Two things are now clear. The first is that, despite disastrous polling numbers and public expressions by fellow Democrats that he should bow out after one term in office, President Joe Biden is running for re-election. And the second thing? More than ever, party leaders want to carefully shield him from public view. “The national Democratic Party has said it will support Biden’s reelection, and it has no plans to sponsor primary debates,” a leading Washington newspaper reported on April 20. Translation: The Democratic National Committee will do all it can to clear a smooth path to renomination for Biden.
Joe Biden Doesn’t Do ‘Retail Politics’
Anti-establishment Democrat challenger Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has pounced on the party’s machinations, seeking to use them to reinforce his central campaign message that kleptocratic elites control Washington.
“The DNC, at this point, has taken the official position that there will be no debate, and I think that’s unfortunate …” Kennedy Jr. told Breitbart on April 23. “I think what the DNC did to New Hampshire is also unfortunate.” The latter comment referred to the reshuffling of the Democrat primary calendar, which is widely seen as another gift to Biden. Democrat establishment-controlled South Carolina, the state that salvaged Biden’s nosediving 2020 primary campaign, has been moved to the front of the line.
“President Biden didn’t do well [in New Hampshire]; he came in fifth,” Kennedy continued. “So they took New Hampshire, and they kicked it out of first place.”
The Democrat challenger then moved on to a salient point: “[New Hampshire is] very cheap to campaign in. And it has the largest independent block in the country. And people [don’t] make their minds up until they see the candidates again and again and again, and they shake the candidate’s hands five times before deciding who to vote for,” he said. “New Hampshire is the one place where you’ve got to do retail politics – you cannot escape.”
Biden as an incumbent president will be able to lean on a mountain of donor money. The reasons for keeping him under tight wraps are fairly obvious. Biden is 80 and has shown signs of serious cognitive decline, has a career-long affinity for making gaffes, and lacks the enthusiastic core of supporters needed for political rallies. At best, Democrats grudgingly accept his re-election bid.
Democrats Don’t Want to Highlight What They Really Stand For
But there is another reason to explain the no-debate policy that goes beyond Biden and his shortcomings. The party is dominated at its base by vocal progressives, and this spurs public relations disaster when candidates play up to that base during contested primary seasons.
The 2020 Democrat debates provided a national stage in which party aspirants willingly acquiesced to exotic leftist positions utterly shocking to millions of Americans.
It started with the first debate in Miami in June 2019 when every Democrat contender dutifully raised his or her hand and pledged to support granting health care to illegal aliens.
The third debate in Houston was marred by having radical pro-illegal immigration “newsman” Jorge Ramos serve as a moderator. Multiple candidates stressed their bona fides in fighting so-called systemic racism. “Racism in America is endemic. It is foundational,” then-candidate Beto O’Rourke exclaimed. “We can mark the creation of this country not at the Fourth of July, 1776, but August 20, 1619.”
Then there was an Oct. 10 CNN LGBTQ Town Hall in which a 9-year-old “transgender” child was allowed to ask a question. These are the things Democrat Party leaders probably do not want Americans to see in 2023 and 2024.
Nobody Cares About Debates?
Democrats believe they can count on their enormous mail-in balloting advantage and the party discipline of their registered voters to pull the blue lever no matter how weak the nominee may be. It worked in 2022 with stroke-hindered Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA) and notoriously weak campaigner Katie Hobbs, now the governor of Arizona. Hobbs adamantly refused to debate her Republican opponent, Kari Lake. She did the same thing while pursuing the Democrat nomination.
“The entire debacle is … well, a debacle,” Laurie Roberts at The Arizona Republic observed. “No candidate for governor has ever declined to debate his or her opponent in the 20 years the [Arizona Citizens Clean Elections] Commission and PBS have hosted televised debates. Hobbs has now done it twice – both in the Democratic primary and on Oct. 12.”
Hobbs’ words in defense of her intransigence would have crushed her chances in any major election held before Donald Trump entered the White House in January 2017.
“A debate never helps a candidate win,” Hobbs told HuffPost in late October. “I mean, it is – we’re talking to voters and I guarantee it’s not something they’re concerned about. I guarantee the person who is rationing their insulin or opening their refrigerator and figuring out how they’re going to put food on the table with the groceries they have left for the week … isn’t going to open their ballot and say, ‘Damn, I wish Katie had done a debate.’”
As Democrats become more culturally progressive and stridently statist at the same time, a new normal threatens to take hold. Turning their backs on the general public while easing into challenge-free nominations will assure that one of the two major political parties in the United States will offer up only candidates who have been selected – not elected – to run for office.
All opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Liberty Nation.
Do you have an opinion about this article? We’d love to hear it! If you send your comments to [email protected], we might even publish your edited remarks in our new feature, LN Readers Speak Out. Remember to include the title of the article along with your name, city, and state.
Please respect our republishing guidelines. Republication permission does not equal site endorsement. Click here
Liberty Nation Today:
Debt Ceiling Deal Might Not Stop Credit Downgrade – Swamponomics - America's credit rating, paying more for less, and Fed's balance sheet. - Watch Now!
2024 Presidential Election – The World’s Grandest Reality TV Experiment - Is extremism the key to votes? - Read Now!
Just for Fun Vol. 34 – C5 TV - Presidential Trivia is back! - Watch Now!
Liberty Lampoon - Cartoonist Tom Stiglich will make your day. - Read Now!
The First Lady Factor in the GOP - Intelligent, beautiful, and stylish GOP women are critical in getting their candidate elected. - Read Now!