USA 2024: – 126, The Family Stands with Biden (but that might not be a good thing)

July 2024
By Giampiero Gramaglia

If President Joe Biden withdraws from the race for the White House, it risks chaos for the Democrats. If he doesn’t withdraw, it risks defeat. But even if he does withdraw, the risk of defeat remains. Concern and uncertainty are growing within the party after the president’s flop in the televised debate with his rival Donald Trump: many fear that Biden’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee are underestimating the impact of the confrontation. And, according to the media, Biden’s family is reportedly blocking his withdrawal.

According to the latest YouGov poll for CBS News, 72% of registered voters believe Biden doesn’t have the mental and cognitive health to be president: a percentage up from 65% in the previous survey. 49% of the sample thinks the same of Trump. It’s significant that almost half of Democratic voters, 45%, believe the president should step aside.

In a memo not intended for the media but obtained by them, Biden’s campaign highlights the risks of chaos and clashes within the Democratic Party in case of withdrawal: “If he withdrew – the memo reads – it would lead to weeks of chaos, of pies in the face with a lot of candidates facing off in a no-holds-barred battle on the convention stage, while Trump would have time to speak to American voters uncontested.”

Gathered at Camp David, his wife Jill, his son Hunter, whom Papa Joe has turned to for advice despite being a source of his troubles, and his grandchildren are urging him to stay in the race and continue to fight despite the debacle in the debate: at least, that’s what the New York Times writes. Within the clan, some criticize the president’s staff for wrong or inadequate debate preparation, even though Biden spent four straight days at Camp David ‘training.’

Hunter, according to NYT sources, wants Americans to see the version of his father he knows – combative and master of the facts – rather than the frail elderly man seen on the CNN stage. Other family members are trying to figure out how they could be helpful. At least one of the grandchildren is interested in being more involved in the campaign, perhaps talking to social media influencers.

Biden is also soliciting ideas from advisers on how to proceed: discussions are ongoing about whether he should hold a press conference or give interviews to ‘change the narrative,’ but nothing has been decided yet. Over the weekend, party leaders and donors received calls from the campaign seeking to reassure them and prevent them from withdrawing their support from the president.

According to U.S. media, the Biden family meeting at Camp David had been planned before the debate. This is an unusual week in the United States, as July 4th is the national holiday, one of the most significant in the Union.

This is confirmed by the fact that a family photo shoot was scheduled for Annie Leibovitz, Vogue’s celebrity portraitist, who in March had photographed Biden with Barack Obama and Bill Clinton. After those shots, she suggested something more informal with the Biden clan, scheduling an appointment for this week.

USA 2024: The Contested Role of Biden’s Advisers and Preparers

Faced with the debate debacle, donors are also speaking up. On Sunday, John Morgan, one of the leading Democratic donors, publicly blamed the flop on the advisers who managed the TV duel preparation, naming Ron Klain, Bob Bauer, and Anita Dunn – Bob and Anita are husband and wife. “They must go,” he wrote on social media; in an interview, he explained: “It would be like taking a boxer about to fight for the title and putting him in a sauna for 15 hours.” “I believe,” he added, “that the blame for the debate falls solely on Ron Klain, Bob Bauer, and Anita Dunn.”

Dunn, a senior White House adviser, and Bauer, the president’s personal attorney who played Trump during debate practice, are also targets of family criticism, who also wonder why Klain, the former White House chief of staff overseeing the preparations, overloaded him with statistics. Another point of contention: Biden, who arrived in Atlanta with a summer tan, was made up to appear pale on TV.

However, the president reportedly does not personally resent Klain, Bauer, Dunn, and the rest of the team. And some believe it is unfair to blame the staff: it’s an attempt to find a scapegoat to deny Biden’s responsibilities.

USA 2024: Steve Bannon, Last Thoughts as a Free Man, “Pyrrhic Victory”

Steve Bannon, former White House strategist for Donald Trump, who begins serving a four-month sentence for contempt of Congress today, predicts that Biden’s poor performance in the TV debate on Thursday with Trump will force him to withdraw from the race, depriving Republicans of their weakest opponent and forcing the mogul’s campaign to revise its plans.

“Trump’s Thursday was a Pyrrhic victory. He will take out a guy he knows he can beat and beat well; and he will face a wild card,” Bannon explained in an interview with CNN. But Bannon remains optimistic for Trump because there is a “MAGA army,” i.e., activists in the Make America Great Again movement ready to ensure the mogul returns to the White House.

Bannon will now follow the campaign from behind bars. “I have served my country for the last ten years or so by focusing on this,” namely politics and MAGA. “If I have to do it in prison, I’ll do it in prison, it makes no difference,” he added.