Wednesday, July 3, 2024

Joe Biden: Withdrawal can hardly be stopped | US election

t-online Joe Biden: Withdrawal can hardly be stopped | US election Bastian Brauns • 43 million • 7 minutes reading time Discussions about Biden's withdrawal The situation is extremely dramatic Uncertain future: Joe Biden is gradually losing control of the negative reporting. Should Joe Biden withdraw as a candidate or not? This question is being discussed more and more dramatically in the Democratic Party. It is hardly possible for the president to dispel the doubts. Not even a week has passed since Joe Biden experienced what is probably the worst humiliation of his political life in the CNN studio in Atlanta. In America, it seems, there has been hardly any other topic since then than the president's senile appearance in the television debate against Donald Trump. The calls for his resignation have been getting louder and louder since then. There is a sense of crisis among the Democrats. Even the president himself is apparently thinking about calling off his candidacy. At least that is what the New York Times is citing as an unnamed, close confidant of Joe Biden. According to the report, Biden wants to make it dependent on his upcoming appearances whether he succeeds in turning around public sentiment. However, a White House spokesman denied the New York Times' report with the words "This claim is absolutely false." The chaos seems complete. The president and his team seem to be increasingly losing control of the reporting. But there is one place where everything seems to be different. Just a few kilometers away from the site of Joe Biden's TV disgrace last Thursday, there is a church in Atlanta. Joe Biden is still a hero here. For many, he embodies the fight for a better future. "I think it is extremely unfair to criticize him for such externals," says Priscilla Coggs-Jones. She did not even see the debate, she only read the reports about it. "Joe Biden has achieved so much for us. That's what matters, his politics," she says. A highly politicized community Priscilla Coggs-Jones is not standing in front of just any church. It is the Ebenezer Baptist Church, where the later murdered black civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. once preached - like his father before him. Fifty years ago, his mother Alberta Williams King played the organ here and, like her son, was unexpectedly and treacherously shot by a religious fanatic a few years earlier. The tragic history of the King family is still alive in this place today. In the service of a newly built church, right next to the historic Ebenezer Church, King's descendants are guests and commemorate their murdered family members. The predominantly black congregation knows what they owe to Martin Luther King Jr. And they know that in today's America there is still a long way to go before racism in the country ends. Here, faith means doing politics. Even the pastor is not a normal pastor, but one of the few elected black US senators. And on the night of Joe Biden's defeat, Raphael Warnock was one of the few high-ranking Democrats to defend the president in CNN's "Spin Room" after the debate on site. Now 54-year-old Warnock is standing in front of the altar. Half talking, half singing, he says: "Last Thursday I saw a confused man." The people in the pews laugh loudly because their pastor and senator is not talking about Joe Biden, but about Donald Trump. During the debate, the Republican presidential candidate had said that the illegal immigrants streaming into the country were endangering "black jobs." Many black Americans took this as a racist affront. Because what Trump was actually referring to were low-paying jobs, which he called "black jobs." Warnock looks around and asks: "Do the CEOs, doctors and lawyers present here still have their jobs?" And: "What is a 'black job'? Did he perhaps mean the job of a black senator in Washington?" The crowd in the church hall cheers. Here, Trump is seen as the confused old man. Joe Biden, on the other hand, is seen as the savior who is of course supported, no matter how many lapses he has. The fear of losing the mandate But the majority of America ticks differently than a black Baptist church where a famous civil rights activist once preached. The political situation is becoming more precarious for Joe Biden with each passing day. It is no longer just his own election victory that is at risk, but also that of hundreds of candidates who fear for their positions in the states. Senators, congressmen and governors are rebelling. Especially where there are no extreme Trumpists on the ballot, but moderate Republicans, Democrats fear being caught up in Biden's downward spiral. It is no longer just about the White House or the fear of Donald Trump. For many, it is suddenly about their own political survival in the elections in the fall. Many Democrats are afraid for their mandates. And they expect answers from Joe Biden, his campaign team and the White House. Congressman Lloyd Doggett from Texas was the first high-ranking Democrat to come out of hiding. He hopes that Biden will make "the painful and difficult decision" to "drop out" of the race, Doggett wrote on Tuesday of this week. He "respectfully" urges him to do so. President Biden saved America's democracy with his election victory in 2020. "He must not hand us over to Trump in 2024," said Doggett. Even Nancy Pelosi no longer seems to fully support Joe Biden. The former long-time Speaker of the House of Representatives and thus one of the most powerful figures in the Democrats has not yet called on the President to drop out. In a television interview on MSNBC, however, she said: "It is a legitimate question whether this is an episode or a permanent condition." A statement on Biden's health that was of course not accidental, but deliberately chosen. Barack Obama, whose vice president Joe Biden once was, has also now said that he fears that things could actually get tight for the president. According to the Washington Post, this statement was only made in private. But the fact that it has become public is evidence of the panic mode among the Democrats. Crisis mood puts pressure on the White House Added to this are the apparently highly irritated Democratic governors, i.e. the heads of state governments. None of them will be quoted directly. But many quotes are circulating in the American media that are said to have been made under the table. For example, the governor of Michigan, Gretchen Whitmer, who is also considered as Biden's successor, is said to have said that her state is no longer up for grabs for the Democrats. Further irritations emerged from a crisis telephone conference of the governors. They said they were surprised that they had not been contacted directly by Joe Biden or the White House since the debate appearance. The White House only reacted after this report. An unscheduled video conference was quickly arranged and added to the president's calendar. Joe Biden now wants to face the governors' pressing questions. At 6:30 p.m. local time, the president must fight for his political future from the Roosevelt Room. But the polls are not on Joe Biden's side either. According to a survey by the television channel CNN, his vice president, Kamala Harris, who has not exactly been brilliant so far, now has better chances against Donald Trump than the president himself. While Joe Biden only has 43 percent approval compared to 49 percent for Donald Trump, Kamala Harris has moved up to 45 percent. Among undecided voters, Harris is now even 8 percentage points ahead of Joe Biden. To top off the bad news for Joe Biden, the information portal "Puck News" was able to present a leaked internal poll by the Democrats. According to it, approval for the president has fallen by more than two percentage points following the botched debate, particularly in important states such as Pennsylvania and Michigan. In the swing states in particular, even such seemingly small fluctuations can make the difference between victory and defeat. Appeasement for the media The president's team, meanwhile, remains deliberately calm. Biden's press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre is currently assuring people in the White House briefing room every day that Joe Biden's agenda and success speak for themselves. The media can rest assured that the president will continue to be "presented" publicly as often as possible so that people can get an idea of ​​him. In fact, Joe Biden holds fewer press conferences than almost any president before him. He usually does not allow questions after his statements. If they do, the White House often has to correct a few things afterwards. Biden also gives almost no interviews to the American media. The New York Times and the Washington Post are still waiting for this opportunity. The President also backed out at the American Superbowl, the final of the football championship, and refused to do a usual prime-time interview, which would have been watched by more Americans than ever before. Because the situation is so dramatic, it has now been decided to give an interview on ABC television. Excerpts from it will be shown this Friday. Once again, however, it will not be a live interview. Probably for good reason. Meanwhile, damage control at the political level is in full swing. Joe Biden has already spoken to the majority leader in the Senate, Chuck Schumer. Discussions have also already taken place with the minority leader of the Democrats in the House of Representatives, Hakeem Jeffries. Joe Biden's campaign team still seems to be convinced that the polls after the television debacle are just a snapshot. They expected this and now they want to let it pass. The Biden team apparently still trusts in the power of the Democratic supporters who, like in the church in Atlanta, know at the end of the day that Donald Trump is literally the Antichrist and Joe Biden is the Savior. The coming days will show whether this belief is enough to control the reporting and the dynamics in their own party. Things have never looked so bad for Joe Biden.