perhaps where he should concentrate his efforts: not trying to beat Trump at Trump’s game (improv, going off-script, getting distracted); but instead, preparing like crazy, knowing the issues and drafting what he wants to say, and then delivering his remarks confidently, with a teleprompter. If improvised chaos is Trump’s game, then let preparation and confidence and a straight message be Biden’s game.

We are in complete agreement. Biden needs to retake the field and not give Trump another advantage. I think he can do it.

I agree with this 100%. It’s why I will happily vote for him even if he is beginning serious decline. I just don’t trust my fellow Americans to do so, which is mostly lingering trauma from 2016. Partly, though, it’s because I’m in education, and I see that between AI, screen-induced short attention spans, internet-fuelled Dunning-Kruger, two generations of defunding education, and foreign propaganda, we are now in the Great Endumbening: I don’t know how people are making decisions, but it’s nothing like how I make them.

I concur. Joe is saying “Dark Brandon” is coming back

The NBC interview gave an assertive Biden who scored some points. And had confidence. Still, many sentences started with an idea…then he said “look” and tried to say it faster or to wrap it up. Look, come on, standard phrases.

It would hard to say this was worse than Biden 4 years ago. He was doing a lot of “look” even then.

NAACP speech went well. No hesitations. A lot of “look” statements following introducing a new topic.

“Look” has long been one of his coping strategies for his stutter. Also, “the idea…” This is nothing new.

I’m glad the speech went well. Thanks for sharing about it.