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Biden in Full-On Denial, ‘Certain’ to Stay in the Race

They are acting as if the infamous debate was just one bad night.

Joe Biden hasn’t budged an inch. But neither has the growing chorus of alarm everywhere on the left outside of the DC beltway. It has been said that those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it, and there is nothing new under the sun. But even if you believe, as Henry Ford famously did, that history is “bunk,” some parallels are inescapable over the march of time. And the Biden administration, facing a metaphysical crisis of its own making, would be advised to consider what happened almost six decades ago when his party put forward a candidate who was thoroughly unelectable.

In 1972, Democrats opened up their nomination process after the riot-torn Democratic convention in Chicago four years earlier when Hubert Humphrey, who had not even competed in primaries, was chosen as the nominee in the party’s proverbial smoke-filled backroom. As a result of the party’s subsequent and drastic reforms, George McGovern became the Democrats’ standard-bearer. As the most left-wing candidate ever to win a major party nomination, the South Dakota senator was facing a landslide defeat — and Democrats knew it from the moment the first post-convention poll was released. And yet, they did — or could do — nothing. McGovern had won the nomination fair and square, and there was no taking it away from him without his own decision to withdraw. He lost 49 states to Richard Nixon.

Biden Going Nowhere

Fast-forward to the present day, and the Democrats face a situation almost identical in many ways. Biden has won the nomination by entering and winning all the necessary contests and delegates, and only he and he alone can make the decision to be removed from the ballot. And judging by widespread reports about his weekend meeting with his extended family — previously scheduled for a photo shoot that landed Dr. Jill on the cover of Vogue magazine this week — Biden is going nowhere. Hunter Biden, already convicted and facing a more serious trial in September, prominently urged his father to stay in the race. And why not? An intact Biden presidency beyond next January might be his only hope for escaping prison. Ron Klain, top adviser to the president who’s under fire for his fatally flawed debate strategy of drilling endless talking points into the addled president, told The New York Times in the starkest terms that his man is “100% certain” to stay in the race.

If that is true, the president and his family have descended into complete denial about just how catastrophic this debate really was. Democrats trying desperately to deflect attention from reality — by pleading that “Everything Trump said was a lie” or “an entire career cannot be defined by 90 minutes” and even “I’d vote for a dead Biden over a live Trump” — have consumed social media and the Sunday talk shows. Democrats such as Maryland Gov. Wes Moore and Sen. Chris Coons from Biden’s own Delaware, drafting off statements of support for Biden by former Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, went on record as essentially saying there is no reason for Biden to drop out.

How will Democratic donors feel about this president’s Praetorian Guard if Biden loses as they expect and their nightmare of a second Trump presidency comes true? Their man was already trailing Trump, set the rules of engagement for the debate to shake up the race, and then fell flat on his face. These Democratic partisans believe, and rightfully so, that he could take the whole party down with him. In 1972, Democrats were protected from total catastrophe by their existing 74-seat advantage in the House and a 55-45 majority in the Senate. But this time around, Democrats control the Senate by the slimmest possible margin, 51-49, and are defending 70% of the seats in play this year, while the GOP holds a razor-thin majority in the House. It would be virtually unprecedented for a lead-weight candidate at the top of the ticket not to infect down-ballot races, in this case seriously threatening the party’s tenuous position in Congress. Already, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, whose name is on the short list of potential replacements, has told the Biden campaign that her crucial battleground state is no longer winnable for the president.

The Kamala Harris Conundrum

Vice President Kamala Harris was rushed out onto TV to explain away the horror show in Atlanta, and the best she could come up with was Biden “had a slow start, but a strong finish.” That is laughable on its face. Fact is, of all Biden’s stumbling, mumbling, and bumbling, the worst of it came in his closing statement. Only the fact that the media focused on his initial freeze-up, and that so many millions had likely tuned out or averted their eyes from the slow-motion train wreck by that time, managed to divert attention from the chief executive’s pitiable final remarks. Oh, and the VP then embarrassed herself and her party over the weekend with a rehearsed skit trying to sound like she’s in the hood on the BET Awards. It was described by Elon Musk on X as demonstrating a “toenail curling level of cringe.”

GettyImages-2159025473 Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

Nevertheless, and despite Harris having achieved the near-impossible distinction of lower approval than even this president, there are some on the left who are still not buying the widespread narrative that she would be a certain loser against Trump — or anyone else. A recent New York Times piece – singing a different tune from the paper’s editorial board, which called for the president it defended for years to leave the race moments after the conclusion of the debate — was headlined “Kamala Harris Could Win This Election. Let Her.” Seriously. Perhaps the writer has forgotten — or blocked from her memory — that this VP entered the 2020 presidential race herself, and after grabbing early headlines by implying that Biden is a racist, she never got traction despite a massive war chest and pulled out of the race before a single vote was cast. She was dismissed almost universally as not ready for prime time. But then, like Biden himself when his career was revived with his selection for VP by Barack Obama, Harris was rescued from the ash heap by the 2020 Democratic nominee. By most accounts, she has since bristled at the notion that she is little more than an afterthought now that she has served her one purpose: allowing Biden to fulfill his pledge to pick a woman of color as his running mate.

Did Democrats ever stop to consider what a poor candidate she had already proved to be when they chose her as the heiress-apparent to their creaky candidate? Did they consider the fact that, once she was on the ticket, they would be all but unable to get her off without an insurrection from the identity-politics warriors holding sway in their party? No, in their rush to do anything to take down Trump, they failed or refused to consider the downstream consequences — and now they are in a wrenching fix with no way out.

Still Too Early for Trump to Re-Measure the White House Drapes

Even after a debate that was not just disastrous for Biden but likely the best ever for Trump, Republicans would best be wary of spiking the football. For so long, they have hammered away at Biden’s age and condition. And now they have all the evidence they will ever need that their claims were true. But have they now, in football parlance, outkicked their coverage? Was what they claimed so true that Democrats will ultimately be left with no choice but to find some way to kick Biden to the curb and replace him with someone, anyone younger and more alert?

In fact, Nikki Haley, the last woman standing against Trump in the GOP primaries, and who predicted from the start that Biden would not ultimately be the Democratic nominee, warned her fellow Republicans to be on their toes because, as she told The Wall Street Journal about the Democrats, “they’re going to bring somebody younger, they’re going to bring somebody vibrant, they’re going to bring somebody tested.”

Whether Haley’s prediction comes true or not, are Republicans fully prepared for such a scenario? They might be taking great comfort in prominent Democrats doing their duty right now in defending their president, sensing blood in the water. But these people acting as if there is nothing to see in the wake of the debate are politicians and operatives who are focused on power above all else, so rest assured that the orchestrated show of unity for this crumbling presidency could shift 180 degrees in a heartbeat if the next round of polls point to a blowout.

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