Luther Ray Abel writes for National Review Online about the president’s re-election woes.

If recent stories of his growing unease are any indication, President Biden isn’t getting much sleep these days.

NBC published a piece on Sunday titled “Behind the scenes, Biden has grown angry and anxious about re-election effort,” and Biden is right to be both angry and anxious — angry at himself for not picking a competent VP to whom he could hand his agenda while stepping aside after four years, and anxious because Trump is on the outside this time and not burdened with the Covid fallout (shutdowns, economic stoppages, and civil unrest) in which the real-estate mogul was drowning during the previous go-around. If, as many wrote in 2020, that presidential election was a referendum on Trump, 2024 looks to be a referendum on what Biden has done since then. A 38 percent approval rating to pair with a grocery-price increase of 23 percent since 2020 says most of what needs telling.

Finding himself hemmed in by aides turned nurses and an embarrassingly asthenic body and mind, Biden shuffles forward, having installed no off-ramps (despite an affection for prodigious infrastructure pork spending).

NBC News reports:

Biden has long believed that he isn’t getting sufficient credit for an economy that has created 15 million new jobs. Looking to reach distracted voters who may be tuning in, he told his speechwriters before the State of the Union address to tone down some of the lofty rhetoric and plainly lay out what he’s done, a person familiar with speech preparations said. …

… Now that a (pompadoured) barbarian is at his gate, Biden prepares to don his armor and finds it oversized and cumbersome. Beset by mortality and the ministrations of caretakers, he rages without the strength to chip a teacup or the time to elevate a subordinate without damaging his legacy — which has already been etched in stone as “Not Trump.”