What a difference a few months makes.
A new report from CNN chronicles how President Biden has apparently lost interest in his party’s fortunes as polls point to a midterm shellacking.
In June 2021, two months before Biden’s Afghan disaster sparked a steep decline in his popularity, Biden was seen chatting up Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) chair Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.).
According to FiveThirtyEight’s polling aggregator, Biden enjoyed a 54 point approval rating at the time. Despite that, Biden knew that the incumbent president’s party almost always loses seats in midterm elections.
Indeed, since World War II, the president’s party has lost an average of 26 seats in the House and four in the Senate. More than enough to wipe away the Democrats’ majorities in both chambers.
Occasionally, the president’s party has bucked that trend. George W. Bush’s soaring approval rating after 9/11 and the fallout from the Clinton impeachment both come to mind.
For Biden, considered by many a tenacious optimist, a path to defying history seemed possible. About a week after speaking to Maloney, Biden approached Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.). Peters’ colleagues had recently tapped him to lead the Senate Democrats’ campaign arm.
Biden’s message to him was a carbon copy of the one he gave to Maloney — let’s talk about your races ASAP.
Yet, neither the president nor his staff followed up.
As CNN explains:
They’re not the only ones who’ve been left waiting. In three dozen exclusive interviews with CNN, top Democratic politicians, campaign officials and operatives say the White House political operation is heading into the midterms unprepared and unresponsive even to basic requests for help or information.
Biden’s aloof approach has set off alarm bells among his fellow Democrats. Yet despite his declining popularity, the president appeared as out of touch as ever on Wednesday.
At a televised press conference, Biden appeared angry, ineffective and at times incoherent.
Biden advisers say that the President talks politics with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, but people familiar with both leaders say any campaign talk has been brief, and Democratic leaders have significant concerns with the White House’s approach to getting the President to break through. It’s not just that Biden’s approval ratings have tumbled. Those in charge of keeping Democrats in power doubt that Biden’s team understands how to improve his political fate — and with it, theirs.
“It’s hard for me to believe that the President knows how little his political shop is doing to support Democratic majorities in the Senate and the House. All of us believe that the President would be shocked to learn how little the White House political team is doing,” said one senior Democratic elected official in Washington, voicing widespread worries about the midterms. “We just know Joe Biden, and we know how much he cares about this stuff.”
Senior Democrats, including some White House aides, describe a West Wing lacking both a political strategy and the discipline to execute one. Focus groups are giving party operatives nightmares. Biden is coming across as old and absent, they say. Real and perceived fumbles play into deep fears that he’s not up to the job and that Democrats are incompetent. Few Americans can say what was in the massive bills he’s signed, though many have heard about Democratic infighting and failure in what he hasn’t signed.
While whether or not the White House even has a plan to rescue floundering Democrats remains a subject of debate, one thing is for certain. The president’s party is in deep, deep trouble.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the positions of American Liberty News.