Biden Takes Preemptive Action Against Trump’s Age Attacks

Six weeks ago, President Joe Biden’s campaign was facing significant challenges during the 2024 election.

Special Counsel Robert Hur recently released a report on Biden’s handling of classified documents. Although the report did not accuse the president of any unlawful behavior, it portrayed him as a sympathetic and well-meaning elderly man with a poor memory.

Amidst growing concerns among Democrats about Biden’s age and capabilities, both the campaign and the White House maintained a sense of composure.

The calm that surrounded Biden and his team as they began their rematch with Donald Trump was indeed justified. They successfully alleviated the widespread Democratic panic that had arisen over what was perceived as their biggest challenge to securing re-election.

In recent weeks, we have witnessed the Biden administration’s approach to tackle President Biden’s age head-on. They have employed a combination of humor, directness, and the connection to his extensive experience. This strategy has been prominently showcased, demonstrating their willingness to address any concerns related to his age.

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During the general election season, following Super Tuesday last week, the Biden campaign made its first significant ad purchase. In this ad buy, Biden effectively conveyed his message.

“I want to be clear, I’m not a young guy. That’s something everyone knows,” Biden acknowledged in a heartfelt video where he emphasized the significant achievements of his administration, including successfully passing an infrastructure bill—an endeavor that eluded the previous administration.

At the conclusion of the advertisement, Biden playfully jests in a staged outtake, exclaiming, “I’m incredibly young, full of energy, and quite handsome. Why on earth am I participating in this?”

Last Thursday, Biden captivated the audience with his highly acclaimed State of the Union address. As he brought his speech to a close, he took a moment to ponder upon his age.

“I may not appear it, but I’ve had my fair share of experiences,” Biden admitted. “As you age, certain truths become even more evident.”

During his speech, Biden made a subtle yet pointed contrast to his 77-year old opponent by repeatedly referring to Trump as “my predecessor.”

“I see a different story compared to some other people my age. I see an American story characterized by resentment, revenge, and retribution,” Biden expressed. “However, that is not who I am.”

Biden’s speech was made even more impactful by his willingness to engage in spontaneous exchanges with Republican lawmakers, effectively countering GOP claims that the president is weak and unfit for office.

Days after the State of the Union, the release of a transcript of Hur’s interview with Biden further weakened the special counsel’s depiction of the president as a helpless elderly individual.

With the Biden administration enjoying a wave of success, Andrew Bates, the White House deputy press secretary, shared an optimistic outlook on what lies ahead for the president.

According to Bates, President Biden is actively promoting his successful State of the Union message by engaging in a series of events, interviews, and interactions with the press corps. Bates emphasizes that what truly matters is the freshness and effectiveness of one’s ideas, as well as their ability to propel the country forward. Bates also points out that Republicans have repeatedly failed in their attempts to attack Biden based on his age, a fact that they seem to overlook.

As the 2024 elections approached, concerns among Democrats regarding the impact of Biden’s age on voter perceptions continued to grow. A notable response to these worries came from Rep. Dean Phillips (D-MN), who joined the race late last year. However, it is worth noting that he recently withdrew from the race after failing to gain significant support in the various contests.

By depicting Biden as an elderly and bewildered octogenarian, Republicans may have unknowingly set a trap for themselves. However, Biden cleverly turned the tables in the past two weeks. By setting the bar for his performance extremely low, the president and Democrats were able to claim victory and alleviate voter concerns when he effortlessly surpassed expectations.

According to Democratic strategist Josh Schwerin, the Biden campaign has effectively tackled the issue at hand. He also pointed out that the Trump campaign and other Republicans are committing a similar mistake by setting the bar so low that any performance above a comatose state is considered exceeding expectations.

Instead of adjusting their own approach, Trump’s political operation appears to be intensifying their attacks on Biden’s age.

In a recent advertisement by the Trump-aligned super PAC MAGA Inc, they not only showcased the typical clips of Biden appearing sluggish and forgetful, but they also raised concerns about his physical ability to endure a second term.

The Biden campaign has not yet responded directly to the ad, and it seems unlikely that they will do so in the near future. However, the ad has certainly caught their attention.

Ammar Moussa, the director of rapid response for the Biden campaign, criticized the ad as “a disturbing and desperate tactic from a financially struggling campaign that is unable to defend Trump’s radical Project 2025 agenda, which includes banning abortion, separating families, increasing costs for the middle class, repealing healthcare, and fostering chaos and division. Moussa also pointed out that Trump attempted this strategy four years ago and was soundly defeated by Joe Biden.”

According to Democratic campaign observers, there is a belief that Trump will eventually face the consequences for his escalated actions.

According to Democratic strategist Rich Luchette, the former president has decided to make the current president’s health a topic of discussion in this campaign. Luchette believes that since the former president’s health will also be a matter of concern in this campaign, it is only fair that it becomes an issue.

Luchette expressed uncertainty about the specific messenger of the message, but pointed out that if she had the same fondness for McDonald’s as Donald Trump does, she would also be hesitant to disclose her medical records.

Instead of engaging in a battle with Trump to prove who will be the more mentally and physically fit octogenarian in the White House in January 2025, Democrats within the Biden campaign and beyond have decided to address concerns about aging by highlighting the differences between Biden and Trump in terms of policy and character.

The Biden campaign and its allies are not entirely adhering to the Michelle Obama approach of “when they go low, we go high.” However, they still believe in the importance of not completely stooping down to Trump’s level. For instance, Trump recently mocked Biden’s stutter.

According to Michael Blake, a former member of the Obama campaign, being authentic is more important than being harsh or mean.

BLUE MAP

Just eight years ago, Democrats were at a low point in state legislatures across the country. However, now they are optimistic about the possibility of regaining control of a majority of state legislatures.

During the Obama administration, the Democratic Party experienced significant setbacks, relinquishing close to 1,000 state legislative seats and witnessing the shift of almost 30 state chambers from Democratic to Republican control. These losses have had far-reaching consequences, setting the Democrats back not just for a few years, but potentially for decades to come.

Democrats now have a remarkable opportunity to not only reverse the downward trend but also seize control of most state legislatures. The timing of their resurgence couldn’t be more evident.

The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee has unveiled their plan to achieve majorities in all 50 state legislatures by 2030. This ambitious goal has already seen substantial progress, considering that the party currently holds 41 state legislative bodies, compared to the 29 majorities they had after the 2016 election.

According to top committee aides who exclusively shared the details with The Daily Beast, the DLCC aims to dedicate approximately one-third of its expenditures towards this goal. With a budget of $60 million for 2024, they plan to allocate a significant portion of their spending to advance their 2030 plan.

The plan focuses on holding chambers in Minnesota, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Arizona, and New Hampshire. However, expanding control requires the support of states like Wisconsin, Georgia, Kansas, and North Carolina, where Republicans currently hold both legislative chambers.

Democrats, on the other hand, are confident that they can gain ground in those states.

The group’s focus on 2030 holds great significance due to the impending redrawing of legislative maps at the state level following the midterm elections. While certain states have implemented measures to ensure a fair redistricting process, it has become increasingly partisan. Republicans, leveraging their control at the state level, have used this opportunity to penalize Democrats and create obstacles for the party to secure majorities. In fact, it was these very maps that propelled Republicans to a House majority throughout most of the 2010s. Consequently, it is these partisan maps that currently serve as the linchpin for maintaining Republicans’ slim majority.

It is of utmost importance for Democrats to regain control of as many legislatures as they can before the redistricting process in 2030.

By 2030, if the party manages to secure majorities in 50 state legislatures, Republicans would face significant challenges in carrying out partisan redistricting. Conversely, Democrats would find it much simpler to create favorable maps.

Heather Williams, the president of the DLCC, emphasized the need for a long-term strategy to disrupt the Republican stronghold in states and achieve a significant shift in power through the newly established redistricting maps by the 2030 elections. According to Williams, this plan effectively achieves this goal by targeting the territories where Republicans have traditionally held dominance.

Democrats argue that it is a bold plan, considering the party’s significant loss of ground when Obama departed from the White House. However, they believe it is a necessary step to position the party for success on the state level, while also cultivating a pool of talented individuals who can ascend the political ladder and eventually become the next generation of leaders at both the federal and statewide levels.

The loss of statehouses has always been a sensitive topic for Democrats. Following the party’s defeats in 2016, even Obama admitted that he was unable to establish a lasting organization for the party.

In the aftermath of the 2016 election, the DLCC took steps to address the concerns raised by various issues. They recognized the opportunity presented by the backlash against Trump and worked towards professionalizing their operations. As a result, they were able to secure new victories in statehouses across the nation.

After a thorough self-evaluation of their priorities, the committee staff at the group realized the need to increase both their operating budget and their full-time staff. As a result, they have quadrupled these resources, recognizing the importance of supporting down ballot races.

NOT KENNEDYESQUE

Even though Robert F. Kennedy Jr. dons the same thin ties and rolled-up sleeves as his iconic late father, he has adopted a more minimalist approach to his campaign style.

Instead of embarking on a nationwide tour like the Kennedy 1968 campaign, Kennedy Jr. is taking a different approach by making fewer appearances on the campaign trail. On his campaign website, he has only committed to attending four events between March and April.

Despite being an independent candidate with slim chances, Kennedy may not have to put in much effort to maintain high single-digit polling numbers in crucial battleground states like Michigan and Wisconsin. These numbers could potentially have a significant impact on the election outcome, potentially influencing the contest between Trump and Biden.

The Kennedy campaign has not responded to a request for comment regarding the possibility of additional events with the candidate. Like his major party rivals, Kennedy has made few appearances on the campaign trail thus far. However, Biden’s travel has increased since he secured the primary victory on Super Tuesday.

According to a source aligned with the Kennedy campaign, the candidate’s limited in-person appearances reflect the campaign’s focus on capturing voters’ attention through online platforms rather than relying on a traditional presence on the campaign trail.

Deploying Kennedy in person should be the main focus in states where he is trying to get on the ballot, such as Texas and California. He will be heading to these states this weekend and next week for a pair of stops.

According to a Kennedy-aligned operative, Bobby’s presence is a powerful visual and signifies his commitment to the cause. The operative, who wished to remain anonymous, emphasized the significance of Bobby’s involvement in private conversations.

The Kennedy team aims to generate excitement through unconventional methods rather than investing large sums of money in advance teams, venue rentals, and other typical campaign event expenses.

The independent candidate’s vice presidential deliberations have been anything but ordinary, as reports have recently emerged about the potential candidates being considered. According to various media outlets, two notable individuals have made it onto the candidate’s shortlist. The first is Jesse Ventura, a former pro wrestler and independent Minnesota Governor. The second is Aaron Rodgers, the quarterback for the New York Jets, who is also known for his involvement in conspiracy theories.

According to a strategist aligned with the Kennedy campaign, having someone like Aaron Rodgers on the ticket could have a significant impact. With his presence in the living rooms of millions of Americans for more than two decades, he has the ability to attract attention and mobilize non-traditional voters.

The Kennedy campaign, however, emphasized that they did not invent this strategy. According to one operative, the credit for the unique tactics that prioritize media attention above all else should be given to a certain former president.

OFF THE BEATEN PATH

On Monday, President Biden made a highly anticipated return to New Hampshire, just days after delivering a fiery State of the Union address. This time, however, he adopted a much quieter and mellower demeanor.

The White House opted for a more intimate and low-key venue as President Biden made his return to public engagements, choosing a local YMCA. The gathering consisted of fewer than a hundred attendees, which included prominent state Democrats such as Senator Maggie Hassan, who had the honor of introducing Biden. Also present was Billy, the husband of Senator Jeanne Shaheen, who holds significant sway in local politics.

Inside the YMCA, the atmosphere was so calm that the voices of protesters standing across the street could be heard clearly. One of them was shouting “Let’s Go Brandon” into a bullhorn, and the sound traveled to multiple attendees, breaking the silence.

During his official visit to the White House, President Biden emphasized one of the central themes of his campaign: the need to reduce costs. This issue has been a cause for concern among voters, who have expressed dissatisfaction with his performance in this regard over the past year.

During his speech, which lasted a little over 15 minutes, the president remained mostly focused on his prepared remarks. However, there were a few moments when he deviated from the teleprompter, adding some impromptu comments that were strategically positioned away from the press area.

During the event, Biden veered away from his prepared remarks to address the ongoing financial challenges that many Americans face. He engaged with the audience by posing a question: “Do any of you have a loved one who relies on insulin for diabetes treatment?”

According to Biden, instead of seniors with diabetes having to pay up to $400 a month for insulin, they now only have to pay $35 a month. He explained that this change was made because he has been fighting for it for a long time. Biden also mentioned that most people know someone who needs insulin for diabetes, whether it be themselves or someone they know.

The Biden event stood out in two other notable ways.

One of the president’s favorite activities on the campaign trail is mingling with attendees for an extended period of time. However, during this event, there was no rope line available for him to do so. The president’s staff believes that this is where he shines the most.

The event had a rather unusual start, as it began almost a full hour earlier than expected. A Secret Service agent even notified the president’s detail that “Celtic” would be arriving ahead of schedule. To add to the peculiarity, the event concluded approximately half an hour before its designated start time.

A local TV news producer expressed relief after the speech, saying, “Thank God it’s over.”

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