Hugo Gurdon writes for the Washington Examiner about Democrats’ plight during this election season.

News that the White House is working behind the scenes to get flattering media coverage for President Joe Biden is three things: It’s par for the course, it’s eye-opening this close to the election, and it’s ironic because it misses the point.Presidents always seek positive stories in an election year, but Biden is increasingly desperate as he is losing to former President Donald Trump. His problem, though, is less to do with media critics trashing him than with deepening skepticism about his capacities being openly expressed by Democrats themselves.

Rank-and-file party members have told pollsters for months they want someone other than Biden. But top party strategists have lately broken out into the open to voice misgivings, even alarm. 

James Carville told MSNBC that the issue of Biden’s great age is “suffocating” him. It is not a problem Biden can solve, indeed it can only get worse. David Axelrod focused, rather, on the “constant, constant problem” of Biden boasting emptily about the economy and failing to empathize with ordinary people who are suffering because of his mismanagement. 

It is hard to think of two political operators with more credibility on campaign strategy and tactics than Carville and Axelrod. The former was President Bill Clinton’s wingman on two successful campaigns. Axelrod was much the same for President Barack Obama. They are repeat winners.

Along with other Democrats, they look at Biden and know the old stick might break before Election Day. They know, equally, however, that it is surely too late to replace him. That’s partly because of an 18-month reprieve given to Biden by Republican failures in the 2020 elections. These silenced voices of Democratic dissent, notably from Axelrod. If Democrats had been in unceasing ferment for the past two years, maybe just maybe Biden would have bowed out like LBJ did in 1968. But he has instead been basking in delusional success, abetted by party aides toeing the line. It’s allowed him to reach this stage in the election cycle thinking he’s FDR, not LBJ.