by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Charles Cooke of National Review Online joins the chorus of critics lamenting President Biden’s latest round of reckless hyperbole. Cooke also puts on his prognosticator’s hat to explore Biden’s near future.
The president has convinced himself that claiming to represent democracy is a winning message, but he also knows that, last time around, he looked absolutely ridiculous while doing so. The resultant compromise yielded the worst of both worlds: Biden eschewed the Star Wars aesthetic that so excited his partisan fans, while delivering a dull, partisan, self-serving address that anyone with a brain could see straight through. It’ll be forgotten by tomorrow morning — if not sooner.
I’m not convinced that political rhetoric of any type is going to change the trajectory of the coming midterms, but, regardless, I cannot help but notice just how poor a campaigner Joe Biden is in his current state. The clips of Barack Obama that have been circulating on Twitter of late serve as a reminder of how good Democrats can be on the stump. Biden, by comparison, is a shadow — of his former self, of his party’s successful phase, of the president he promised to be. Schadenfreude notwithstanding, I must confess that there is a part of me that is absolutely dreading hearing what Biden attempts to say next week if his party struggles in the midterm elections. If, a week out, democracy is contingent upon the Democrats winning, what on earth is the president going to claim if they’ve lost big?
When the world keeps turning, people continue going to work and sending their kids to school, and life continues much as it always has after Nov. 8, it certainly will be hard for the president to maintain his over-the-top approach to election results. As Cooke suggests, the president will have a hard time retreating from the ledge without looking ridiculous.